Four Pitfalls to Avoid in Content Marketing

There’s no such thing as flawless content marketing. Something always could’ve been done better. One tweak here or there might have improved your campaign.  Similarly, none of us is perfect.  Then again, some mistakes should be avoided at all costs.

In content marketing, you can easily annoy your audience members or do something that will result in them losing trust in your brand or organization. Here are four errors in content marketing that should be avoided in nearly every instance:

 Make it About the Sell Only

The ultimate end goal of marketing obviously is to make money for the company. In the case of a nonprofit, the goal is to further your organization's mission.  Remember, content marketing, by definition, is customer-oriented, not sales-oriented. Content marketing is a successful tool because the audience is the priority–the main focus of such an effort is to provide value to the customer. As a result, the content is meaningful and useful to the audience and sales come about after building relationships and establishing trust.

Audience members will see right through your campaign if the sole goal is selling products and services. The audience will trust your brand less if you come across as a salesman. Remember, what you’re trying to build is trust in your brand and company, not instant sales. This trust is what results in stable and long-term success.

Be Selfish

While focusing on sales is a big mistake, so is concentrating only on yourself. To really benefit from content marketing it’s important to maintain customer-focus, rather than self-focus. Content built for your interests will not have the same touch as content built for the interests of your audience.

Put yourself in your audience’s shoes when creating content. Your audience might have different wants and needs from your own. The customer should not be an afterthought, she should be front and center from the start.

Post Too Much Content

You have the right content. You are customer-focused, and your messaging is authentic. But remember, quantity is not always the goal. If you think sending out post after post will do your brand any favors, think again.

More content doesn’t mean greater exposure, especially if you’re looking to establish long-term gains. While a flood of content may be helpful to attract traffic initially, over time quantity over quality may harm the brand. At first, readers may spend time on your mediocre posts, but after realizing the sheer quantity of them and their lack of value, they will start to lose a connection to your brand. It’s better to release a moderate number of high-quality posts than pollute the system with a hoard of average ones.

SEO Overkill

Similar to the above, you shouldn’t go overboard with SEO.  Bad SEO is obvious–it’s terribly written, and it looks and reads like a bunch of keywords clumped together. With Thanksgiving coming up, it's a good time to remind yourself to enjoy stuffing with turkey and avoid keyword stuffing, which is when you string together as many keywords as possible to boost your ranking. This mostly leads to content that is annoying to read and not very enticing. In the end, quality and readability will result in more traffic than keyword stuffing.

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR