8 Content Marketing Mistakes That Are Surprisingly Easy to Avoid

8 Content Marketing Mistakes That Are Surprisingly Easy to Avoid

Generating high-quality leads is a top priority for most organizations – and simultaneously one of the biggest challenges businesses face. 

But that’s where content marketing comes in. Luckily, content marketing is a strategy that can bring you three times more leads than outbound marketing for half the price. 

If you’ve been doing content marketing but repeatedly failing to yield such impressive results, it’s time to think about what you’re doing wrong. By identifying mistakes, you’ll be able to fix them, avoid them in the future, and prevent business opportunities from slipping through the cracks of thin content. 

In this article, we’ll address eight content marketing mistakes that are super easy to avoid. 

Not Having Any Evergreen Content

Evergreen content is optimized content that stays fresh and relevant long after its initial publish date, hence the name. 

What’s more interesting is that this type of content doesn’t experience a drop in search traffic over time. Quite the opposite – it keeps on bringing visitors and generating high-quality leads. 

The main reason for this lies in the fact that evergreen content adds value. So, it’s obvious that by not creating evergreen content, you’re losing potential customers and profit. 

The most common types of evergreen content include:

  • how-to guides
  • listicles
  • tips
  • checklists
  • videos (but not all)
  • FAQs
  • product reviews

News and content that deals with trending topics aren’t evergreen content since the interest in them quickly fades away. 

Here are some tips for creating top-notch evergreen content: 

Find the Right Topic

You can craft amazing content, but if the topic isn’t relevant and if it doesn’t generate search traffic, then you’re wasting your time. 

Doing keyword research should be your first step.

You can use tools like BuzzSumo, Semrush Topic Research, or Ahrefs Content Explorer.  

When talking about keywords, focus on longtail ones as they will attract high-quality leads ready to convert. Bear in mind that such keywords typically get less search traffic, but they make up for that fact by bringing visitors who are more likely to purchase from you. 

Optimize Your Content for SEO   

After you’ve identified a relevant topic that has great evergreen potential, you can start working on your piece. 

Use both primary and secondary keywords throughout content but be careful not to overstuff it. Other places to include keywords are titles, URLs, meta descriptions, and ALT tags. Add internal and external links to your content to provide more value and help your readers expand their knowledge about the topic. 

Don’t Use Industry Lingo 

You’re not trying to impress and wow your readers. Your aim is to educate and guide them. So, lose the flashy jargon and industry-specific lingo, as your audience probably isn’t familiar with it. 

Find a way to share your expertise without confusing your readers, who are mostly beginners and novices. Write in a straightforward manner to keep their attention and engage them. 

Revisit Your Evergreen Content Regularly 

One of the most surefire ways to extend the shelf life of your content is to update and repurpose it regularly. 

There will be some new findings and developments over time, so make sure you include them in your piece and change the tips, advice, and examples accordingly. What’s great about this tactic is that once you update your blog post/infographic/guide, you can promote it as brand new content and earn additional SEO points. 

Similarly, if you’ve crafted an extensive piece of evergreen content, repurpose and transform it into other formats. Such a simple spin allows you to produce more amazing content without having to spend a lot of time coming up with a new topic and doing research.

Mint put together an exhaustive list of ways to save money. Although many of these tips are common sense, it’s practical to have all of them in one place together with practical advice and examples. There’s no time-sensitive information, and it’s possible to add new tips without the need to make significant changes to the rest of the article.   

Source: Mint

Being Overly Protective of Your Intellectual Property 

If you have mastered a certain skill or found out how to achieve a particular goal, don’t hesitate to share your insights with your audience. 

But what if divulging the secret sauce means putting your business in jeopardy? 

Don’t be too scared to give away valuable information that may be considered your company’s intellectual property. 

This is the kind of value that’s going to move the needle and push your blog post into a space where it is so purposeful that it becomes a massive generator of traffic and leads.

People can’t replicate your business success just because you gave away your expert insight, so there’s no need to worry about that. 

Quite the opposite, they’ll love you for being helpful, and that’s what will differentiate you from competitors who aren’t as generous with advice. As a cherry on top, Google loves this level of detail and will reward you by boosting your rankings. 

A blog on how to value a SaaS business by FE International is an excellent example of this approach. They don’t refrain from open-handedly giving advice based on their experience and showing readers how to evaluate and sell their SaaS business successfully. 

Source: FE International

Making Visitors Navigate Away from Your Content to Find Core Site Functions

You’ve probably familiar with the terms dwell time, time on page, and bounce rate. 

All of them have a somewhat similar role – to show Google whether your content is relevant for a particular search query and allow it to measure user experience.  

  • Dwell time refers to how long a visitor spends on your website before returning to the SERPs. 
  • Time on page is how long a visitor spends on a particular page before they navigate to another page, either on your website or a completely different one. It’s the time between two clicks: the one that lands a visitor on the page and the other that takes them away. 
  • Bounce rate is the percentage of website visitors who leave without performing an action, such as subscribing, filling in a form, or downloading materials. 

So, one of your main goals with content is to attract your prospects and get them to read it and, ideally, take action. In other words, you want them to stick around and not leave the content page after a couple of seconds.

Optimizing dwell time, time on page, and bounce rate will improve your SEO by signaling to Google that your content matches the search intent and needs of website visitors. Here are aspects you should consider. 

First of all, when you include external links, ensure that clicking on the link automatically opens a new tab or window. Don’t let your prospects leave your site entirely.  

Also, if someone lands on your content page via Google and your post convinces them that they need to use your product, give them instant access to your product. Integrate your important site features into the content page.

Unscramblex is a great example of this approach, as they included a Scrabble Word Finder tool in their content. Visitors can start using the tool right away without having to click back and forth, attempting to find it. 

Source: Unscramblex

Not Publishing Highly Relatable Content

The secret to successful evergreen content is making sure it resonates with your target audience. 

Focusing on your brand and products is counterproductive as it doesn’t add any particular value to your potential customers. So, what you need is a customer-centric approach that will include your audience and make them feel part of your brand. Show what’s in it for them to pique their interest and compel them to read your content.  

One way of doing this is publishing customer success stories or case studies. By publishing highly relatable content about how you helped your customers achieve their goals, you show your prospects you can do the same for them. 

If you only write about your product’s features and benefits without adding a familiar context, people will need to try hard to envisage themselves in the story. This way, you’re doing yourself a disservice. 

Publishing customer success stories presents your product in a fantastic light and allows potential customers to connect with your brand and solutions.  

It’s social proof that is highly relatable and powerful. 

Hubspot leverages these success stories to illustrate the impact their products have on their customers’ businesses and get their potential customers to think, “this could be me!” This content is technically about the product, but it’s sugar coated with exceptional customer experience. 

Source: Hubspot

Forcing Visitors to Read     

People don’t always want to read the content. 

Okay, that’s an understatement. 

In reality, 55% of people will read your content for up to 15 seconds – if you’re lucky. Many will never get to the conclusion section. 

Instead of persistently insisting on blog posts and other written pieces, you should try to accommodate this growing trend. 

There are many ways you can present content in a more accessible way, using different formats because nobody said content couldn’t be video, infographics, or quizzes. 

This way, you’ll make your content more digestible and easily engage your audience, especially if the topic calls for a long and complex explanation.  

Creating Videos

Video has become wildly popular over the past couple of years, which makes this format a must-have tool in your marketing arsenal. 

People are visual beings, meaning that color and movement will capture our attention more than static text. 

All this sets the stage for concluding that video has tremendous power to attract and engage your audience. In addition to that, they’ll understand a concept more easily and effortlessly if you show them how it works than if you use words to explain it. 

B&Q makes the most of their video tutorials and how-to guides. Their audience doesn’t have to try to visualize how to, say, paint a room. They can watch the video and see it for themselves. 

Source: YouTube 

Creating Infographics 

People are 30 times more likely to read infographics than blog posts or news articles. 

This stat should suffice to convince you to include infographics in your evergreen content strategy. 

Opendoor created a checklist for first-time homebuyers in the form of an infographic. This topic can be stressful for home hunters, so presenting it in a simple way will help them get to the bottom of what has to be done and how. 

Source: Opendoor

Creating Quizzes

It can’t get any better engagement-wise than offering your audience interactive quizzes. 

The most popular story the New York Times published in 2013 was actually a quiz

Here’s another jaw-dropping stat that will change your mind about quizzes: 96% of people who start a quiz on BuzzFeed finish it. And that solves the problem from our introductory paragraph about the 15-second attention span when reading content.

Eachnight uses a mattress fit quiz to help their customers find the right product by identifying their needs and sleeping preferences. 

Source: Eachnight

Not Being Bold Enough with Conversion-Focused Content

Sometimes your potential customers are sitting on the fence and need a little nudge to convert. 

What they’re looking for is the content that helps them make a shopping decision. Given that they are very far down the sales funnel, all it takes is catering to them by publishing content that has a strong product/conversion focus and contains bold CTAs.

Many content marketers only focus on creating content for the awareness stage. That’s fine, but your content strategy needs to have some conversion-focused posts to capitalize on purchase-ready people.

Here are a couple of tips for creating conversion-oriented content: 

  • Invoke feelings in your prospects by leveraging so-called power words such as exciting, painful, annoying, hack, verified, remarkable, or mistake. 
  • Highlight benefits over features, as that’s what your prospects want to read about. What they want to know is how they will benefit if they make a purchase.
  • Use images to illustrate your point. 
  • Avoid complicated, big words and use a simple language everybody understands. 
  • Keep it short and sweet. 

Fire Pit Surplus implemented most of these tips while creating their guide on the best concrete fire pits. The copy cuts to the chase without using too many words. It emphasizes benefits, uses visuals, and is enhanced with highly-noticeable CTAs. White space gives some breathing room to the content and directs the attention to the most important elements of the page. 

Source: Fire Pit Surplus

Insufficient Visual Engagement

A blog post is a great place to showcase your product at its best. 

Whenever you create content where your product can be referenced, make sure it’s of superior quality. It’s a great way to make an emotional connection with your readers, even on posts that aren’t sales-focused.

In other words, use images of your product – and not only those from product pages. Instead of that, include real-life photos of people using your product. This way, you can make your content more relatable and prevent coming across as too artificial or polished. 

We’ve already mentioned how important it is to engage your audience using visuals. Besides that, images will break down walls of text and make your content more attractive and reader-friendly. 

That’s exactly what GILI Sports does in their guide to paddle boarding. The text is split into smaller, bite-sized paragraphs that won’t overwhelm readers, while images showcase their SUPs and paddle boards being used. 

Source: GILI Sports

Not Actively Promoting Your Content on Social Media

This one is a big no-no. 

It would be such a shame to invest all that time and effort into creating amazing content and just leave it to sit on your website, waiting for someone to stumble upon it by chance. 

One of the most important rules for making the most of your high-quality content is to promote it. Use social media to expand your reach and get as many eyes on your blog posts, infographics, and videos. 

It’s free promotion, and it goes a long way if you engage in conversations with your followers and respond to their comments and questions. 

For example, MarketBeat shares every single one of their posts and videos on Facebook. The brand uses social media as another reliable source of website traffic because it’s not enough to rely only on Google. 

Source: Facebook

Wrapping Up 

High-quality content should be one of the pillars of your digital marketing strategy. It’s a gift that keeps on giving and generating substantial traffic long after it has been published. You can think of your content as a source of passive income – you create it once and tweak it occasionally, and its value only increases over time.

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