Sometime last year, I came up with an idea of starting a company blog. I set up a folder on Google Drive, asked the team members to contribute ideas and assigned topics based on the person’s interest or line of work.
We managed to write a few blog posts over 2 months and then completely forgot about it. There were a number of faults with the way it was planned and executed.
More recently, I’ve been researching and learning about Content Marketing from a more strategic perspective. I’ve realized from my own previous experiences with the company blog and this personal blog, that a few things seem obvious on hindsight.
So, here are the 5 mistakes in content marketing from my previous experiences:
1. Create content. Web traffic will follow.
When you set out to create content, in most cases a blog, you tend to think that visitors will flock to your site or blog, engage with it and it will go viral. The reality is far from it. It is hard work not only creating content, but attracting the attention of the visitors and retaining their interest while they’re on your site.
It helps to think of ways to market your content and not focus just on creating it.
2. Execute without a strategic plan
A recent study indicated that most people write blogs and create content without a plan in place (Only 44% of marketers have a documented strategy).Without a documented plan or strategy, the chances of failure are that much higher.
When you take the time to put a schedule and an action plan in place, the chances of you or your team following it are higher.
If you use WordPress as a blogging platform, you can use this plugin to help you plan.
3. Expect immediate results
Similar to #1, a lot of people will expect to see an immediate impact on their bottom lines. This could be attributed to outbound marketing influences and thinking, where you push out messages and expect instant results.
I suppose one of the reasons we gave up was not seeing a spike in graphs. People are generally used to seeing those after running expensive ad campaigns. Our failure contributes to this statistic – 95% of blogs are abandoned.
Another reason is not taking into consideration the effort each blog post takes and/or creating time in your schedule to do this consistently. 54% of the bloggers spends less than two hours on average per blog post. On the other hand, pro bloggers at Copyblogger spend 5-7 hours researching, writing and editing for every blog post.
4. Talk about yourself and what you do.
Such an easy trap to fall into. When you launch a product/service, all you want to do is talk about how great it is and all the endless features it offers.
But all that people want to know is if your product/service is solving any of their problems.
Utility X Inspiration X Empathy = Quality Content
Content has no utility to the reader if you are not trying to address her interests or problems.
5. Not measure or track data systematically.
If you can’t measure the value of what you are creating, there is no feedback to change or improve. It is vital to have some sort of system in place to track your metrics. Google Analytics is only the first step.
If you’re using blogging as a strategy in a B2B context, then you probably have to look at mapping customer’s buying process to your content strategy. Joe Puliizi calls it the Content Segmentation Grid.
If you want avoid these 5 mistakes in content marketing, have a plan!
Trying to cultivate a blogging culture within a company can be a difficult task. Sumeet, who is a great storyteller and blogger, recently wrote about his learnings from running a blogging competition at ThoughtWorks and gamifying that experience. You should definitely give it a read.
What has been your experience with blogging for your company or personally? How do you maintain that consistency?