Content Marketing is a term many small business owners have heard of
, but often don’t understand what it is, or they think it doesn’t apply to them. Perhaps this includes you?

And yet you may be surprised to know that with every tweet or Facebook update, with every photo pinned on Pinterest or shared on Instagram, and every video uploaded to YouTube, you are already creating content. Content that, with just a few tweaks, could be marketing your business more effectively.

In this post I want to go through some of the common content marketing mistakes we come across.

Too self-promotional

So many business owners don’t understand that content marketing is all about being helpful to their followers. Instead they make every update into an advert or sales pitch for their products or services.

Not publishing frequently enough

Most people start off with good intentions but then business gets busy or life stuff happens. Because internet time seems to move faster than real life time, you cannot afford to be silent for several days or weeks at a time. Setting up a schedule as part of your content strategy will prevent this from happening.

Not having a strategy

There’s a big difference between randomly sharing news on Twitter or funny jokes on Facebook, and strategically marketing your business online to get more sales. Having a plan to follow will help to get better results.

Not making it easy for others to share

Readers of blog posts and email newsletters will want to share items of interest if they enjoy them. Make it easy by providing popular social sharing buttons and display them prominently.

Not presenting content attractively

Our attention is naturally drawn to visually attractive content, before we even start reading, listening or viewing. With so much competition for attention, taking time to format text and include suitable images as part of content presentation, makes all the difference.

Forgetting to include a clear call to action

This is the opposite extreme to too much self-promotion and is a lost marketing opportunity. All blog posts, newsletter articles and web pages need to tell the reader, viewer or listener, what to do next.

Having boring headlines

I don’t know about you, but if a blog post heading or email subject line doesn’t look interesting, I don’t open it and hit delete instead. There’s too much content vying for attention, so headlines have to be worded carefully in order to stand out.

Not sharing widely enough

With such an overload of information online, it isn’t enough to share a piece of content just once in the hope that the right people will catch sight of it in their fast-moving stream. Part of any content marketing plan should be to make sure it is shared effectively to relevant channels.

Creating for Google first

The view that all content had to be full of keywords and written for search engines is totally out of date now. While correctly done SEO is still important, we need to be writing for human readers. After all, whoever heard of a search engine placing an order?

Not varying the media

Creating a mix of video, audio, and images make content more interesting to consume than text alone. Plus there will be more places to share your different types of content online – which in turn means reaching more people.