The content marketing industry is growing faster than ever before and will continue to do so. While many new trends come in and old trends fade out, it is important to stick to those which align with your business goals.
As important it is to stay updated and in sync with the trends, it is just as important to weed out the ones which are not particularly good for your business.
Here are a few such content marketing practices, more like bad habits if you will, to keep away from:
1. Trying to be omnipresent
There is so much excitement going on around social media platforms that everyone wants to build a thriving presence on every platform they can spot.
As swell as it might seem to be able to master every social platform and become an omnipresent marketing force, it can result in wasted efforts and diminished focus on the avenues which will actually bring you real results.
Don’t be the jack of all platforms, be the master of some instead. This is where measuring ROI can come in handy if you see that promotion on Facebook is not bringing you as good results, time to cut it out.
In fact, a great thing to do would be to sit down and design a digital marketing mix for your company. Figure out how much effort should go into each marketing platform, and also make a list of social media tools that can help you automate the process and save time – this can channelize your efforts and increase your effectiveness.
2. Focusing on a few well-optimized marketing tactics
Most content marketers stick to what worked for them in the past; they live by the notion – figure out some tactics that work best for you and do them well.
Given that content marketing is ever changing, you are not really playing it safe by playing it safe!
Agile marketing tactics and ‘test and learn’ models have made it incredibly easy to experiment and reformulate strategies when necessary.
According to Marketing Prof’s content marketing trends, most B2B businesses average over 12 marketing tactics and top 5 in them include social media, articles, blogs, case studies.
If you want to stand out from the rest of the businesses then experimenting with new tactics such as ebooks, webcasts, podcasts, screencasts, etc.
The crux is: experiment a little.
3. Trying to convey your point of view through content
True, thought-provoking opinion pieces can establish your expertise in your niche and add value to your business. But focusing too much on opinion pieces is not a good way to go, because let’s admit it, people are not always interested in your opinions. It really doesn’t add much value to them.
Marketers say that engaging audience is the second biggest challenge they face and writing opinionated content doesn’t really address this problem. Instead, provoking interaction through live polls, contests, giveaways, surveys etc may be a better strategy to boost reader engagement.
These techniques help you push the user to take some sort of action instead of just reading your content and moving on.
4. Working as if content has an expiry date
Despite content topic trends, your content can stay relevant for a long long time. Sure, you may have to find new creative ways to express the same old content, but the content remains valid for a long time.
For example, you may have to repurpose one of your old articles on ‘content writing mistakes to avoid’ into a video to stay in trend, but the original content needn’t change.
So, don’t publish content and forget all about it; it would be such a waste because you can derive value from it for a long time to come.
5. Broadcasting your content
Don’t make your webinars and other live events broadcasts; this may have been an okay thing to do a few years back, but not anymore. Now people expect you to facilitate conversations. People prefer to interact, ask questions and give opinions in events such as webcasts.
Of course, in situations like these, keeping the conversation on track and relevant can sometimes become a challenge, but nonetheless, the trend is shifting towards two-way interactions, now more than ever.
Also, provoking conversations can be a great way to keep the audience engaged and involved throughout the event.
6. Swift publishing without much strategising
Maybe you just started out on content marketing and technically are at the infant stage. In situations such as these, it’s easy to make the mistake of focusing on getting content published instead of working on formulating a strategy.
Kicking off content marketing without deciding on a strategy is equivalent to walking in blind. Having a well-laid documented strategy can help you align your efforts with your goals, thereby preventing wastage of time and effort.
Only 32% of B2B marketers had a documented content strategy in 2015, which is 3% less than last year. Investing in a strategy has shown to maximize the ROI and is, hence a golden rule to live by for content marketers.
ROI is the key. Every effort you make should be measured across the results and you must take decisions based on these results. For example, after trying out a new social media platform for a few months track the results and see if it’s working for you and then make a call.
While your content has to offer value to readers, it also has to offer value to you. Marketing trends must not be the sole factor in your decision-making process, you must factor in results and performance as well.