Creating quality content is a huge part of online marketing. Despite content creation being vital for customer engagement, many businesses are still making easily avoidable mistakes, that are harming their content marketing efforts.
In this article, I’m going to be highlighting 7 common mistakes that many people are still making. Identifying mistakes and how to avoid them in the future will help you to create better quality content.
Mistake #1 – Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar
We are starting with the most obvious mistakes; spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPAG). Despite being one of the simplest mistakes to spot and resolve, there is still a lot of content being published by businesses that have these blatant blunders.
One of the most common places you can find these mistakes is Facebook. There are many media companies that are posting articles on Facebook that are laden with SPAG mistakes.
This may be due to a race to beat the competition when posting news surrounding subjects within a business’ niche. When trying to beat their competitors to the punch, they are forgetting to check their content for mistakes, and many audiences embarrassingly pick up on the errors.
The easiest way to avoid SPAG mistakes is to proofread your content. Relying solely on word processors to check the spelling, punctuation and grammar of your content will not always produce a polished final edit. Read and re-read your content to ensure that it sounds right and that the writing flows well.
If you cannot find any mistakes, ask someone else to proofread the content, they may find mistakes that you have missed. It doesn’t matter how much value your content may provide, if your audience struggles to read it, it will likely tarnish your professional reputation.
Mistake #2 – Keyword Stuffing
There are many authors writing content for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), rather than their audience. ‘Keyword Stuffing’ is an example of writing for SEO purposes. Keyword stuffing is the method of overusing words or phrases that may have a correlation to your business in order to manipulate search engines.
The keywords are typically hyperlinked so that they are picked up by web crawlers. This results in a bad experience for your readers and also contravenes most search engine guidelines. Keyword stuffing can result in penalties such as removal from the search engine index.
If you want to write content that provides value to your audience and helps with your SEO efforts, then allow time to plan. Before writing your content, think about who your target audience is and what they want to see. For example, this article is aimed at people who may be new to content writing and want to know what mistakes they should avoid making.
Using descriptive titles and sub-headings that include keywords, not only informs your readers of the content theme but also gives information to search engines. Adding links is not a bad thing, just make sure you are giving consideration to links that do not negatively impact your audience’s experience or violate search engine guidelines.
Mistake #3 – Content Value
When writing content, your primary focus should be value. If your content does not provide value to your target audience, then why should they read it? Your audience expects to gain something from your content, whether it’s entertainment, information, emotion, reviews or more. Without it, you are not going to see much traffic.
Your content does not have to focus on just one of these elements, it can provide entertainment and information, information and emotion, emotion and entertainment, or all of them at once! For example, the value that this article aims to provide is information about content marketing mistakes and how you can avoid them. Entertainment and emotion factors would not really suit the purpose of the content as you, the reader, would have come across this article when looking solely for information.
Mistake #4 – Focusing On Conversions
Content marketing, if executed correctly, is a powerful tool that can be used to gain more traffic without needing to spend a fortune on advertising. Some marketers believe that looking at sales is the best way to measure the success of a content marketing campaign, however, they seem to be missing the point.
Content marketing is not just about sales, it’s about building a solid relationship with your audience. Your audience should enjoy reading your content and you should enjoy creating content that fulfils their expectations. Creating this relationship with your audience will not happen overnight, it builds over time through consistent posting, valuable content and personal engagement.
The more your content benefits your audience and the more it resonates with them, the more likely they are to buy from you. Content marketing is not about boosting sales with each article, blog post or video; it’s about building a strong, trustworthy relationship with your audience that will help to steadily increase sales over time.
Mistake #5 – Quantity Over Quality
This mistake is usually made by people that are new to content marketing. They may believe that the key to success is the volume of content that you ‘push out’, however, the quality is far more important than the quantity. If you are pushing pieces of content out every day, you are not giving yourself nearly enough time to research, plan, write, and check the content.
A lot of work goes into creating valuable content, which starts with ‘idea generation’, ideal platform research, then looking at platforms with similar content and ways you can make your idea unique. You then have to create the content, edit it, proofread it and a plethora of other things. That’s a lot of work to do every day and may mean you cannot put your full effort into each piece.
Setting realistic goals and creating a plan is the best way to deal with content creation. You will then be able to plan when content will be posted and give yourself enough time to create something that your audience will benefit from as much as possible.
Additionally, if your audience is constantly bombarded with low-quality content every day, they are likely to lose interest and look somewhere else for entertainment or information. If you post once a week but spend a considerable amount of time and effort on your content, then they are going to be eagerly awaiting your posts each week.
Mistake #6 – Inconsistent Posting
Similar to Mistake #5, posting too much or too little is going to have a potentially negative effect on both your business and your audience. Posting too much may frustrate your audience and diminish the value of the message you are trying to give. Posting too little will reduce your core audience engagement. If you post consistently you are more likely to retain and grow your audience, provided that the quality of your content is good enough.
The best way to maintain consistent content posting is to create a schedule. Map out your week in terms of when you are going to begin creating your content, when you aim to have it completed by, when you are going to make all the relevant checks e.g. proofreading, and then a set date and time to post the content. Informing your audience of some aspects of your schedule will mean they know exactly when to expect new content from you and they will be looking out for it.
Mistake #7 – Content Promotion
The promotion of content is just as important as creating it. If you put a lot of time and effort into your content, you should put just as much, if not more, into promoting it. After all, if a car manufacturer just spent years perfecting their latest model, you can bet that you would be seeing television, magazine, newspaper and social media advertisements about all of its great features. Now I’m not suggesting you should fork out for a prime-time TV advertisement just to promote your latest blog post but, making a few posts on your other social media platforms will go a long way.
A lot of marketing experts say that you should spend twice the amount of time promoting your content than you did creating it. You could post an update on Twitter letting your follower’s know that you have just posted a new article on your website and give them the link.
One of the most popular forms of content promotion is through email marketing. If your posts gain a lot of traction and your audience can see the value in your content, they may want to be notified when you next post. By adding a form to your website or blog, they can supply you with their email address and you can build a subscriber list. When you post new content, you would then create an email to go out to everyone on the list to let them know about your fresh content.
We hope that you enjoyed this article and that you found something of value to take away. If you have any feedback, we would love to hear it!
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