Are you asking customers to marry you on a first date, or are you wooing them over time with all your charms? Content marketing is a long game. You need to work to make customers warm up to you through many touchpoints. This means you need an effective content production strategy.
Content production has multiple steps, from planning and creation to execution and distribution. With all the steps, many mistakes can happen along the way. This post covers the most common content marketing mistakes and how to avoid them.
Let’s dive in.
Mistake 1: Not knowing who you are marketing to
You can make many mistakes in content production if you do not know who you are speaking to. Your marketing and methods will be all over the place because you don’t have a target.
In their book Guerrilla Marketing Remix, Jay Conrad and Jeannie Levinson presented their fifty golden rules. Number two on the list is – “The ability to accurately define your precise market or markets dramatically affects your profitability.”
Notice the words “precise” and “dramatically.”
The forms of content you create may not be suitable, your CTAs will not capture, and you will waste time and money. Look at who is following your brand and figure out why. What are their needs, and how can you better serve them? This point is hit on again and again because it is so crucial. Know what your target audience needs and their search intent regarding content.
If you are working with professional writers, prepare a content brief, so they know exactly who they are writing to and why.
Mistake 2: Lack of consistency in branding and content
A mistake so many businesses make is inconsistent in their visual branding or in how often they post. Customers want to know what they can expect. How long has it been since your company posted on social media? Could potential customers spot your brand while scrolling through their favorite social media platforms?
It’s better to publish a new blog post once a month than to try and blog every week and then fail and have months go by with no content. The same goes for social media. Take the time to focus on one or two platforms and get your content out consistently, than have five platforms that don’t get used and look empty. Prepare your content calendar in advance and ensure you have all the content you need to stay consistent.
Also, prepare your brand visually. Be consistent with your colors and fonts. Create a brand style guide, so everyone on your team knows how to create the right visual experience for customers.
Mistake 3: Not preparing a proper budget
Do you have a budget for your content production? Having no budget can mean you spend too little and get poor-quality results, or you overspend, and things get out of hand. Your budget depends on your content strategy. Hiring professional writers and getting a workable content strategy saves you time and money in the long run because they can give you an outside perspective on your content goals.
Look at your overall marketing budget and designate a portion, say 25%, to content marketing. This can include hiring writers for blog posts, social media posts, white papers, etc. But can also include boosting posts and paying for ads. As your team determines what works well, you can increase the budget and continually improve your strategy.
This brings us to the next point; you must keep track of your results to know where you stand.
Mistake 4: Not keeping track of results, good and bad
Did your campaign work or flop? How do you know? You need to track not just vanity metrics, how many likes a post gets, but conversions and conversation. Is your content meeting your goals, whether those are to get new subscribers and followers or to make sales?
Also, is it resonating with customers? Is it starting discussions and conversations? Are customers asking follow-up questions?
Keep track of as much data as possible and adjust your strategy accordingly. If something is working well, figure out why and copy it. Or, if it’s not working, evaluate it. You may not have given it enough time or may need some tweaking.
Mistake 5: Having a short-term view only
There have probably been a few marriage proposals that worked on the first date, but it’s rare. Building a relationship with customers and potential customers takes time. Some marketing tactics can speed up the process, but you cannot rush it.
When creating your content production plan, consider short-term and long-term goals. You will have people in different parts of the sales process. You need to nurture them with many touchpoints to move them from one end to the other.
Create timelines, set the right expectations, and as your team plans, creates, and distributes content, think about how you lead customers through the buyers’ journey.
Mistake 6: Not telling a compelling story
Ensure your content tells your brand story and how it impacts your customers. Make it about them. This goes back to knowing exactly who your customers are. Tell a compelling story about your products and services and your customers. How you serve your customers and how their lives are impacted.
Go past your business’s analytical and logical side and dig deep to find the emotional side. Tapping into the emotional side will make your marketing more effective. Remember that you do not want to try to force connections too fast. You are wooing your customers.
Mistake 7: Not developing processes and systems
For your content production to run smoothly, you need processes that anybody on your team can understand and implement. As you find methods that work, type them up and keep them in a place where creators have access. You can create a process for handling different things, from your content budget to blog post creation and distribution.
You could even create training videos, build a content calendar, create a file for graphics, etc. This will keep your team organized and allow everyone to access what they need, and you will not have to waste time training repeatedly.
BONUS Content Production Strategy Mistake: Not including the entire team
Do you want your content production to be as successful as possible? Then it would be best if you involved different departments in the creation. If your writers have access to the product creators, they will better understand how to share the value those products offer.
If your sales team is involved, they can help guide the content they need to sell the products and services. Involve your entire team whenever you can and correct these seven mistakes to build a productive content channel that can grow with your brand. Hire a great content strategist today.