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We’ve said it time and time again—content marketing works. In fact, content marketing can generate three times more leads and cost up to 62 percent less than traditional outbound marketing, according to Demand Metric.
If you’ve created a content marketing strategy, but aren’t seeing those stellar statistics, you may be making some common mistakes that are actually doing more harm than good.
Does your content sound like an ad?
Just because “marketing” is in the phrase, doesn’t mean you should create content that’s basically a giant blinking arrow to your brand, screaming “buy from us!” Your readers aren’t looking for an ad in the form of a blog post. They won’t read past the first paragraph.
There’s an appropriate time and format for selling, but top of the funnel content isn’t it. Your audience’s first interaction with your company is typically in the form of social media or blog posts. At this point, they’re looking for information—answers to their questions. If they don’t find it quickly from you, they’ll move on to someone who will.
Hold off on company-centric information until more bottom of the funnel content, like case studies. Even with this content, your message should focus on your customers’ needs. Your goal should always be to provide useful information for potential customers and establish yourself as an industry expert.
Have you abandoned your content?
The “set it and forget it” mindset won’t get you very far with content marketing. Your strategy needs to continually evolve to best meet the needs of your audience. If you’re blogging once a year—or whenever you remember—you look careless, outdated, and irrelevant. Readers want to see that your brand is established and posts routinely.
Social media is an important piece of the puzzle. Promote your content on your social media, so that interested audience members have an easy way to find and connect with your information. Regularly posting to your social media accounts and connecting with other industry leaders will increase the perception that you’re a credible subject-matter authority.
Is your style stiff?
Leave the research paper style back in high school. Your content should sound like a human wrote it, because a human is reading it! Develop your content marketing like it’s a conversation between your brand and your consumers (because it really is).
It’s tempting to pepper your writing with marketing hype and buzzwords will make you sound hip and knowledgeable, but your audience is coming to you to gain an understanding of what you do and why it’s great. They don’t want to feel talked at or like they’re inferior. Engage with them in a simple style rather than bogging down your writing with convoluted sentence structure or complicated jargon.
You can even use sentence fragments. Sometimes. Because that’s how we speak. For more tips on finding the right tone, read our post “Business Blogging Tone: Stop Talking AT Your Customers.”
Your content marketing strategy is a way to establish your brand’s credibility. Make sure that you aren’t accidently undermining your message with these common mistakes.