Content marketing is about leveraging value to attract, engage, and delight prospects and customers alike. With over four billion users actively using the internet globally, today's digital marketers cannot afford to ignore the effectiveness of content marketing. But committing to a content strategy isn't enough. You also must execute it correctly or you will be murdered (figuratively speaking) by competition who is just a bit more savvy and disciplined than you are. Here are three scary content marketing mistakes that just might spell your demise if you aren't careful.
Developing Content Without Buyer Personas
Look, I know that creating personas isn't easy. It takes time, effort and requires you to have actual conversations with people (which may be the scariest thing you'll ever do). However, if you're developing content without referencing buyer personas you are wasting your time.
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Don't be a scaredy cat. Pick up the phone, send out some emails, and ask some of your ideal clients for a few minutes to chat. Ask them about their goals, challenges, likes, and dislikes. Be sure to find out what social media they use, how they prefer to communicate, and where they go to learn new things about their industry. The marketing life you save just might be your own.
Ignoring the Buyer's Journey
Every potential client you will have goes on a journey before making a buying decision. Not a scary journey that ends at an abandoned house full of ghosts. No, this journey is one they take to understand the challenges they face and research possible solutions. Although this journey is a bit different for each industry, product or service, they all have three basic steps.
Awareness: The buyer realizes that they have a problem.
Consideration: The buyer defines their problem and researches options to solve it.
Decision: The buyer chooses a solution.
When developing content (and setting up conversion paths) it is imperative you take into consideration the buyer's journey. Disregard this at your own peril (sorry for the drama—it is a Halloween-themed post, after all).
Ignore your marketing metrics and KPIs at your own peril.
Failing to Collect Data
This one REALLY drives us batty. After all, one of the best qualities of content marketing is all of the data we are able to collect. Data allows us to optimize our efforts and gives us a solid, goal-oriented framework for decision-making. There are two types of data you can collect when content marketing: explicit data and implicit data.
Explicit data is the information we request directly from the prospect. Information like name, email, and job title that we would ask for in a form that gates our content. This information doesn't really require much analysis and can be very useful when qualifying leads, segmenting lists, and setting up communications.
Implicit data is a bit spookier. This is marketing intelligence collected without the user knowing it. Web pages they've viewed, links they've clicked, and the time they've spent on our website are all easy examples of implicit data that can tell us a ton about our web visitors.
When content marketing, don't just set your gaze upon collecting explicit data. Make sure you also pay close attention to the implicit data you collect or face the terror of what awaits—uninformed decision-making.