With so much content crowding the marketplace, how can you distinguish your brand from your competitors? The answer is unique and compelling content.
The content you create has a direct impact on how your brand is perceived. When developing your content marketing strategy, ensure the content you are creating fills an informational need for your audience to keep them coming back for more. High-quality content helps audiences view your business as a trusted resource.
Everyone makes mistakes, but when it comes to content creation, knowing what to avoid helps uphold a strong brand voice and reputation. This article will highlight common content creation mistakes and how to avoid them.
Mistake #1: Not Proofreading Before You Publish
Nothing ruins good content more than an avoidable spelling or grammar error. Your audience may lose trust in your content if they consistently see mistakes in spelling and grammar. To avoid these errors:
- Download apps like Grammarly to check your content for errors before posting.
- Ask another person to proofread your content. Sometimes, a second set of eyes will catch something you overlooked.
Mistake #2: Making the Piece too Complex
Simplicity is key when it comes to content creation. An expert or a beginner in your niche should both be able to easily understand your content. Avoid technical jargon and complex concepts. Use simple words and only communicate one idea in each sentence.
Mistake #3: Your Content Lacks Readability
Your content should be formatted in a way that is easily readable to your audience. If your audience sees a huge chunk of text, they are going to click away from your content. To properly format your content, consider taking the following actions:
- Keep your sentences and paragraphs short.
- Include proper headings and titles
- Ensure there’s a good amount of white space on the page
- Use bullet points
- Illustrate your points with relevant images that support your topic
In this example we can see how The Moz Blog breaks up their content properly by using headlines, breaking up the text into small paragraphs, and adding images that support their topic.
Mistake #4: Failing to Write Content Your Audience Wants
Don’t forget who you are creating the content for – your audience. The content you find interesting may not be what your audience wants. Failing to write content for your audience may lead them to look elsewhere.
Create each piece of content with your audience in mind. What’s important to them? What problems do they have? What value is this going to add to their lives? Your content should provide solutions to your audience’s most pressing problems.
How do you find out what your audience wants to learn, know and read about? Conduct research to learn as much as possible about your target audience. Your research process can include:
- Use of online tools (e.g., Google Public Data and YouGov) to collect data – from basic demographic information to your audience’s specific habits and interests.
- Go to the source to find out what topics your audience is interested in:
- Use an online survey tool such as SurveyMonkey to survey and gather quantitative information on your audience
- Engage with your audience on social media. Conduct a Q&A, read comments on posts, use social listening tools to find out what people are saying about your brand.
- If you have a customer service team, have them gather your audience’s most common questions and concerns
- Analyze the content created by your competitors. Look at what topics they are writing about, how often they post, what keywords they are ranking for and what kinds of content are yielding the best results
- Conduct research on keywords people are searching for over time using Google Trends.
- Use SEMrush to help generate content ideas
Mistake #5: Not Diversifying Your Content
When you refer to content, most people assume you are talking about text-based content, but content doesn’t always have to be a blog post or article. Sticking to only one type of content can cause you to miss out on new customers. Not everyone consumes information the same way, so providing a variety of formats can keep different audiences interested.
Content can come in many different formats and types including:
- How-to guides
- Case Studies
- Opinion Pieces
- Social media posts
I Am Networthy, which offers customers financial planning eBooks, used this as leverage to create additional content. They created infographics that included essential tips from their eBooks, making them easily shareable for their users to post on social media.
Diversifying your content keeps your audience engaged and supports your SEO efforts.
In recent content marketing surveys, the majority of B2B and B2C marketers said they are using audio/visual content (videos, live streaming, webinars, podcasts), written digital content (eBooks, articles, blog posts) and images (infographics, charts, and photos) more than they were a year ago.
In another survey, 42% of marketers said infographics saw the most engagement when compared to other forms of content.
When creating content, think about what types of content appeals to your target audience as well as the best format to communicate your information.
If you are planning a tutorial, a video might be a great medium. If you are doing a Q&A with an industry expert or your CEO, a podcast might be appropriate.
Mistake #6: You Aren’t Incorporating Evergreen Content into Your Content Strategy
Evergreen content is a crucial element in effective content marketing. To be considered evergreen, content needs to:
- Highly searchable, answering common questions audiences search for on Google and other search engines
- Remain relevant and interesting years after it is first published.
- Generate traffic consistently for months or years.
- Have no expiration date
News articles are not evergreen content because its relevancy only holds for a day or two. On the other hand, a glossary of industry terms is evergreen content because readers will continue to refer to the content while attracting new readers over time.
Some common evergreen content formats you should consider using include:
- How-to content
- Glossary of industry terms
- Beginner’s guides
- Product reviews
TransUnion ShareAble for Hire’s “How to Conduct a Phone Interview” blog post is a great example of evergreen content. This offers their target audience, small businesses and HR professionals, a valuable resource that will continue to remain relevant.
If you don’t include evergreen content in your content mix, you’ll lack the consistent traffic you can be getting to your business. Use both topical and evergreen content in your content marketing strategy.
Content marketing is key to building a strong brand voice. However, certain mistakes can stop your content from attracting your target audience. Follow the helpful tips in this guide to avoid the mistakes mentioned above and properly execute your content marketing strategy.
About the author: Corey Doane is a contributing editor for 365 business tips. She has a B.S in Public Relations from San Jose State University and has experience in PR, marketing and communications.