Holly Fisk, Content Operations Manager
Content marketing can be intimidating to even an experienced pro. In the spirit of Halloween and conquering our (content) fears, we’ve polled our agency staff and assembled a list of the top five content marketing nightmares to avoid. Don’t be scared, we’ve also highlighted the various workarounds. Enjoy!
1. Beginning with your product, not your buyer
No one wants to be “sold,” and your buyers have an incredible amount of content at their fingertips.
Droning on about what you want them to care about won’t resonate with them. Stellar content always starts with the buyer, answering their questions and addressing their pain points. If your content puts your product front and center, your buyer is going to ghost you for a competitor who “gets” them.
If you need a refresher on how to rock buyer-focused content, download “The Content Marketer’s Guide to Buyer-Focused Messaging.”
2. Relying on the same old content formats
We don’t advocate turning your backs on what’s working, so if your buyers are responding to white papers and e-books, by all means keep them in the mix. But buyers in many industries are flocking to more compelling interactive formats. The benefits are twofold: Buyers can navigate to precisely what interests them, so they’re more satisfied with the content. And you can measure those actions, so you can better understand what they want and give them more of it.
It’s the perfect blend of art and science, and you can get a head start on doing it right with “How to Make the Right Interactive Content Decisions.”
3. Failing to account for the customer experience
Try as you might, it’s difficult to match your drip marketing to reach buyers at the precise moment that they want more information. They’ll seek answers when it fits their schedules, and being first when that happens is everything.
Content hubs are capitalizing on the “choose your own adventure” style of content consumption that so many buyers crave. Added bonus: They satisfy buyers’ itch to binge content at their convenience. Aggregate content in a central, easy-to-search location. And for Pete’s sake, never let them hit a dead end. Wrap every piece of content with a strong call to action and another piece of content for the next “episode” of their binge.
4. Forgetting your content library
Few of us have the budget to treat any of our content like disposable Tupperware, used once and tossed aside. The best way to leverage your content investment is to keep tabs on what you have and what you don’t. Keeping your content library up to date affords you better opportunities to reuse (and repurpose) your best content when it’s most relevant, and to funnel net-new marketing dollars where you need them most. A well-maintained and audited content library can help prevent even the scariest misstep—investing in creating a “new” piece of content that already exists in your library. Dun dun duuuun!
Check out our listicle, “The Content Audit: Your Secret Weapon for Increasing Content ROI,” for a step-by-step guide to streamlining your auditing process.
5. Ignoring the buyer’s journey
We see this happen more often than you’d think. And it typically manifests in two ways:
1) failure to recognize there is a progression to warm buyers up to your company’s product or service (even more complex: that buyer’s process is often times unique to each of your target persona)
2) sharing an early stage piece with a buyer who is selecting a solution, and vice versa
The key to avoiding these missteps lies in taking the time to understand, document and share buyer journey maps across your marketing and sales organizations. Another wise step is to ensure your content is “mapped” to your various buyer stages—whether that’s in a fancy-shmancy content management system or in an Excel workbook. Something is better than nothing when it comes to content organization.
If the idea of tackling all of this on your own is giving you nightmares, don’t worry. We crush at this stuff, and we’re here to help. Shoot our Director of Marketing, Steve Voith, an email with your questions.