Content marketing is all the rage. More companies are producing more content to try and rank in the search engine result pages and engage their current and prospective customers.
This is all well and good, but oftentimes the people creating the content aren't familiar with online writing best practices. For this reason, let's take a look at six problems with your content marketing.
1. Failure to Pay Attention to Titles and First Sentences of Blog Posts and Articles
Successful content marketers know that about 80 percent of potential readers will read a title, but only 20 percent of those same readers will actually read the content. Why? The title and the first sentence are not intriguing enough to warrant further time spent.
2. Writing for an entire Group rather Than an Individual
Every business has a target market, and that market forms a "group." However, in content marketing, things must be personalized, so that each reader believes that the content has been written for him/her personally. This means marketers should do their homework about who their audience is, what their painpoints are and write content that is aimed at solving those issues. What's more, technology like HubSpot's Smart Content has personalization built right in, so businesses can show the most relevant message to each of their visitors.
3. Mistakes Relating to Grammar and Language Usage
Grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes turn readers off and leave a very poor impression. The other issues are language and style. A seasoned content marketer will understand the target audience and will alter style and language accordingly. Consider, for example, the audiences for pick-up trucks which will do heavy work in more rural environments and those that would have interest in a high-end luxury car for an upscale urban lifestyle. Both style and vocabulary will be very different. The successful content marketer will know his/her audience and will write appropriately.
4. Sharing/Publishing Content in the Wrong Places
Research is required in order to determine where a target audiences "goes" online. If the majority of a target market is on Facebook, then obviously, that is the place to be. If, however, that market utilizes Twitter, E-zine, or any number of platforms, then that must be where the content goes as well. Content marketers would do well to explore a wide variety of newer platforms, such as Outbrain, Taboola, Quantest, etc., in order to find where a target audience is found. It is a mistake to simply consider the most prevalent platforms (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) and to ignore those where a "market" also exists.
Research show, for example, that senior citizens are quite active on Facebook and YouTube. There are also specific sites they visit regularly, such as livingsocial.com and seniorsocial.com. If you are marketing a line of clothing designed for seniors, then this is where you go with your great content - anything on travel, finance, healthcare, etc. This generation of seniors is active and tech savvy enough to navigate to social sites they like, and you must catch them there!
5. Failure to be Aware of the Newer "Rules" and Algorithms of Search Engines
Planting as many keywords as possible is now a "death sentence" for content marketers who are attempting to improve SEO rankings. The newer algorithms of search engines are easily picking up this "strategy" and providing punishments for those who engage in such activity. The new algorithms are searching for rich content, and rich content is not achieved by keyword stuffing. It is achieved by providing lengthy content that is educational and/or entertaining. Certainly, content should include critical keywords and keyword phrases, but these should be used sparingly and should flow naturally within the content itself. Check out these two examples.
6. Content that is too Promotional
Nothing turns a reader off more than to be enticed by a "catchy" title only to be disappointed because the content is nothing more than a sales campaign. Content marketing is not meant to promote a product, service or brand directly (that is, however, considered the end-result of an engaged audience).
John Unger is a professional writer and contributor from Manchester, UK. He runs blog at Assignment Mountain . John covers topics mostly about marketing, business and education. Follow him at Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.