Assisting the needs of your audience with valuable, high-quality content is a commendable goal for any business. But your efforts will count to zero if your content doesn’t trigger the right audience and their behaviors that help your company reach its business goals. So, be gentle on yourself and find out the reasons.
We all have heard of the phrase - content is king.
Yet even after enthroning content as one of your main marketing channels, the king is still not commanding enough action from your subjects (sorry, customers).
Your content is still not driving the desired results.
There’s no reason your content should be flopping. Done well, your content is one of the most powerful marketing assets at your disposal. So make sure to either do it right by learning how to become a copywriter, or enlist the help of someone who can do it for you.
So why is it that your content is not sending droves of customers to your website?
Even more importantly, why is it not converting visitors to customers?
I may not be psychic, but I know 5 common content pitfalls many businesses fall into. Perhaps your business has fallen prey to one of them.
1. Creating Irrelevant Content.
This is probably the most common mistake businesses make when creating content.
What is irrelevant content?
Irrelevant content is content that focuses on the business - not the customers’ needs and wants. Unfortunately, this is a plague that affects many email blasts.
If your content is mainly about you, your customers will find it irrelevant. They don’t want to know about your business.
They want to know how your business will solve their problems.
Audience research is any research conducted on a particular sample to collect data that will better help you understand your target audience. It reveals such things as their values, attitudes, interests, behavior, habits, and anything else that can help you relate to them better.
Understanding your audience is crucial to, not only knowing how to validate a business idea, but also how to strategically craft your messaging. Here’s Trello’s example of creating relevant content that drives engagement:
By ensuring that you center on those things that your target audience values and gravitates to, you ensure that your content will be relevant. And relevant content drives engagement. And revenue, of course.
2. Inconsistent Posting
Another content crippling pitfall many businesses make is inconsistently posting content. Treat your content creation like a TV series by having a regular posting schedule. And be sure to stick to it at all costs.
Doing so will help you:
Build trust with your audience. This is because they’ll know they can be sure to find a fresh resource on a particular day.
Improve your ranking on search engines. Search engines, like Google, love websites that publish content regularly and reward them by pushing them to the top of search engine results pages (SERPs). This increases your visibility and drives traffic to your website.
What’s the main cause of inconsistent posting?
Not having a content calendar.
A content calendar is a document that directs your content creation and distribution efforts. It helps you organize your content logically and know exactly which channels each piece of content will be distributed on.
But above all that, it helps to create your content and publishing become regular as clockwork.
As a result, you build a tribe of loyal fans (and customers) who frequent your website regularly. And because your content will rank better on the SERPs, you’ll also enjoy a boost in your revenue. Which, after all, is the main point.
3. Impact - Or Rather, the Lack of It
For content to be effective, it must make an impact on the reader’s life. It needs to touch a reader in such a way that they feel you’re talking directly to them. This is the kind of content readers engage with, resulting in your content goals being met.
On the other side, content that fails to touch your readers won’t move your marketing needle at all. This is content that is:
Full of fluff
Avoid creating content with any of these traits like the plague. It’s a waste of time and resources and will have a negative impact on your brand.
So how do you create impactful content?
Think about your audience before you think of your product. Create valuable content for your target audience. Don’t create content to move your product. While that may sound counterintuitive, it’s the best way to get your content driving the desired results. People know when you create content just to get them to buy something. They also know when you create content to genuinely help them solve a problem.
Impactful content addresses a problem your customer has and gives them a solution.
If your content can do this, your readers will regard you as an authority in your field.
And they’ll readily pay for any solution you package as a product or service.
4. Creating Intimidating Content
Yes. You read that right. Content can be intimidating.
So what is intimidating content?
It is content that belittles your readers by using technical language and jargon.
Once a reader finds several words (or concepts) they can’t understand in your content, they immediately switch off. They find the content intimidating and beyond them.
As much as using industry related jargon may sound cool, it may also confuse some of your readers. And a confused reader will never convert into a customer.
So cut it out.
Make your content easy to read and understand and your audience will enjoy consuming it. More than that, it will make it easy for them to follow through with your call to action.
Using simple words doesn’t detract from your expertise and authority, it simply makes it easier for your audience to understand you.
5. Publishing Content that’s Incompatible with Your Audience
As much as you may want your content to reach every single human being in the world, it’s impossible.
Even if it were possible, a great percentage of your readers wouldn’t turn into paying customers.
The result is that you’ll have vanity metrics. Oh, and put an unnecessary strain on your website’s resources.
As a business, all your resources must be channeled towards people that will drive your revenue up.
The same goes for your content. Create content that is targeted to your ideal audience. Content that is compatible with where they are in life and what they really need. This will improve the ROI of your content marketing efforts.
So what is compatible content?
It is content that is tailored to give your reader a personalized experience. Content that makes them feel like they are talking to a best friend.
And just how do you create compatible content?
We are living in an age where data is easily accessible. Use the data you have on your audience to create content that is personalized. Harvest data such as the device they are using to browse, demographics, and user behavior among many other easy to get pieces of data.
Have a Segmentation Strategy
Segmentation does not just work in email marketing. It also plays a big role in the content you create for your website visitors. One easy way to do this is to create different categories of content that target different demographics. Another way is to give your readers the opportunity to self-segment by choosing which category they best fit in.
Here’s a great example from B2B Launcher:
In this technologically advanced age we’re living in, consumers expect a whole lot more from brands. And one thing they demand is a personalized experience. So don’t skip on this one.
6. Which Content Pitfall Have You Fallen In?
There you have it, 5 content pitfalls that are sabotaging your content marketing efforts.
Can you relate to any of them?
The good news is that they all have easy fixes. Especially if you know what to do to make your content stand out - and what to avoid.
Here’s to goal-achieving content - yours, of course.
Kato is a freelance writer and founder of Biz Content Hub. A strong aversion to bland web copy has set him on a crusade to help you increase reader engagement by crafting hypnotic copy that will turn browsers into subscribers (and customers). Let’s get people talking about you.