As marketing experts, we spend a lot of time sharing what we think are the best ways to create and use content for marketing our clients’ businesses, especially when it comes to inbound marketing – the type of marketing that uses content as part of a digital campaign to grow brand awareness and connect a business with its ideal clients. And we love doing that!
Sometimes, though, it’s a good idea to look about what not to do – certain content marketing mistakes can actually do more harm than good when it comes to achieving your business’ marketing goals. Rather than have to claw back from a losing position, try to avoid making these mistakes in the first place. Above all – have a plan – one of the biggest mistakes we see clients make is randomly trying every content marketing option available and then wondering why the results are instantly wonderful. A content marketing plan will help to focus your efforts and align them with your goals, making them more impactful and easier to record and evaluate (because reporting really does count).
Say NO to the following content marketing ideas
1. Long-form videos
As sad as it may seem, research shows that today’s consumer has an attention span of around 10 seconds if they are not completely engaged with the material they are studying. That means that the content you put out there needs to make a strong impression, fast. Video is certainly a popular content medium (many people prefer to share videos than text, for example) but it’s best to avoid long, rambling videos that take ages to download and don’t seem to have a clear point or call to action. Bite-sized chunks of video is where content marketing is at – Instagram stories, for example, are here to stay and are becoming more popular by the minute.
2. Hard selling
Whether it’s a website landing page that just offers your business’ price list or a webinar that more about a sales pitch that sharing truly helpful information, customers don’t want to be the recipient of the hard sell. If you’ve nailed down your ideal client, you already have what they want to buy in terms of product and services – to turn these customers into loyal fans (fans that will support and spread your message), you need to give them something more valuable than straight sales information. You need to give them relevant, high quality content that will add value to their lives. Content that shows your business to be a thought leader, a knowledge hub with the solutions to your customers’ problems.
3. Content assets for the sake of it
A content asset is a piece of content-driven marketing material that can be used as a business tool to connect with your customers. Examples include a download on your website or an infographic that you share on a social media account (or two or three) or an email newsletter – it shares content with your customers and works to engage them and, preferably, call them to take action. There are many different content asset templates on the market and your business does not need all of them. Think about it – do you really need an email newsletter because other companies are using one? Is your business better off creating product guides, checklists, organograms (or even all three?) than it is sharing video clips? Or is video where it’s at for your industry? The point is that, just as the content you share needs to be relevant to your target market, so does the form it comes in. Be selective and focused – choose assets that are going to get the marketing job done right.
At Switch Marketing, we pride ourselves on being content marketing experts and we love helping our clients develop their brand (or relaunch it completely) and attract their ideal buyers. When it comes to creating stellar content marketing assets (and putting them out there), we know what we’re doing.