Entrepreneur Online - Guest Writer Sam Oh
They say that content marketing is king. Personally, I feel like it’s more of a benevolent dictator because in reality, if you are running a business without a content marketing strategy, it's doomed to fail.
Regardless of the quality of your products, the skill of your employees or your advertising savvy, without content, you have nothing. And unfortunately, just because content marketing may be a benevolent dictator does not mean it is a perfect dictator. Content marketing can be an incredibly frustrating and challenging task at times, and quite frankly, most marketers have no idea how to properly market their content.
That's why I am writing this article -- to help entrepreneurs like you uncover the secrets of content marketing mastery and quit making the same mistakes over and over. If you are tired of watching your content marketing efforts fail because of easily preventable mistakes, read on and avoid these mistakes.
1. You're not automating your content marketing.
If you have kids, you probably remember the movie The Incredibles right? Do you remember the part of the movie where Bob’s boss is lecturing him about how a company is like a giant clock? "It only works if all of the little cogs mesh together," he said. That's exactly what content marketing is like.
With content marketing, there are dozens, if not hundreds of moving pieces. And no disrespect to you, but you are not a superhero. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day for you to handle all of the activities necessary for a successful content marketing campaign on your own. That's why it's essential that you learn how to automate your content marketing. Without automation, you will never be able to reach your full potential as a marketer or entrepreneur.
Luckily, there are dozens of easy-to-use tools that will help you automate like a pro. Check out HootSuite, Zoho, Buffer, Active Campaign, MailChimp and BuzzSumo, just to name a few.
2. You're not promoting your content.
Have you ever heard the old saying "build it and they will come?" Whoever said it clearly wasn’t an entrepreneur, because nothing could be farther from the truth. It would be wonderful if this fairy tale world existed where all you had to do to become successful was build a good product. But it doesn’t work that way.
Regardless of the quality of your product or service, unless you make a conscious effort to promote your content and get it in front of people, you will never generate any serious revenue. For all of you out there who are numbers people, let me make this into an equation for you -- epic product + no customers = bankruptcy. End of story.
You need to do everything in your power to get your content in front of people, whether it's through guest posting, repurposing content, repromoting existing content or accepting podcast and talk show interviews. You have to hustle your content like your business depends on it. Because it does.
3. You're not testing your campaigns.
If content is king, then testing and experimentation has got to be the queen. Why? Because whenever you run tests, you remove all the guesswork from your business. You are left with the most honest thing that you as a businessperson can have -- data. And data never lies.
Create more landing pages and see which ones convert best. Conduct A/B split tests on your headlines, featured images and opt-in forms. If you want to succeed at content marketing, then you need to don your white lab coat, whip out the beakers, fire up the bunsen burner, and become a mad scientist. Become obsessed with testing and tracking different aspects of your content marketing and business. Test your advertising, your targeting, your content, promotion platforms and even your products.
4. You're promoting cringe-worthy content.
Look, even though the "build it and they will come" theory is rubbish, if you build it poorly, they will come and then immediately leave, no matter how good the marketing is. Even the best content marketing hacks in the world, masterful SEO and a super slick sales process cannot make up for sucky content.
This means you need to commit to creating and promoting only the highest quality content possible. Unless you do, you will damage your business, your reputation and your revenue.
5. You lost sight of your competitors.
If you want to succeed at business, you need to embrace your inner James Bond, and start spying on your competition. By paying attention to your competition and seeing what is working for them and what is not, you will be able to stay ahead of the curve and avoid potentially costly mistakes.
Learn from their successes and mistakes. Pay attention to what content is generating hype. Subscribe to their email list and discover their email marketing secrets. See which platforms they are using to have the biggest impact. Look at the style of advertising that is working best for them. The more you can learn from them, the more you can earn from your own business.
Content marketing is an incredibly challenging part of modern business. However, by avoiding the above five mistakes, you will be able to ensure that it is not more challenging than it needs to be. Learn from this article, take an honest look at the mistakes you are currently making, and get to work on fixing them. Once you do, your business will start transforming before your eyes.