Savvy Speaks: Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Savvy Speaks: Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
Savvy Sisters - Wed Nov 02, 2011 @ 02:53AM
Comments: 37

Content marketing is all the rage, but as with any new and exciting marketing tool, a lot of companies trip over their own feet in the rush to get into the action. This week the Savvy Sisters weigh in on some common content marketing mistakes to steer clear of.



Not having a plan

If you don't have a plan going in, it is easy to get overwhelmed, confused, burned out and basically let the whole plan go to seed within a very short timeframe.

What sort of content marketing efforts will you focus on? What outlets will you use? How often will you do it? Who will write the content? Who is in charge of the schedule? You need to answer all of these questions and get buy-in from the participants before you even get started. The plan doesn't have to be complex to be effective, in fact - the simpler the better!


If you love it set it free!

My biggest pet peeve in the content marketing space continues to be the number of white papers, case studies, etc that require registration to read.  The point of Content Marketing is to get your information out to as many people as possible.  If they like what they read they will then give you their information via a call to action.  Making people register first is like asking for the goodnight kiss at the beginning of the date.  I am not sure I even like you yet and you want to get personal?  Yuck!  Big turn off.

Trust your content is strong enough to generate the call to action on its own and I bet you get more second dates!


Trying to do too much

Once you see the value of content marketing, it can be tempting to want to try everything: blogging, eBooks, video, social media, etc.  Here's the thing: ideas are easy, but execution is tough, and I think that is where companies will be differentiating themseleves. 

That said, my suggestion is to start small. Pick one or two things and do them exceptionally well, from design to content to execution. From there, build out a plan to repurpose your content and continue from there.


Content for the sake of content

Although some experts will tell you that the best content marketing  strategy is based in non-stop, pell-mell content production - more is better - I beg to differ.

When a company begins producing content just so they can put "something" out there, it erodes their credibility. Content marketing is about providing value, building trust, and earning affinity. Each piece you create needs to be part of an overall strategy that meets the needs of a specific audience. Choosing random topics and blasting out e-books, webinars, and blog posts is not a smart strategy. Listening well to your audience so you can understand their needs and then delivering quality content that meets that need and goes above and beyond with value, presentation, and personality ... that's what content marketing is all about. 


Keeping content marketing siloed

The most successful content strategies call upon contributions from all quarters, including a range of employees, partners, and even customers. So don't let content marketing get trapped in the marketing department. Instead, make sure this mindset takes hold throughout the organization so you can tap into a richer set of ideas and a more robust development arm. 


What are your best content marketing tips?

Seen any noteworthy gaffs you'd like to share?

Comments: 37


1. Anonymous   |   Wed Nov 02, 2011 @ 11:23AM

More great advice from the Savvy Sisters. Although I would have to take a pragmatist's angle on your point about freeing all content, Heather. I'd love it if our clients always aimed to produce brilliant content and allow it to flow around the web, powered by nothing more sinister than its own value, and unrestricted by considerations of data capture.

Sadly though, there are different aims: some are based on long-term awareness, others on short-term leads. And in the latter case I'd have to subdue the free press hippy in me and advocate data capture.

But to endorse the other points above, none of this works if the content isn't well focused, well planned and well executed.

2. John Bottom  |  my website   |   Wed Nov 02, 2011 @ 11:35AM

Ooops. Forgot to fill in the form! I'm not anonymous!

3. Heather Rubesch   |   Wed Nov 02, 2011 @ 11:57AM

John - Thanks for your comment! I agree the ROI of the Short Term Lead is typically the driver in requiring registration. I hear this from clients often as well. I am not opposed to a hybrid approach where you provide the option to the first few pages of a white paper or an executive summary for a special report before requiring registration. I just get frustrated when only a title is provided and I am asked for everything short of my blood type to get a look at the content.
I also would argue that the quality of the leads you get from that are low as well. I like everyone else I know have a cleaver "alias" email account and alter ego I use to download papers on-line when I am not sure I want to give out my real details.

4. John Bottom  |  my website   |   Wed Nov 02, 2011 @ 12:26PM

Agreed - leads gained can be of questionable value, but the point remains that if your content was good, the downloader is likely to be interested in more of the same. So your next communication has a better chance of engaging, and so on.

I can't believe you use an alias :-)

And you know what else - I have no idea what my blood group is. Is that bad?

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