Content marketing has evolved in the past 5 years. With brands getting creative in their methods to push product visibility (which felt more like shoving it down our throats, tbh), consumers have gotten adept in spotting a brand sponsored post.
One of my favourite advertisements has to be Dove. They have cornered a large share of the beauty market by simply sharing stories. Making a connection with the audience. This subtle form of branding is why when you think of body care, you think about family and the link to Dove’s products. Boom! Content marketing done right.
Half the issue is not just what you say, it is also includes how you say it, how many times you say it and when you say it. Here are some rookie mistakes to avoid to bump up your content marketing skills to one of the pros:
1. Prioritising Sale Over Information
The primary purpose of content marketing is to make a sale. True. But this should not govern the kind of content you create. Repeat after me: information, information, information. It is all about providing a service to your readers. Adding value to their knowledge about the item or the brand.
Use content as a way to bridge a gap between the company and the target audience. Create trust by talking about the brand’s identity and what the company believes in before you even broach the subject about what you can sell them. Another way to form a trusting relationship between you and your potential clients is to avoid overselling the product. You don’t need me to tell you the cost to your companion by manipulating your loyal readers.
2. Bad Grammar and (gasp!) Spelling
It is the litle tings taht mayce a diferrennce.
Being meticulous and ensuring that there are no misspelled words, shows your brand’s attention to detail. Sure, nobody notices an article with zero mistakes. When they do, it is an eyesore. To put in concrete terms, this could result in you losing a valued reader, a content partner might decide to never work with you or it could reduce traffic to your site over time. That is the worst case scenario. Best case would be an angry comment left on your Facebook page. Thank goodness for technology. Now we can circumvent this hassle by using programmes that double-check on your grammar. Even Google Docs has a spell check add-on to keep your article grammatically pristine.
So British English or American English? It does not matter. Just be consistent!
3. Frequent/Infrequent Posting
Posting too much in a day or a week can cause reader fatigue. It is like scrolling through your Instagram account and seeing a cousin’s picture of the beach with a dozen hashtags (oh yes, do be strategic with hashtagging). Posting too little or inconsistently would result in losing that connection between you and your readers.
Either extreme is bad. What you want to do is hit that sweet spot somewhere in the middle. There is no definite number. What you want to do is to balance out your online presence with your schedule. Keep monitoring traffic to your site before deciding to increase or decrease the frequency. Do a bit of research and find out the best time to post your articles. For example, Sunday mornings are the best time to post on productivity-related pieces and take advantage of the mid-week blues to post about weekend activities.
4. Content Does Not Match The Platform
Some kinds of content work better in text form and other are effective as bite-size content or as pictures. If you want to educate the public about the right way to do squats, being descriptive will not hit the point. Gifs and inforgraphics work better. Not to mention, they make a lasting impression on the reader too.
Always come up with the content angle and direction first, then decide which platform is best to deliver the message.
5. Brand Amnesia
Content is a tool to make a connection with your readers. Every time they see a cat video or a meme, they think about your company. If your content does not reflect the identity or the values of the brand, this not only loses readers but confuses them as well.
Form a strong foundation by sticking to topics related to your company (it does not have to be what you sell). For example, a brand specialising in organic soaps could talk about topics related to sustainable farming, fair practices, eco-friendly packaging and safety concerns.
Let’s put it all together, shall we? Provide a service — create a pool of knowledge about the industry for your readers. Doing this, makes an invaluable connection with them. By being focused on brand identity, your content is sharp and relatable to your audience. Which is why they keep coming back for more.
What are some articles you find memorable? Why did you remember it so well? What emotions did it invoke?