How to avoid making mistakes when developing your content strategy

If you’re working on developing a content strategy, you’re in luck! Just having one written down puts you ahead of the game. 70% of marketers don’t have a documented content strategy, and 28% don’t have any at all. But if you’re going to write one down, then you need to do it right and avoid mistakes that can bite you later. Here are some problems to avoid.

Audience knowledge and Personas

Content is meant for the audience to consume so they’ll want to come back for more. Therefore, you have to know what your audience wants to eat. Taking time to do market research and buyer persona development is time well spent. Our recent interview with Mike Gospe has some excellent advice on creating full-fledged buyer personas, as well as our e-book on the subject. 

However, to create a buyer persona you have to know your audience first. Building  buyer personas on intuition and past experience is a treacherous path in an age of data-driven persona development. Using the guidelines in the links above can help you guide your market research so you can ask the right questions to build your personas quickly.

Part of your questioning should be about related content topics that your personas might want to read about. CONCURED can help greatly with this by showing you topics in your niche you may have missed. A little brainstorming with the sales team can also help you create tangential content that is of interest to your audience. This kind of marketing content will keep interest in your brand high even if it doesn’t directly relate to your brand or offerings.

Incorrect or non-exisiting goals

While people might make content for the sheer joy of creation, businesses usually have a goal in mind for their content strategy. It doesn’t have to be profit. It could be brand recognition, improved SEO, customer engagement and retention, or even customer recovery in extreme circumstances.

Having a goal will also help you determine what types of content and channels you need to focus on. But if you don’t have the right goal in mind and know how to measure your progress goal then your strategy has no direction.

Don’t neglect  measuring your content performance. Your C-suite will want a set of metrics to help them with their overall strategy planning and to provide accountability to the marketing team. Make sure that the metrics you choose are in line with your goals. Be especially careful of using vanity metrics as a measure of success or using virality as your end goal. Going viral is no guarantee of future success, as so many YouTube stars have found out. Stick with more sensible metrics.

How will you promote your content?

Any content strategy needs to have distribution and promotion methods baked in. You can’t just plop a website down and expect to be found (with certain exceptions like Google-promoted brick-and-mortar businesses.) This may mean that you need to have your SEO and SMO in place before you launch into a content strategy campaign. Content that can’t reach the audience because it can’t be found is useless to your brand. That said, content marketing can be used to light the initial spark of SEO for a new startup. Know how you’ll promote your content and measure user engagement with it through your different channels.

These are the basic pitfalls you’ll need to avoid content marketing mistakes. Content that can’t be found or isn’t suitable for the audience is useless. No metrics or guiding goal makes you fly blind. For more information about creating a content strategy and how CONCURED can help you build one, sign up for a demo today.

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