Inbound marketing is a term that’s thrown out a lot in today’s world. It’s the in vogue form of marketing, one that is less “salesy” than traditional marketing.
Part of the inbound marketing equation is content, usually in the form of a blog. I think that we’ve reached the point where blogs are no longer considered just braindumps of people’s days. Rather, they’re well-thought-out posts featuring important industry information that others will find relevant (very similar to what you’ll find in the Swift Local Solutions Blog).
Content marketing is a key part of the conversion funnel for inbound, so the question becomes how you can truly make your content valuable to the audience you’re trying to attract. There are several ways to do this, but more importantly there are several mistakes you should avoid at all costs. Today I’m going to focus on five common mistakes and why it’s so important for you to avoid these.
1. Impersonal Tone:
Writing in an engaging tone is key to any successful content strategy. Find a tone that sets you apart from everyone else, and especially your competitors. This being said, it may be fine to use a similar style as someone you admire, but it’s another thing altogether to copy them. Not only will it be awkward for someone to read, it will also become difficult to sustain over time.
Another similar mistake that I think falls in the tone realm is failing to share personal stories or self reference. Would you ever talk about yourself in the third person to someone? This same rule should be applied to your content. This doesn’t mean that you need to include a personal story in every post, but adding these conversational moments even occasionally are important.
No matter how horrible someone is at spelling, when they notice that you’ve used the wrong version of “there,” you’ve lost credibility in their eyes. The same goes for typos and other sloppy errors. To err is human, but when you’re relying on content to sell your brand, there’s little room for mistakes and the resulting loss of credibility.
Spelling is my Achilles heel, so you can bet that I check and re-check my work over and over again before I hit the “publish” button on our blog. So too should you; have someone read over your post to help catch anything you’ve missed. If you have time, print out a copy to proofread(did you know you’re more likely to find mistakes in print than on a screen?).
Taking the extra time and effort to ensure your post is error-free will make all the difference to your readers.
3. Breezing Over the Headline
Did you know that on average 5 times as many people will read your headline as your body copy? That’s a huge reach for something that many people write as an an afterthought.
Very similar to the attention you give your subject line for any email, make sure your headline is informative and tells your audience what your content is about. Also make sure that it is consistent with your brand.
4. Ignoring Social Media
This is almost a “duh” tip, but people still do it. Making sure that you’re promoting your content on social media is extremely important and can’t be overstated. Spending just 5 minutes to formulate a tweet or schedule posts on other prevalent platforms will truly help your content get the additional attention it deserves.
In addition to doing the work yourself, let your audience help you by making it easy to share your content for you. Include social sharing icons on your page (sometimes even in multiple places) for ease of sharing.
5. Tracking Your Results
Anyone who knows me knows that I geek out over analytics. I could get lost in Google Analytics if I had the time to spend in there. Now, I’m not saying you should share my ridiculous love of all things data, but you should track the performance of your blog posts.
Checking simple things like total pageviews, time on site, and where the bulk of your traffic is coming from is very important information to understand. It will help you write future content and also give you an idea of how you should promote your content. Plus, over time you may just realize how cool data is.
What are some common mistakes you try to avoid with your content? Do you have other content marketing tips you'd like to share? Have you found any specific examples of any of these mistakes in the real world? Comment below so we can discuss more!