Tapping on the bubbling potential of search analytics and having a meticulous scrutiny of what search results around you direct towards can be used as a starting point. You do not want to be selling soap to audiences, that can be converted to potential customers, that want cars. This incurs losses in terms of time and energy as well as costs for forming an unhelpful content strategy.
Content Marketing has come a long way from Google’s 2011 Zero Moment of Truth macro study. It revealed the importance of company websites having a sound Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy for maintaining an online presence. The concept of ranking higher on Search Engine Result Page (SERPs) started taking shape.
In the following years, social media usage rose to become the major shareholder of internet consumption by users. In fact, according to a HubSpot report, over 80% of content marketers now use social media as their preferred channel of marketing, as opposed to 40% of them using SEO channels. Along with that, the consumption of video content rose to prominence, with YouTube leading to make the lion’s share of video platforms popularly used by consumers.
In such a scenario, it is imperative for websites to have an impeccable content marketing strategy if they want to gain more engaged customers, especially through organic traffic. Any mistake in the same can cost businesses dearly. There are many potential mistakes that companies can make when developing a content marketing strategy. Some common mistakes include:
- Not having a clear target audience: It is important to have a clear understanding of who your target audience is and what type of content will be most relevant and engaging to them. Target audience is a classification that typically includes people on the basis of shared demographics like age, class, sex, geographical location, race, caste, educational level, previous search patterns and intent, etc.
- Failing to create a content calendar: A content calendar can help you plan and organize your content in advance, ensuring that you are consistently publishing new material and not running out of ideas. Consistency is key when it comes to content marketing. It is important to publish new content regularly and maintain a consistent brand voice and messaging across all of your channels.
Doing so will achieve for you a dedicated audience that engages and relies on your content exclusively. What it also does for your website is generate authority that Google requires to rank it higher on its search engine results page (SERP). You can check out some popular content calendar creating online tools like SocialPilot, Mailchimp, Asana, Content Studio, Trello, Evernote, Loomly, ContentCal, MeetEdgar, etc.
- Not promoting your content: Simply creating content is not enough. You need to actively promote your content through social media, email marketing, and other channels to reach your target audience. A robust content promotion strategy is part of a sound marketing plan and creates awareness about your brand and establishes website authority. With the rise of social media platforms turned giants, like, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., content consumption has become more passive.
What we mean by this is that unlike purposive searches on engines like Google, etc., the content we consume from Instagram, etc., are not necessarily something we are looking for, but still consume. Hence, the potential to market through social media channels should be exploited. You can also try rewards and referral programs, guest posts, paid ads, and affiliate marketing to promote your content.
- Not measuring the effectiveness of your content: It is important to track the performance of your content and use data and analytics to continually improve your strategy. Analyse Click-Through Rate (CTRs) for measuring effectiveness of e-mail content and marketing strategy, Call to Action (CTA) clicks for Landing Pages, and tracking leads and conversions by checking ad copies for ad banners. Understanding User Behaviour Metrics gives you a better insight into the audiences engaging with your website.
The engagement itself could be analysed by measuring the ‘likes’, ‘comments’, ‘shares’, ‘mentions’, etc., which would further incentivize creating more relevant quality content for a target audience. Furthermore, you could analyse SEO Metrics through tracking the organic traffic your website generates. Backlinks are helpful here for not only increasing the content creation on your website, but also to establish authority and measure engagement.
- Failing to align content with business goals: Your content should be aligned with your overall business goals and objectives. Make sure that your content is helping you achieve your goals, whether that is increasing brand awareness, driving sales, generating revenue, or something else. Not having content that caters to your business aims disrupts a content marketing strategy right at the beginning.
Publishing haphazard content actively hinders you from being established as a website with authority, which is what your ultimate goal should be to gain more customers. It also seriously undermines your ability to identify the target audience that you want to cater to. Thereby, it creates a vicious cycle of creating impertinent content for an unidentified audience, making your efforts for a content marketing strategy go in vain.
An effective Content Marketing strategy is a combination of all the above pointers, in varying degrees, depending upon the end goal. Hopefully, with the knowledge of our blog, you would be armed with a professional level of skillset to dominate the SERP.