Content marketing is tricky for many organizations. It’s not easy to execute. After all, you’re not necessarily in the content creation or content marketing business. Yet, it only works if it’s extremely easy for customers to access — whether they’re actively seeking it or it’s just showing up in front of them.
I’m not referring to any particular content marketing subject or topic. Be it food, electronics or even information; especially information.
If I want to learn to play piano like John Legend, I hit YouTube. If I want to read about world events, I hit up searches on Twitter. If I want to know about events, I just put my query in the “Googler.”
One thing is for sure, I want it now, I want it right, and I want it easy! So do your customers, but most small businesses (still) struggle with content marketing and I’m here to give a few pointers as to how you can make it better.
As a small business owner that drives millions of reads to company content every month by doing things (more) right than wrong: here are 10 content marketing mistakes I suspect you’re making — and how to fix them.
1. Not Enough Content
It takes quite a bit of content to establish thought leadership and/or community. Your company doesn’t need to post five blogs a day or a week, for that matter. But if you aren’t regularly using content to educate your community, it will be hard to get them to come looking for it.
2. Not Valuable Enough Content
Generic articles that don’t tell people anything they don’t know or give any real reason for them to want to engage closer with your company is the bane of most content marketing strategy. Sure, media who make their livings on traffic are benefactors of click bait, but you should think less is more and create frequent, high impact content.
3. Lack of Social Media
Social is a tremendous way to get the word out. You don’t need millions of followers, but you do want your customers and prospective customers following you.
If you aren’t sharing and regularly putting out content on social channels, the followers you have won’t be looking for it, or worse, in the age where algorithms rule, they simply won’t see it.
4. Too Few Channels
Ten years ago, a blog was enough. Now, you need many channels. Content marketing needs to have product and service pieces, blogs, white papers, videos, podcasts… etc. You need to make sure that people can find you in the channel that they prefer, rather than just the place you prefer or feel comfortable in.
5. Wrong Content Marketing Types
Note 4…but add this: You need to use analytics and figure out what content your company is creating that people benefit from. Video has become a great way to show the impact of a product or service rather than an article telling them.
6. Impatience With Content Strategy
So many companies get excited about content, only to throw in the towel after a few months. There has to be an appetite to build the engine and stick with it. It takes years to build the content machine up to where it is generating demand. But when you turn that corner, you will realize it is the best sleeper sales pro you will ever have or need!
7. Lack of Commitment
Maybe the marketing manager is behind it and maybe they even stick with it, but content is like culture: companies that are documenting their business through articles, social and video have more of a culture-wide appreciation for sharing their story. It can’t just be one or two people, it needs to be rooted in the company DNA.
8. Not Enough Visuals
Maybe I reiterated this a bit in 4 and 5, but people like to look at content. Pictures, infographics and videos are hot. Some people like to read, but a lot just want the cliff notes. Video is a quick way to get a ton of information to people in a friendly format. Also, don’t forget subtitles on all of your videos.
9. Poor SEO (Yep, Still Counts)
Not enough words for this, but just make sure you have someone that knows SEO — click here to read more on that, and check out the video below for a quick primer:
10. Bad or No Funnel Management
Think about a 1:1 selling process. Do you have content that supports a prospect all the way down to an existing customer? How do you get new ideas to the current customer and awareness to a brand-new prospect? Then once you do, how are you tracking their activities? Think about analytics tools and CRM as your best friend for making content marketing activities hummmmm……
The world is on demand. And we want our information now. If you are a small business, and you make customers work too hard to find what they want then your pro AV content marketing efforts will, at best, fail a little bit.
It’s time to treat content like a 1:1 sales meeting as opposed to throwing “Hail Mary” passes when you are up 2 touchdowns in the first half. Got it? Okay… then onwards, and back to creating great content that educates and inspires.
This article originally appeared on sister site Commercial Integrator.