5 Content Marketing Mistakes That Will Kill Your Small Business

By Steven Mehler

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The problem with new marketing strategies – like content marketing – is that a lot of the kinks still need to be worked out. There isn’t a playbook yet and though that means there’s still a great opportunity to get that 5-hour work day, you can just as easily end up spinning your wheels in the air because of some unrecognized mistakes.

Fortunately, we’re getting a little more clarity nowadays. And for that reason I feel confident to list a few of the biggest content mistakes that you might be making and what to do about them. Let’s hope that you don’t recognize your own small business’s marketing strategy in too many of them!

#1. They treat the content as secondary

A lot of websites seem to think that the content part of content marketing isn’t actually that important. They just throw some stuff upon their website and think that the people will come. Of course, it’s nothing like that. Content should be front and center to the entire content-marketing exercise for some very simple reasons:

  • If you’ve got great marketing and mediocre content then people will come, leave again and your money will be gone.
  • If, on the other hand, you’ve got great content but mediocre marketing the people might not come, but you’ve still got that great content. That means you can still benefit from it in the future, when you do spend enough on your marketing.

In case there are no content writers in your team as for the moment, you can search for some reviews of essay writing services or try hiring them at Upwork. You can also try writing the content yourself, but you should be ready to spend a lot of time on this. In other words, the focus should always be on the content, as great content with decent marketing might mean that you get started more slowly, but at least when you do your efforts will have legs.

#2. They focus on only one type of content

Another big one is that people only focus on one type of content – for example text. Now, that simply isn’t going to cut it, as it means that you’re going to miss out on the whole audience segment that prefers visuals to text (and that is a surprisingly large segment of the population).

Instead, mix it up. Have audio, have videos, have slideshows. In this way you’ll be able to reach a much larger audience and ultimately convert more of your visitors. And that has to be what it’s about.       

#3. They forget the call to action

Or, just as damningly, they make it so unobtrusive and so hard to spot that most people just look straight past it. Obviously, that’s a complete disaster. After all, you’re not creating all that content just to entertain people. You’re trying to sell something! And so, if you’re not converting anybody, your entire marketing strategy is failing to deliver.

To fix this problem you’ve got to work on putting your CTA in a clear and obvious location. Where should you put it? Well, you’ll that depends on your site. A good place to start, however, is by figuring out how people scan pages.

This reveals that the top left is the first place they look. Admittedly, putting your CTA there might be a little to forward.

The next place they look depends on whether your page has a visual or textual layout. If it’s more visual then they’re probably scanning it in a ‘Z’ pattern. That means they scan from top left to top right, shoot across the middle and next inspect the bottom.

If, on the other hand, it’s more text heavy then they’ll follow the left-hand side down, reading the occasional heading and point.

Putting your CTA somewhere along their scan will make it more likely that your visitors see it, interact with it, and ultimately become customers.

#4. Not knowing the right keywords

If you don’t know what words people are searching for, then you’ll end up ranking for words that nobody is looking for. And that means you’re missing out on a huge natural flow of traffic that you don’t have to pay a dime for.

Now, obviously that’s a bad idea.

You’ve got to know what keywords are doing well in your market segment and what keywords people are looking for. And you don’t just want to know the short phrases either. You want to know the long-tail keywords they’re looking for. Why? For two reasons:

  • First off, the competition in these is going to be lower, meaning that you’ve actually got a decent shot at ending up in position one (Which is obviously where you want to be).
  • Two, people who are typing in long keyword searches know what they want. They’ve already found out what they want to know and now are looking for specific answers. That means they’re far more likely to convert.

So know your keywords and create your content with it in mind.

#5. Failing to measure your results

If you don’t know where you’re going wrong, then how can you ever fix it? And how can you know what is going wrong if you’re not measuring the results?

You’ve got to take the time to analyze the results. This means that you see how well your marketing is doing, how well your engagement is leading to people sticking around and ultimately how many of those people actually end becoming customers.

Then, when you spot a problem area, you know where you’ve got to change things around.

  • Not getting high engagement? Then you’ve got to work on your headlines, your keywords and your marketing.
  • Got a high bounce rate? Then people aren’t finding what they’re looking for when they arrive on your site.
  • Not actually converting anybody? There’s a good chance that the people coming to your site aren’t actually interested in your product, which means you’ve got to shift the audience that you’re drawing in.

Last words

Content marketing requires a constant process of trying, evaluating, tinkering and adjusting. Sure, you can write awesome blog content, but that alone won’t cut it. If that’s what you believe, you’ve been misled.

It’s the whole package that matters. And even if you’ve got it in place it might take a while before it pays off.

But when it does, it does so big time! Because not only will you be drawing in the visitors, you’ll be positioned as an expert in your field, allowing you to influence opinion and the conversation. And when you’re in that position, you’ll be in a very enviable position.

So don’t give up. Keep hammering away at it, because if you get it right, then you’ll have the goose that lays the golden eggs. 

About the company...

The Social Hire team never just do social media marketing.

What the Social Hire gang loves is making a difference for our clients, and we don't want to waste your, or our resources on marketing for marketing's sake, if it doesn't get your organisation the impression you need - we take a different approach.

We're an organisation that helps our clients boost their social media presence by providing social media marketing on a monthly basis.

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