You know how your mom hates when you slouch or bite your fingernails — and she lovingly points it out? Well, consider us your content marketing mom. We’re here to remind you of your bad habits — but only to make you a better person!
In our business, it’s essential to stay on top of what’s working and what’s not. And since brilliant minds in our industry are coming up with new and better ways to reach audiences all the time, why stick to the bad habits that are ultimately bringing you down? Let’s make a resolution to let go of these content marketing vices this year. Your mom will be so proud!
Bad content marketing habits
The notion that a great social media calendar is a strategy in itself for growing your number of followers. Consistently posting on social media is definitely part of gaining an audience, so by all means, create that calendar each month to keep your channels on track. But doing so without a strategy underpinning it is like trying to get somewhere without a map. Also, solely relying on word of mouth and not doing anything (read: not spending marketing budget dollars) to strategically build your following is going to leave you disappointed.
Overreliance on stock art. While stock images are sometimes a necessary evil for social media, blogs, and other high-frequency content, they can diminish your reputation when used too often. Make original art part of your marketing budget to really make a good impression and build your brand among your audience.
A belief that authors must have C-suite initials in their titles — and conversely, the thought that content is good just because the writer is from the C-suite. Thought leadership from employees is a valuable part of your strategy. But not every person is a natural writer. Consider using a ghostwriter or letting your employees act as a source for a more journalistic-style piece. The byline doesn’t dictate the quality of content.
Thinking that your audience is always C– Sure, it makes you feel important to be talking to the suits in the corner offices, but the fact is that they are rarely your audience. The people who really make the recommendations for implementation of any product or service are the people using it. If you’re only talking to the C-suite and ignoring the procurement manager or whoever actually buys and uses your product, you don’t stand a chance. Developing strategic audience personas — and making sure your content speaks directly to them — will help you direct your pieces to the right people.
Emails not optimized for mobile. Email marketing is still going strong. Even as consumers receive a critical mass of email each day, marketers are learning new ways to reach their target audiences and drive engagement and sales. But it seems many still have not learned that a successful email means more than content. If you’re not optimizing emails for mobile, you’re losing business. Test your email templates on as many devices as possible to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward on all platforms.
Spending every waking hour trying to meet the needs of millennials. Understanding different audiences is smart, and millennials are indeed a strong consumer group making purchasing decisions. But are they your target audience on all of your chosen channels? Cater to millennials on channels where they spend the most time (and if they’re the customers you’re trying to reach), but don’t forget about those generations you’re trying to engage on other channels.
Doing something just because your competitor did it. This is the business equivalent of “If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do that too?” What works for one business won’t necessarily work for you. Your specific goals and unique offerings are different than your competitors’, so every decision you make should be based on your strategy, not on what your rivals are doing.
Now that we’ve kicked your bad content marketing habits, your mom has asked us to talk to you about making your bed each morning. Think you can handle one more resolution?