Did you know that content marketing efforts cost 62% less than traditional marketing and produce 3 times as many leads? Given the numbers, there is no wonder so many entrepreneurs use content marketing to their advantage. It has the potential to generate leads, convert more prospects into customers, and drive more sales.
Creating a content marketing strategy can involve some trial and error. A poorly-developed strategy can sabotage your sales. That’s why you want to make sure to follow the best content marketing practices.
As we all know, learning from others’ mistakes minimizes the risk of us running into the very same failures. To help you improve the trial and error process, we’ve gathered the top 10 sales-sabotaging content marketing mistakes you should avoid.
Sacrificing quality over quantity
Content bombing is a sign of a poorly developed content marketing strategy. Publishing five new daily uninformative blog posts won’t bring you the results you wish for. Instead, it will annoy and drive away your audience.
Instead of screaming for attention, offer your help. Compelling content will help establish your brand as an expert in the field. When people see how professional and competent you are in your industry, they trust you more. As a result, you will get a spectrum of potential customers and buyers.
Not including a call to action
Not including a strong call to action (CTA) is another common mistake sabotaging sales. When users land on your website, they need your guidance on what’s next. If you fail to provide further instruction, the newcomers simply have no motivation to move further into the sales process.
Include relevant CTAs in your blog posts, social media posts, and emails. When you add a simple CTA, like “Join today”, “Read more”, or “Add to cart”, there is no confusion around what is the next step.
Leaving out user-generated content
By definition, user-generated content (UGC) is any brand-related content (from testimonials to memes and fan videos) that has been created and posted by social media users. Statistically, UGC proves to be amazingly effective. Studies show that 86% of Millenials say that UGC indicates a high brand quality. Moreover, 90% of shoppers buying decisions are influenced by UGC.
Among marketers, it’s common to oversee the importance and effectiveness of UGC. Don’t make the same mistake and use the benefits of it to your advantage. Encourage your customers to post their take on your product on social media. You can run social media contests, and require entrants to post a photo of your product with a branded hashtag. This will help you increase engagement, build brand awareness and credibility, and, as a result, drive more sales.
Overlooking the four steps of the buying cycle
Not understanding the stages of the buying cycle is another mistake that can cost you sales. To avoid it, let’s learn more about the first four stages of the buying cycle.
Awareness. The prospects understand they have a problem that needs to be solved and start looking for solutions.
Consideration. The prospects clearly define their problem and continue searching for solutions and consider different options.
Intent. The prospects oppose different alternatives against each other and intent to make a purchase.
Purchase. The prospects are turning into paying customers as they make a purchase.
Different types of content are relevant for each part of the sales funnel. To buy from you, prospects need to understand what they’re buying. During the awareness stage, create blogs, videos, and social media posts to give prospects enough information about your product/service. During the consideration stage, you want to provide more free content, like how-to guides and webinars. When prospects are intending to buy from you, give them a little confidence by offering free trials, samples, or product demonstrations. If prospects did make a purchase, send a thank you email to let them know how much you appreciate them buying from you.
Failing to consider the target audience
Failing to consider your target audience will result in low engagement and poor sales. If you want your content marketing strategy to succeed, you must take your time to identify and research your audience.
Think of your target audience as real people with real problems. Research them to develop client personas. This will help you identify customers’ pain points, needs, expectations, and knowledge gaps. Then, use these insights into customer behavior to tailor more personalized content.
When building a relationship with your audience, sharing useful information is king over hard selling. Your content marketing efforts should be all about sharing useful information that will educate your prospective customers.
Create a content library with helpful information addressing customer pain points and knowledge gaps. Avoid being too salesy as you craft your content pieces, as this can result in prospects leaving you for someone more informative and less commercial.
Not reusing content
Not reusing your content pieces is another common content marketing mistake. Ensure the content you create is universal and can be reused in the future. For example, you can adjust content pieces to reshare them on social media.
Also, it’s important to keep your blog posts current. Make sure to update your content pieces with relevant information to keep them up to date. This way, you don’t have to create new blogs every time, as you will be able to update some of your existing copies.
Sometimes, it’s useful to delegate some of your responsibilities to professionals. If you’re struggling to create reusable content, use dedicated writing and grammar services, like Grammarly and Essay Tigers, to improve the quality of your pieces.
Failing to create mobile-friendly content
When it comes to user satisfaction, responsive design is everything. In fact, 57% of users say they wouldn’t recommend a brand with a poorly designed mobile website. If you want your prospects to actually examine your content pieces, they must be mobile-friendly.
All of your content must be displayed properly across all devices and browsers. If you create an explainer video, viewers with all kinds of smartphones must be able to watch it. If you’re launching a blog section on your website, your copies must be aligned concerning various screen dimensions and browsers.
Relying entirely on text
Oftentimes, marketers make a huge mistake when putting text in a center of their content strategy. However, what they fail to realize is that humans are biologically more predisposed to visual information. In fact, human brains process visual information 60,000 times faster than text.
You can increase engagement by adding visual elements to existing content. Add relevant images and videos to grab customers’ attention.
Overlooking the importance of gathering data
Your content marketing strategy is destined to fail if you don’t know how to measure its performance. Gather and evaluate data to identify which content pieces are performing better than others. Use this information to adjust your content strategy and make further improvements. Use the following metrics to keep track of your performance:
- Social shares
- Customer retention
- Post engagement
- Time on page
- Bounce rate
Besides monitoring the content marketing metrics, employ A/B testing to identify which content pieces resonate better with your audience.
Content marketing is absolutely crucial if you want to drive and maintain high sales. When creating your content pieces, make the customers’ experiences central. All marketing textbooks and publications tell you to aim for the target audience. However, the quality of your customer engagement is more than just a number. To resonate with actual people (who are the real people with real problems) and encourage more sales, your content must be relevant, current, and specific to their pain points and knowledge gaps.