content-marketing-mistakesIf content marketing was easy, everybody would be doing it. What´s that you´re saying – everybody is? Ah, but are they doing it right?

There are plenty of brands creating content by writing words on a page, sharing videos or attempting to jump on the latest pop culture bandwagon. But there are many more wondering why they aren´t neck deep in retweets or splashed across the front page of Reddit.

Maximising the effectiveness of content marketing requires some finesse, so what could we all be doing to improve?

You don´t have a content strategy

Recent research conducted by Hubspot and Smartinsight revealed that 56% of 2,688 European marketers have no defined strategy for their content marketing and those that don´t are less likely to find success.

The ideal strategy needs to be audience-focused and part of an experience that creates the buyer´s journey. It has to expertly blend what the brand needs to communicate with what the customer wants to know, learn or share.

You have a strategy, but it isn´t working

Knowing who your audience is and understanding what they want and how they consume your content is crucial. It´s all well and good investing your efforts into popular livestreaming apps such as Periscope – but not if the majority of your audience prefer a more traditional magazine. That said, there may be a time when your strategy needs to take a new direction. Being audience-centric means you will always need to evaluate your content and how it is delivered.

You care too much about self-promoting

Good content marketing is about delivering value to your audience, not always about your products and services. Your content exists to inform, educate or entertain – not as a place to keep blowing your own trumpet.

You´ve misjudged the moment

Get it right and your brand will reap the rewards. Even two years later, the team at Oreo´s are probably still basking in the glory of their Super Bowl power cut moment. Snickers pulled off something similar after its Jeremy Clarkson ´you´re not you when you´re hungry´ tweet last month. Plus, Hootsuite should be rightly proud of its well-made Game of Social Thrones video.

Unfortunately, cleaning product company Clorox experienced what can happen if your efforts to ride on the coattails of a current trend or news story misfire. Earlier in April the brand attempted to exploit the popularity of smartphone emojis and inadvertently ended up being embroiled in racial controversy.

You´re not actually marketing the content

Once you have created the content, your job does not end there. Do you have a way to distribute it too? If not, you need a distribution strategy that fits your audience, be it through social media, email newsletters, content discovery platforms or through more traditional media relations.

This, of course, is far from an exhaustive list. Do you have any other do´s and don´ts you think need to be added?

 

Ben Hollom

April 20, 2015