What Are The Biggest Content Marketing Mistakes? (And How To Get Past Them)
Content marketing is one of the most significant investments an eLearning business can make for long-term results. Unfortunately, far too many companies get it wrong. How? Well, they either get too “salesy” or they decide to ignore SEO. In this article, I will walk you through the 5 most common content marketing mistakes that cost businesses vast amounts of money every year.
Doubt and lack of content marketing expertise are the most prominent setbacks marketers face. You try with everything you’ve got to make it work, but every single time your campaigns give back nothing. Believe me when I say that content marketing mistakes can humble you to no end. However, that doesn’t mean you should stop trying. So, after chatting with my peers and doing a bit of research, I came to some conclusions. Many of these findings can become life lessons for you—at least they have been for us!
Let’s dive right into the most common content marketing mistakes when trying to make a name for your brand in the eLearning niche.
Here Are The 5 Content Marketing Mistakes You May Be Making
After delving into each of these common mistakes, you’ll start seeing your efforts bring results. A full breakdown of each of those mistakes and the best approach to fight them will help you maximize the marketing ROI of your content efforts. Meaning, at the end of this article, you’ll be able to write content for your ideal buyers. Thus, you’ll improve your organic traffic and rankings while at the same time you’ll bring quality prospects to your website.
1. Neglecting Data When Building Your Content Marketing Strategy
Are you a member of those teams who enjoy “brainstorming” blog topic ideas? Indeed, that sounds super fun, but it’s not what you should be doing for your blog when you have to create a successful editorial calendar. Of course, it’s one way to deal with putting things down and deciding what kind of content you should publish in the upcoming year. But, if you ask me, it’s one of the biggest content marketing mistakes ever made.
Some of those ideas may turn out to be great content, but most of them will flop. Why? Well, your ideas are doomed to fail if you don’t use any data to justify your choices. Meaning, you need proof that your ideal buyers and customers are interested in reading about those topics.
Instead, you should ensure that your content strategies start with data. Here’s when an SEO competition analysis comes in handy! In our case, before deciding on new topics, we constantly analyze our or a client’s competitors. By doing so, we get to see which blog articles are driving the most ROI for each competitor. Then we check the top-performing articles one by one to see what it would take to outrank them in the SERPs for the given topic. Also, we go to social communities like Quora and Reddit and search for topics that relate to a client’s industry.
That helps us find the most popular topics our ideal customers are talking about daily.
2. Not Defining Your Buyer Personas (aka Your Readers And Potential Buyers)
Yet another one of the biggest content marketing mistakes is not thinking about and not writing for your customers and prospects. More specifically, you have to ensure that each blog article focuses on your target audience.
For example, before even starting to write an article, you should think about the target audience. Also, you need to define what you must include in your content to ensure that your readers can find what they’re looking for. Last but not least, you should understand the value that this reader provides to your business. If you manage to answer all the above questions, you’ll understand which direction your article needs to take.
For instance, an article for a C-suite executive should have far less in-depth details than an article for an instructional designer. So, it’s vital to decide which readers you want to reach with your content and how they can benefit from the given topic. Then, you can serve them with your best tips. But, don’t forget to verify that this reader provides value to your business as well.
As an example, some of our target readers are instructional designers and corporate trainers. By writing quality content that helps them grow as eLearning professionals, they see us as an authority in eLearning.
When you have regular readers, as we have, you’ll see your audience sharing your articles throughout their network. As a result, this will boost your visibility among peers and like-minded people. When the new readers become regular, they’ll also share your articles, and the story continues.
That’s how we’ve managed to grow our eLearning audience. Our content has brought us 936,000+ unique monthly readers and 30,000+ email subscribers within the last few years!
3. Not Setting Certain Goals For Each Stage Of The Buyer’s Journey
Unless you’re selling a product with a small price tag, most of your customers won’t be ready to buy the first time they read about you. Even if you’re a big-time firm, prospects won’t even bother to learn more if your tool or service doesn’t solve their pain points. Lacking a plan and not setting goals for every piece you create is for sure one of the biggest content marketing mistakes. Don’t fall for it; always have a plan.
Every customer goes through a thinking process before making a purchase decision. This process, according to HubSpot, is called the buyer’s journey, and it has three stages. It begins with the “awareness” stage. That’s when customers realize they have a problem that needs to be solved. Then, it continues with the “consideration” stage. At that moment, customers research their problems and try to explore different types of solutions. And, finally, we have the “decision” stage. That is when customers decide on a solution to solve their problem.
So, before writing an article, it’s wise to know what stage of the purchase process you’re aiming for. Nobody reading our top LMS list is going to say, “Oh, so that’s what an LMS is. I’m going to buy an LMS right now.”
However, a training manager reading this article might go on to say, “Wow, these LMS tools have great features and can help me develop my team. Maybe I’ll sign up for a free trial. I’ll keep visiting this website to learn more about how I can bring business growth with the right tools.”
Thus, before writing your next article, make sure to figure out who your target reader is. Also, note down at which stage of the process your prospects are. Get in their shoes. Try to feel their pain points and give them the solutions they need with your blog post. When you start thinking about this subconsciously, you’ll see that every article you write will make so much more sense.
4. Failing To Follow SEO Content Best Practices
What if you knew that investing in topic A can drive 10 times more ROI than investing in topic B? Wouldn’t you follow the data? This is why we trust in SEO. In fact, it’s how we’ve managed to constantly increase our organic traffic every month.
What happens is that search engines drive 10x more traffic to your website than any other marketing channel. Thus, investing in SEO is a top priority. If you don’t, that’s one of the biggest content marketing mistakes you are making, especially when you’re about to grow your business.
If you want in-depth tips on SEO make sure to get our ultimate SEO Research And Content Writing Best Practices Guide.
Not to brag, but accounting for SEO in your content creation process will open up a whole new world of opportunities for your eLearning business. It’s the pathway to attracting your target buyers with search intent. Hence, you’ll bring quality traffic to your website through the SERPs!
The basic steps you should follow are:
- Keyword investigation to identify the best topics
- Semantically related keywords within your content
- H1, H2, H3, and title tag optimization
- User-friendly content
- Internal linking optimization
If you have no idea about keywords and SEO, worry not because you can simply look into our content marketing services if you want to maximize your content marketing ROI.
5. Not Accounting For Link Building
It’s not a big secret that the number of links from external websites is one of the significant ranking factors. If you’ve used Ahrefs, you must have noticed the close correlation links have with ranking at the top of Google search results. You see, by having more unique websites linking to your content than that of your competitors, you’re probably going to outrank them in Google.
So, how can you start building links for your eLearning business? Well, the safest approach is to take your time and start building relationships with other websites that write similar content to yours.
Guest blogging on relevant sites can also be fruitful since you’ll have the chance to link back to your site, or you’ll be able to add your website URL to your author profile. Most sites allow that even if they don’t allow do-follow links within blog posts. Remember, the key is to always offer value.
Of course, the more content writers you know and the more publishing websites you visit, the better since every piece of content can be an opportunity to develop relationships and encourage other sites to link back to your best content.
To scale your organic traffic, you need to avoid all the above content marketing mistakes. And, please, don’t fall into the trap of failing to review the performance of your efforts. We’ve noticed plenty of businesses repeating this mistake. You should always find the time to review content marketing performance.
For example, you might find something that is performing better than expected. Then, you can double down on that specific tactic and gain more from your next article as well. Or, even if something isn’t working, you can re-optimize it or simply focus on other valuable initiatives.
It’s best to check and review content marketing performance at least every three months. If you have SEO experts on board, then check it once a month. Make sure to note down your total website traffic, leads, and sales performance over the past quarter. Then, compare that to the previous quarter.
Also, it’s crucial to find out which marketing channel brought you the largest portion of website visitors. Similarly, ensure that you know the best medium for your leads and sales over the past months. Knowing which marketing channels drove the highest ROI and what types of content drove the highest levels of traffic, social media shares, leads, and sales are vital. You should also consider collaborating with other experts and media to expand your reach.
Do you want to become an expert at content marketing? If yes, then download our content marketing playbook to see what we recommend to build a content marketing machine. Keen to learn more about content marketing? Sign up for our email list. We’ll make sure that you’re the first to know about our newest content marketing insights.