5 Content Marketing Mistakes You Should Stop Immediately

Salan Khalkho
Last Updated: 22 Aug, 2019

The biggest reason why most content marketers fail to drive desired results. About 70% of marketers don’t have any integrated content strategy. After working for over 200 companies from 11 countries, I have observed a common mistake pattern among most of them. Avoiding them will surely take their content effort to the next level.

content marketing mistakes

Here are the 5 most common content marketing mistakes that are weighing down the company’s effort. 

1. Not working with customer persona

When you don't know your customer persona, how would you pinpoint their pain area or even understand their needs. The first step to any content marketing campaign should begins with  customer persona identification. There is no point building content when you don't have any idea about your customers pain point or their burning issues. 

Customer persona is a group of people with shared commonalities. Arriving at an accurate customer persona help target audience in a best possible way. Customer persona is a technique that involves creating a fictional and generalized representation of the ideal customer. The technique helps to discover the problems and the needs that the target audience may have. When you know the problems and the needs of the target audience, you can easily build effective content  that your target audience can correlate with. 

Here is a simple example for a buyer persona for sales of a SAAS products. The fields described below are only for illustration purpose. Based on your marketing campaign, your product, and the result you are looking to achieve, you may need to collect more information in order to arrive at accurate buyer persona. 

building buyer persona

Building accurate customer persona, helps to segment audience based on various factors, because not every customer will have the same problems or needs. From the example above, the marketing manager may not have enough time to manage their team while junior salesman may have a problem dealing with rejection.  

A good understanding of the customer persona will help build content that solves real problem specific to the customer segment. 

2. People scan, they don’t read online

It was revealed in the Jakob Nielsen’s report that people read less than 20% of the content.   Moreover,  most people scroll through only about 50 to 60% of an article page. This study is disheartening for many because of the fact that building of content take several hours and days to complete. 

However there is a way around.  if you want the readers to read the full article you have written, You will have to create content optimized for the web. You can easily create content optimized for web by following a few simple rules. Understand that  readers will scan be article as much as they can,  while pausing in between to read the content of their interest. 

If your article is a big lengthy wall of text, the visitors will quickly bounce of your website because they may not find your article easy to scan and pick those pieces that are of their interest or importance. Here is a short list (bare minimum) that you need to follow in order to create reader friendly article that is easy to scan while reading and locate important information. You can add more points to the list below, since it's not an exhaustive one. 

  • Headings
  • Sub-headings
  • Paragraph should be no longer than 4 to 5 lines
  • Bullets
  • Images
  • Bold and italics

Readers scan article with the help of of heading, subheadings and images. 

3. Excessive self promotion

Promotion is purpose you are doing content marketing. So this advice might appeared counter-intuitive. From customers perspective,  they are not here to read a sales pitch. They are here to search for solutions to their problem. If your article is not doing that, they may quickly move on to other websites where they will find information they are looking for. 

Visitors are going to stay on your blog, if it is genuine providing value. In the process your blog will build trust and the visitors will be more likely to listen to you when you recommend them solutions to the problem. 

Content marketing work by attracting, persuading, and converting the readers in to customers. The ultimate goal of a content marketing effort is to generate a sale,  but that should not be in the wine when you are building content. Your content should genuinely help and built the authority of the brand that people can trust. Here is a complete cycle of content marketing:

  • Visitor stumble upon your blog while searching for solutions to their problem on Google
  • Scan through your article and collect information that is helpful to them
  • As they become familiar with your content, they subscribe to your newsletter
  • They start receiving helpful content in their inbox
  • Somewhere along the way they realize that you can help them with their problems. That's when they sign up for your paid services. 

For some customers, this can be a long journey while for many it could be a short one. In either case, as a  content marketer you should take the opportunity to nurture your relationship with the prospective customers. 

4. Creating generic content

Internet is flooded with generic content that provides no real value to the reader. Google is getting smarter at picking blogs that have something fresh to offer. That's the reason why the blogs that make the top 10 list don't share the same information. They all brings fresh value to the table. 

There is hardly any topic about which nothing is written. In fact every topic has been covered thousands of times.  So a question could come to your mind that you how can you bring  fresh value or information in your blog that is not available anywhere else? You can do this easily by bringing a fresh perspective to the topic cover or cover in angle that has not been covered before. 

Creating such kind of content will require massive amount of research and reading. But that's the entry barrier that will distinguish you from your competitors. Also,  that's the kind of content Google wants to rank. Here is a quick process that you can follow to generate high quality content every time. 

  • Find a topic that solves a problem and is needed by your target audience
  • Define what is specific problem your content is going to solve
  • Brainstorm a unique angle for your content
  • Read and research as much as you can to identify existing content gap
  • Start writing article and don't leave anything behind. Right till you have nothing left to say. Try to keep your content length above 1000 words minimum. However,  content in the range of 2000-3000 words perform the best. 
  • Proofread your articles and after publishing it,  promote it through every possible channel.  

5. Lack of effective strategy

A topic on content marketing mistakes cannot be completed without discussing the lack of strategy. Last in this list,  but the most important factor that leads to content marketing failure. If you want to see the results from your marketing efforts, you will have to be consistent. In a B2B research it was found that only about 35% of B2B content marketers have laid out throw content marketing plan for their organisation. Without a concrete plan, things will gradually fall apart and you will not achieve expected results from your content marketing efforts. It will be even harder to measure any effectiveness of your content marketing efforts. 

The first step to any content marketing effort  should begin with a  well thought, written plan that That is focused on targeted personas, topics, keywords, timing and marketing goals.  The documented plan should be printed and distributed in the team. It can also be emailed to everyone to help the entire team stay focused. Track and  measure marketing goals from month to month.  you should also continually  set the bar higher for the coming months based on the performance of the existing efforts and the outcome. 

Salan Khalkho
Salan Khalkho is the Content Head at InboundNation.com and a serial blogger who has helped several blogs achieve millions of traffic per month. He has over 8 years of content marketing experience and has led the content marketing strategy for 200+ companies. He also owns and runs several successful websites in a variety of niches.
InboundNation is a leading inbound-marketing company specializing in PPC, Managed blogging, Search Engine Marketing, Social media Marketing, Website maintenance service and Amazon store management. We have helped over 200+ clients achieve a strong and successful online prsence. Our team brings in right mix of knowledge, skill, expertise and experience to take your business to next level by optimizing your sales chanels and increasing conversion rate.