Every business can benefit from regularly publishing content. And most business owners like you understand that it is important – but not everyone understands how to produce content that delivers everything it is supposed to. We’ve listed 6 rookie mistakes that can kill your content faster than weed-killer.
1) The Great Content Conundrum
Your content consists of day-to-day stuff in your business – Mary from Accounts is getting married, some photos from last months team-building weekend in the Hunter Valley and a very nice introduction for Mike who’s taking over from Dan in the IT department. Or maybe it is full of case studies and client stories?
Either way – neither of these things will keep your audience wanting more. You’ve heard it a million times already – “create original content that engages your audience” – but finding your original content by understanding who your audience is and what they want is a lot harder than it sounds. This is Very Important foundation work and in the long run it pays to spend time getting this right.
2) Publish and they will come
No. No they will not come.
Not without some help. Publishing content is only the first step – you need a plan for broadcasting it to your audience. You can do this through your email list, your social media channels and through your off-line networking. The internet is full of very useful tools to help you automate the sharing of content – most of them are free so there is no excuse! We recommend Hootsuite, Bit.ly and MailChimp.
3) Regularity isn’t your specialty
You have a blog. The content is pretty good. But your last post was maybe 4 months ago and you’ve been so busy you haven’t had time to write another.
We cannot stress this enough. Choose your schedule and stick to it obsessively. This is not for the benefit of your audience, it is for the benefit of Google. Google loves patterns and as soon as he finds one, he will give it some SEO lovin’. We always tell people – no matter what else Google is doing – he will NEVER punish you for regularly publishing original content. Frequency isn’t such an issue (although you will get faster results if you blog every day, rather than once a month) but regularity is essential.
4) …and neither is focus
Your content should have a focus – this is an over-arching guide for everything you publish.
If your content is a bit random and heads off in different directions, your readers will start to feel unsettled – they’re not sure what to expect and sometimes your posts will resonate and other times – not so much. Find your content mission and stay on message.
5) ‘buy from me’ isn’t a message
Your content is NOT, we repeat NOT a selling tool.
It is a relationship builder. It is a series of conversations with people who enjoy the topic. After a while they may buy from you. It can take weeks. Or years. Content does not equal sales. Content equal potential clients. Keep the conversations going.
6) so, what’s next?
So – even if you’ve made all the five mistakes above, and your reader is STILL with you at the end of the page – give them something to do.
There is nothing worse than getting to the end of a really well written article about something you are really interested in and then….nothing. It is like someone walking away at the end of a conversation without saying “goodbye, looking forward to hearing from you”. Give your reader something more to read, a link to a product or service that might be relevant to them, or an offer. The key word here is “give”. Don’t be shy, be generous.
And a bonus 7th mistake
7) You think you have to be a good writer to have good content
Content is not about writing. Content is about the message.
Your can use written words to convey your message, or you can use an image, an info-graphic or video, a slide style presentation or even a comic. Find the medium that suits you best and master it so that your message shines through.
Kick these mistakes off the page and get your content marketing off to a great start.