4 Content Marketing Mistakes You Absolutely Want to Avoid

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There’s really no overstating the value of content marketing. Offering something that informs, entertains, or elicits an emotional response from your audience will make them more likely to view you as a trusted authority. If they don’t immediately buy from you, odds are good they eventually will . . . so long as you continue to provide them with value.

Unfortunately, not all content is created equal, and that has led to a surge of blog posts, videos, and podcasts that do nothing to actually drive sales. If you’re looking to either start or step up your content marketing efforts, here are some of the blog mistakes, video mistakes, and other pitfalls you’ll want to steer clear of.

Content that isn’t relevant to your business

Some live their lives by the old saying, “any publicity is good publicity.” By that logic, if people are engaging with a brand’s social media posts, that’s got to be a good thing. Right?

Not if the posts have nothing at all to do with what’s being sold.

Sure, sharing a video of a cute cat doing something ridiculous might get you some clicks, but will it actually result in sales? The bigger issue here is that you might actually lose some of your current followers who are already at the table because they’re interested in your products or services.

This isn’t to say you shouldn’t use humor, or that you should be afraid to touch on topics that seem unrelated to your business. At the end of the day, though, you want to attract the attention of clients who can use what you have to offer.

Posting the same content over and over

If you spend a lot of time talking strategy with content marketers, you’ll inevitably hear the term “evergreen”—a word for content that isn’t tied to any trend, seasonal event, or news story. When something is evergreen, you can share it several times on social media in order to generate new leads every time it goes out.

But just because something is evergreen doesn’t mean people won’t get sick of it. Sometimes businesses will go overboard, reposting a single article or video clip so many times that even their most loyal clients start to say, “Enough!”

If you’re particularly confident in a new piece of content, you might consider sharing it twice—just be sure your posts are at least a couple of days apart. After that, though, consider waiting a while before you share again. Otherwise, you’ll risk looking desperate.

Focusing too much on making a sale

We’ve all seen it: a useful video or blog entry that we’d be happy to share with our network, if only it didn’t have constant, obnoxious references to a product or service. Hitting people over the head with aggressive sales pitches defeats the purpose of content marketing, which works so well because it’s not as “in your face” as traditional marketing campaigns.

For example, if you’re a real estate agent blogging about the best places to eat in a community you serve, you don’t need to punctuate every entry with a link to one of your current listings. A link at the end of your post to a page containing all of your listings in the area would serve the same purpose and be far less distracting. Readers will be excited to share this resource with their neighbors, which means more potential buyers will have access to your listings.

Neglecting to make a sale

Sure, most readers can see right through content that’s overly salesy, but there’s also danger in going too far in the other direction.

Usually, in a blog or video meant to establish your authority on a topic, there’s a perfect opportunity to let people know about the services you provide. Failing to tie a relevant piece of content back to your business could mean the difference between a sale and a missed opportunity. Ask yourself, “If I were reading or watching this, would this service add value to my life?” If so, your audience will probably feel the same way.

There you have it. If you avoid these 4 content marketing mistakes, you’ll be far less likely to scare off prospective clients. At the end of the day, focus on creating content that adds to people’s lives, and share it when you think they might be able to use it the most.