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7 Content Marketing Mistakes Guaranteed to Kill Your Online Business

Research has shown that inbound marketing delivers 54% more leads than outbound marketing, and that brands that rely on inbound marketing save over $14 for every new customer acquired; this and more has fueled the interest in content marketing, and more brands are hopping on the content/inbound marketing train.

While the statistics present content marketing in an alluring light, the reality is that majority of businesses that do content marketing fail, and their failure could be summed up in one or more of the following mistakes:

Mistake #1: Lack of a Documented Strategy

Research published by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs has revealed that the major reason most businesses fail at content marketing is due to lack of a documented content marketing strategy. According to the study, 60% of companies that have a documented strategy reported success compared to just 7% of companies without a strategy.

It's not just enough to have an idea of what your approach to content marketing will be; instead, take time and get together with your team to plan your approach to content marketing and ensure you have a documented strategy. This way, you know when you're not getting results because your actions do not align with your strategy.

Mistake #2: Ridiculous Website Speeds

A single second delay in your website speed will cost you up to 7% in conversions, and most businesses make the mistake of assuming that their website and conversion setup is completely isolated from their content marketing strategy. It isn't.

Having a faster website makes it easy for people to access your content, leading to increased distribution and traffic, leading to a seamless conversion process that boosts your ROI.

There are several tips for boosting your website speed, and here are a few:

  • Choose a reliable web host
  • Choose a reliable CMS to power your website
  • Leverage caching to make your website faster
  • Leverage CDNs to deliver the fastest version of your website to people depending on their location
  • Limit the number of plugins and addons your site uses
  • Limit the number of external connections your site has to make by installing relevant files on your server

Mistake #3: Inconsistent Content Schedule

Research has shown that businesses that publish content more often, and consistently, generate more leads than businesses with a random, inconsistent content schedule.

If you want to get results from content marketing, one of the first things you should work on is your content schedule; this could be with your blog, with your newsletter or with other content marketing schedules. By making sure you're releasing new content regularly and consistently, you can train your audience to trust you, significantly improve your reach in search engines and social media, and as a result get significantly more people to do business with you.

Mistake #4: Lack of Diversity in Your Approach to Content Marketing

Focusing on just one content marketing option won't cut it; for example, most businesses only blog and that's it for their content marketing strategy. While that is by no means ineffective, you'll get significantly more results by using a host of content marketing strategies that complement each other. For example, your blog could direct people to sign up to your email list after downloading a free report, instantly setting them up to go through a relevant autoresponder series that prepares them for your offering.

When you leverage different forms of content marketing that complement each other, the end result is a significant increase in lead quantity and quality, leading to improved ROI for you.

Mistake #5: A Poorly Optimized Funnel

If your content marketing doesn't contribute to an increase in revenue or business growth, it's only a matter of time before it dies.

Times without number I've seen businesses blogging enthusiastically, publishing regular content and paying freelance writers to produce the best content for them, without an end goal. Unfortunately, their blog seems very isolated from their business and a complete stranger will have no idea that it was part of their business. This shouldn't be.

When you blog, or invest in other forms of content marketing, there should be a link to your business; people should know that your blog is part of your business, and you should actively direct them to your offerings. Good content marketing sends your customers into your marketing funnel, ensuring that you're able to get maximum value from your content marketing efforts.

Mistake #6: Excluding Your Customers from Your Content Marketing Plans

The aim of good content marketing is to help you attract more customers and better serve existing customers; ignoring your customers when planning your content marketing strategy can be disastrous.

To guarantee results, it's important to regularly reach out to customers to learn about them and let that influence your content marketing strategy; you can do this by personally reaching out to random customers once in a while, or by occasionally running surveys to all your customers. Try getting your customers to tell you what kind of content they expect from you, what they've found most helpful about your brand and/or content marketing and how they discovered you. This information will help you plan effectively by investing more into what is working and cutting out what isn't working.

Mistake #7: Lack of Proper Distribution of Your Content

Most companies assume that content marketing is all about starting a blog, publishing hundreds of articles and waiting for results. Things aren't that simple.

Effective content marketing includes both content creation and content distribution; if you have very few people reading your blog and you publish 100 articles, it won't make much of a difference, especially in the short term, since you're limited to the people reading your blog.

By effectively distributing your content, however, you can tap into the audience of people with more reach than you. For example, if you have only 2,000 people reading your blog, you can achieve more impact by having your content published on a blog that is read by 200,000 people.

There are several ways to distribute your content and some of the more popular options include syndication with niche sites, guest blogging, social media and paid ads.