Looking back over the past ten years, we’ve worked with a lot of ambitious businesses. Met founders in their kitchens and pitched up at board room tables. One thing that’s true of them all? They are their own worst enemy when it comes to content marketing.
Businesses large and small want to tell a unique, engaging, and consistent story. But time after time the process lets them down and they’re left dissatisfied.
Let’s swipe down through the three circles of content marketing hell and discover how to escape them.
- No content strategy
You are not 100% sure what your business stands for. So, you write something, anything, because that feels better than nothing. All this serves to do is confuse your audience. If this is you then it is likely that you have made one, or more, of these mistakes recently:
- Written blog posts for a whole host of client personas, not a target one or two
- Asked various team members to write content, anyone who has a spare afternoon
- Written white papers, ebooks and guides without an idea of how they’ll generate sales
Escape from this by developing a content strategy first. Understand what content excites your audience, then overlay your interests on top of that. Agree how you make the world a better place for your audience and then evaluate all content against that.
- Cut-price amateurs
Low-cost content marketing tends to be cheap because it’s not very good (but you know this, right!?). If you’ve stumbled down this road then it is likely that you have made one, or more, of these mistakes recently:
- Worked with an SEO firm who promised tonnes of backlinks
- Employed a freelance writer who charges pennies and writes things no one reads
- Worse, employed a freelance writer who creates such shoddy content that you end up rewriting it yourself
Escape from this by understanding that the impact of low-cost content marketing is not necessarily sudden, but long term it is guaranteed to bring diminishing results, stall sales growth and damage your brand.
- The ‘Yesterday’ mindset
When the deadline drum beats too fast, creativity suffers – not good for great content marketing. New projects start with a ‘yesterday’ deadline, teams are always playing catch up, mistakes are made as emails and social posts go out peppered with errors. If this is you then it is likely that you have made one, or more, of these mistakes recently:
- Allowed the content planner spreadsheet to become defunct, slipped back into ‘on the hoof’ writing
- Missed a marketing planning meeting (again) to enable team members to play catch-up with existing work
- Got caught up in never ending review process, as everyone wants to have their say, even when marketing is not their forte
Escape from this by planning at least three months ahead, setting realistic deadlines and trusting your external contributors to do what they do best.
Finally, junior team members mean well, but often lack awareness of prioritisation and are unable to manage the content marketing process with efficiency – requesting never-ending changes in a muddled email stream that pushes you to the end of your tether.
Trust your external partners to do what they do best. In our experience, the happy bonus of this is that your junior team will be trained in the process.
Don’t be your own worst enemy. Escape the three circles of content marketing hell by committing to remove the hurdles that keep tripping your business up and knocking growth marketing efforts back.
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