We’re no strangers to talking about things that irk us in the content and copy world — desperate podcast pitches, broetry, terribly misused idioms — and so, we’re back with another rant. This time, it’s content marketing mistakes that make us cringe.
These misconceptions, myths, and mistakes are bad for your business, bad for the industry, and just plain annoying when we have to work with you. (Just being honest here.) Read on to find out which content marketing mistakes are at the top of our shit list.
Taking the easy way out
One of our biggest pet peeves about content marketing is all these tools or frameworks that promise to magically increase leads or conversions or whatever. They sell because we humans often want a quick fix for our problems. Who has time to find a solution themselves?
As tempting as these content marketing tools are, we promise you’ll waste less time — yours, ours, and your audience’s — if you just sit down and come up with your own content strategy. It’s more time you’ll need to invest up front, but it’ll more likely work because it’s tailored to your biz.
Hey, you can always pay someone else to do it for you (custom-made, of course). The point is, just give your content strategy the energy and attention it deserves to do well.
Neglecting to come up with a content strategy
What’s just as bad as buying into bro marketing tactics and cookie cutter content? Failing to come up with any content strategy at all. You’re basically whipping up emails and social posts and blogs on the fly because you “need to post something, right?”
This is an awful idea because:
1) we have anxiety and this lack of planning is our worst nightmare, and
2) you need a content strategy so that your content has a purpose.
Why create content in the first place? What do you want your content to do for your business? What message do you want to put out into the world and why?
Content planning does not have to be a complicated timesuck. We’re all about simplicity and efficiency, so we’ve put together a free Content Planning Spreadsheet you can use. Do yourself a favor and use it.
Jumping on the content bandwagon
As of this writing in November 2021, some of the most recent and notable TikTok trends include Squid Game references, Berries and Cream remixes, and a food hack that involves salmon, rice, and an ice cube. And when this blog is published in February, we’re sure these trends will seem decades old.
That’s one of the problems with creating a piece of content simply because it’s popular right now. In the internet age, social media challenges, memes, and pop culture references age like milk. Read: not. well. When you create content ahead of time (as we recommend doing), this means your topical jokes will fall flat and seem dated.
Another problem with jumping on the content bandwagon? It may not even work for your brand, your message, or your audience. Do your readers or social media followers even want to see you answering random questions while doing an awkward dance? If the answer’s no, think of a better content idea and/or way of delivery. We have faith that you can.
Failing to manage your expectations
Patience is a virtue. And you’ll need it if you ever want to offer a new service, promote a big sale, or launch a new product.
We’re telling you this because we love you and want your biz to succeed: please hold your horses and let your content marketing campaign run its course. It can be scary or disheartening to see your launch perform below expectations at the start, but…it’s the start! Give it some time before you decide to completely change things like email copy, graphics, or timelines.
On the other hand, don’t expect your strategy to work if you don’t put in enough effort to make it happen. We’ve seen clients try to launch something new with just a couple emails, an Instagram post, and a prayer. We’ve also had to convince clients not to announce a brand new offer to an audience who has no idea it’s coming. (Bad idea.)
Let your content strategy work for you
A killer content marketing strategy can help you increase conversions or boost brand awareness or level up your audience engagement. But you have to invest time in a strategy that makes sense for your business and your goals.
Wanna avoid these content marketing mistakes and the fallout from them afterward? Try to have realistic expectations, and put in the work to make your content marketing strategy pay off. Oh, and have a little faith and patience that it will. Give your plan a chance before you burn everything down and start over.