In today’s world of marketing, content is king. I’m sure you heard that a million times in 2015. Yet, as much as content can be created and used positively to help build awareness, education and credibility, it can also hurt your brand if the content is not ironclad. Here are some ideas to help you avoid some common content marketing mistakes and make sure your content stands out for all the right reasons.
- Make sure your hyperlinks work. There is nothing worse for a reader than to be interested in your content enough to want to learn more about a point made in your piece only to click on a bad link or be directed to the wrong site. It’s a waste of your readers time and that may have been enough to cause them to dismiss your content and simply move on.
- I love infographics but make sure your reader gets the masterpiece you think you have created. Think more Picasso than Dali. If the infographic is too busy and filled with an abundance of data-points, sometimes the clear message that was intended to come across is not easily digested by the reader.
- Using studies or statistics from reputable sources is absolutely awesome. Nothing better than supporting your work with real numbers to back the point you are trying to make. Where I’ve seen some people hit a speed bump is citing a study or statistic that is not current. Content loses credibility if your trying to back up your view with data from 5 or 10 years ago. Trust me, it happens. Try and get a very updated source to help support your work. It can only help.
- Know your audience. One size fits all content is no longer applicable, actually was it ever? 2016 will be the year where “personalization” is rewarded across industries. Content marketers need to embrace this notion or they risk not having their content resonate with the intended audience, especially millennials.
- Don’t be afraid to paint a picture. Talking about a new product or service, especially in the energy and technology sectors, two areas converging like never before, is great but your content will really stand out if you tell the reader something he or she doesn’t already know (i.e. potential impacts your product or service can have on other industries, any credible sustainability angles or the benefits/challenges of any future legislation). At the end of the day, content marketing can’t be seen as thought leadership if it simply regurgitates someone else views. That’s not value added.
- Leaving content in left field or the digital abyss. You must push your content to social media outlets (it can be time-consuming but that’s the new world of digital content). Additionally your work could gain more traction if you provide social share functionality which allows your content to take a life of its own. Too many times I’ve seen a great article on a client’s website that was never added to LinkedIn, Twitter, Flipboard, etc. How can you build brand awareness if you don’t promote your own content?
- Failure to engage your own colleagues. Content is truly an all-hands on deck theme today. Don’t be afraid to employ paid social amplification capabilities to your content or campaign. But, don’t forget to also get your employees on board with your branding message. Employees are often an overlooked resource as brand ambassadors.
These are just 7 ideas I believe can help make your content ready for prime-time. Hopefully, this list helps you avoid some of the mistakes I’ve seen throughout the year. Have a great holiday season!