Content teams have to face a lot of challenges when it comes to creating and managing content in 2023. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, many organizations are still making some of the same mistakes that were common 5-10 years ago. To help you avoid these pitfalls, we've compiled a list of the 8 most common mistakes content teams are still making in 2023.
Additionally, we’ll cover:
- Why these mistakes are so common
- How to prevent them
Ready? Let's dive in.
8 Content Marketing Mistakes Teams Are Still Making in 2023
Most often, we find content marketing teams:
- Having limited or surface-level knowledge of their audience
- Creating content that's unrelated to their product
- Believing in perfection rather than iteration
- Giving full ownership of their content calendar to SEOs
- Focusing on MSV rather than search intent
- Not giving freelance writers the information they need to create good content
- Neglecting content distribution
- Not revamping old content
Having limited or surface-level knowledge of your audience
Many teams have a surface-level understanding of their target audience and the challenges they're facing. This is often not enough to create content that resonates and drives engagement. To avoid this pitfall, invest time and resources in conducting in-depth audience research and creating detailed buyer personas.
You may want to:
- Connect with members of your sales and product teams and inquire about the persona models they're using
- Build rich persona models that can be leveraged across teams
- Establish robust communication channels with customer-facing teams
Creating content that’s unrelated to the product
Very often, teams create material that relates to their niche but has absolutely nothing to do with their product. Only invest in a content piece if:
- It can connect with your audience throughout their customer journey
- It can help prospects, leads, or customers to move toward the next step of their relationship with your brand
- It helps your audience solve a problem that's directly connected to your product
Believing in perfection rather than iteration
You shouldn't publish unpolished posts that are full of grammar mistakes or inaccuracies. But very often, content velocity suffers in favor of perfection. Publish relevant material and publish it often. Periodically select your best-performing pieces and revamp them. Update them, add valuable information and tips - and ideally, create a lead magnet and link it to your piece.
Giving full ownership of their content calendar to SEO
While SEO is essential to content marketing, giving your SEOs full control over your content calendar can lead to a narrow focus. Your content writers may be more aware of the ins and outs of your competitors' content strategies than your SEOs, who see the big picture but not the details of every piece your competition publishes. Additionally, customer-facing teams can bring true insights into customer pain points to your strategy. So, why not include them in the conversation?
Focusing on monthly search volume instead of search intent
It's easy to be tempted by high monthly search volume keywords. However, if you're not making money from eyeballs (through ads, for example) and you're selling a product or service, MSV isn't so important. Instead, focus on high-intent keywords with low competition. Even if fewer people are including them in their queries, those looking for them are truly interested in what you offer.
Not giving freelance writers enough information about your product and brand
A freelance writer can be a great asset to your content team. However, if you don't provide them with enough information, they won't be able to write the highly detailed and unique content you're looking for.
When you're just starting out with content marketing, achieving content-market fit should be your first priority. But without informed writers who understand your product and brand, it's pretty much impossible.
Make sure to designate a member of your customer service reps or sales teams to act as a liaison with your writers. And don’t forget to provide them with a thorough briefing of your product(s) and brand philosophy. That way, they'll be able to create content that resonates with your audience. Additionally, create a knowledge base that these writers can tap into to get accurate information about the topics your brand cares about.
Neglecting content distribution
Despite having top-notch content, many teams still fail to reach their desired audiences. This is often because they're putting all their energy into content creation while neglecting content distribution. A strategic approach to content distribution is crucial in 2023, as it ensures your content's exposure isn't limited to the SERPs. This is especially important when you're just starting out and your average SERP positioning is far from ideal.
Leverage repurposing to turn your written content into material that can nourish all your marketing channels and expand your outreach.
Not revamping old content
The "publish-it-and-forget-it" approach doesn't work. Just like you should repurpose and distribute your content, don't forget to periodically check your rankings and revamp your content accordingly.
When looking at posts whose rankings declined, compare your piece to your competitors - where is yours falling short? How can you re-optimize so your results are relevant to your users' search intent?
Don't focus on "fixing" things when looking at your most successful posts. Instead, aim to add value and optimize for conversions.
If a post's losing traffic, you'll want it to gain it back. But the fact that a post's getting a high volume of traffic doesn't mean that your job's over. Instead, you should shift your focus toward conversion optimization. At the end of the day, your north star metric should be organic conversions.
Why Are These Content Marketing Mistakes So Common?
We've already covered the 8 most common content marketing mistakes teams are still making. But, why are they so common?
We've found 3 common causes:
- Lack of communication
- Underestimating the value of content
- Having no actual strategy
Let's look a little deeper.
The leading cause of content team strategy errors: Lack of communication
In most cases, content marketing errors are the result of having no established and functional communication channels between content creators, strategists, and other relevant stakeholders. In short, there's no common knowledgebase, there are no common personas, and the content team has no idea about real users' pain points and questions.
The result is a sense of shallowness and improvisation. And the final outcome is content that's irrelevant and out-of-touch.
This pitfall is very deeply related to the next item on this list.
Underestimating the value of content
It's not uncommon for teams to underestimate the value or required complexity of content creation. This produces mediocre but passable content for B2C or non-specialized B2B companies. But competitive B2B companies targetting very specific sub-niches won't find this approach useful at all.
Aside from making you findable on Google, your content marketing efforts can help you to:
- Accelerate sales processes
- Enable conversions
- Establish your brand as a niche authority
- Create value for potential and existing clients
- Minimize your support team's workload
But if you only think of content as "that boring thing we've got to do to get an off-chance of ranking on Google", you won't be very incentivized to give it the time of day.
If you're set on implementing content marketing for your startup, but are still struggling to get stakeholders on board, you'll find some useful arguments on "Should your brand blog in 2023?".
Most content mistakes are the result of having no actual strategy
Most common mistakes are the result of having no actual sense of strategy. What do you want to achieve through content? What are your KPIs? How are these KPIs relevant to your mission? What's the end result of doing what you're doing?
If you start with the end in mind and set SMART content goals, you can reverse engineer through your difficulties and design a path forward.
How to Prevent These Content Marketing Strategy Errors?
There are two ways to prevent these content marketing strategy errors:
- Outsource your content efforts
Inform stakeholders about the value that content marketing can create for the company. Discuss content creation as a strategy, rather than a novelty project or a nice-to-have.
Create an internal process to:
- Verify that content efforts remain aligned with business objectives
- Hold yourself accountable
- Give stakeholders full visibility into your content efforts' actual business impact
- Keep stakeholders updated on tactics and tools that can help you scale or optimize your content production and distribution
Consider hiring a seasoned content agency.
The right content partner will help you to design an impact-oriented content strategy, according to your goals & resources, while preventing common strategy pitfalls.
Additionally, hiring a good agency will:
- Spare you the effort of recruiting, training, and managing an in-house content team
- Give you access to years of expertise, at a fraction of the cost of hiring in-house
- Guarantee that your content strategy is built on reliable and updated information, taken from industry-leading tools and sources
- Offer you extra support for gathering results, elaborating reports, and tracking the ROI of your content investment
Free Content Strategy Consulting
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