Are your content marketing efforts on solid footing or thin ice?

Media Shower recently spoke with Rachel Parker, CEO and Chief Geek at Resonance Content Marketing. After exploring Rachel’s CD, 5 Things You Must Know About Content Marketing, a conversation about common marketing mistakes developed.

What are 5 things a content marketer should never do?

Here are my top 5 sure-fire tickets to the “Content Marketing Hall of Shame:”

1. Make it all about you. No one – I mean NO one – turns to your blog or email content to hear you drone on and on about how amazing you are. That’s what your website and brochures are for. Content marketing is all about building a foundation of trust by speaking to the needs and interests of your audience. Then, when you do come on with your marketing message, they’re much more likely to lean in and listen.

2. Try to do it all at once. Some marketers get so gung-ho about content marketing that they start a blog, an email content program, a podcast, a video series, and an intense social media program all at the same time. Two weeks later, they’re completely burned out. Start simply with two or three solid assets – maybe a blog, email content, and a manageable social media program – and leave yourself space to grow gradually.

3. Keep an iron grip. If every single tweet has to be approved by five different committees, you’re missing out on the spontaneity that social content demands. Trust your team to think and act on their feet when the situation calls for it.

4. Be inconsistent. In content marketing, consistency trumps frequency. If your content schedule isn’t reliable, people will assume that your company isn’t either. Create a schedule you can live with all 12 months out of the year – through product launches, trade show season, and other crunch times – and stick with it, no matter what.

5. Be boring. Look, if we’re all out there trying to be “capital-P Professional,” we’re all going to sound alike – and yours will be just another generic voice crying in the wilderness. Your brand has a personality; let it shine through with a strong, clear voice in every piece of content you publish.

What are some specific examples of people doing these things and how they’ve gone awry or led to really negative results?

The worst example of Mistake #1 is something I see all the time. A company starts a blog and copy-pastes their press releases to serve as “posts.” Then they wonder why their audience isn’t getting excited about their “content.”

What are some simple fixes to correct these mistakes?

Sticking with Mistake #1: sometimes when I ask marketers about the needs and interests of their audience, I get a blank stare. But guess what? You already have this information. Your customer service reps talk to current customers every day. Your salespeople are out there talking to prospective customers every day. There are certain questions people always ask you as soon as they find out what business you’re in. It’s just a matter of gathering this information and using it as the foundation for your content marketing program.

What kind of timeline would a client look at for a positive response after correcting these mistakes?

Of course, content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. That said, if you start creating audience-focused content and promoting it strategically, I wouldn’t be surprised if you started seeing an uptick in your results within about six months!

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