Fact: Any marketing pro who tells you that your company’s content can stay static is telling you a tall tale. Are there other ways to market your business online? Absolutely, but more and more the old timey content-light strategies won’t work in today’s integrated environment. Content development is fast becoming the heart and soul of Internet marketing, which means that if you want to keep up you need to dive headfirst into content.
Today’s blog is geared toward those folks who are new to content development – and consequently just getting their feet wet – but the concepts we’re outlining apply to anyone who wants to maximize the value of their content development efforts. And there’s the keyword: effort. Content development used to be a matter of throwing some keywords up on a website and letting the traffic roll in, but now every marketing strategy needs to include the creation of high-quality, original content that is generated and released regularly, whew!
What happens when you don’t put the effort in? Long story short, nothing happens. Nothing terrible, and nothing good. Dabbling in content development means acting like it’s amateur hour, which would be okay if your competitors weren’t doing everything they can to go pro. Why is this such an issue? When you dabble, you’re more likely to make content development mistakes like:
Procrastination: Those new to modern content development strategies may find themselves procrastinating for numerous reasons, including not knowing what to do next or feeling overwhelmed by the effort involved. Putting it off isn’t going to make future content development easier, though, and may just make it harder. Maybe you’ve put off content development until now. So start now.
Setting Unrealistic Goals: Writing one white paper a week for a year? Blogging three times a day? Adding 1,000 new pages to your website in six months? Good luck with that. When some people hear that content is king, they make grand plans to maximize their content development efforts… to the extreme. Setting goals in this area of your marketing mix means setting real, attainable goals.
Succumbing to Burnout: Those unrealistic goals you’re setting represent the quickest route to total burnout, at which time your response will likely be to give up on content development altogether. After which point, you’re sunk. So if you can’t DIY it all, get your employees on board. And if that doesn’t work, hire a pro.
Not Optimizing for Conversions: Let’s say you’re putting content out there like a boss. Really rocking and rolling on the content development front. But you’re not seeing any results – what gives? You can’t just toss up any old content and think it’s going to get you followers and customers. Your content needs to be optimized for conversions. In other words, everything you create should be designed to funnel potential clients into your lead bucket.
Planning Without Focus: Content development, as an actionable goal, needs to have a desired result to be effective. In other words, what are you trying to get out of content development? Examples of end goals could include attracting more social followers, earning likes and shares, or collecting email addresses. If you’re just dabbling in content development, you probably don’t know what you’re hoping to get out of it so ultimately you’re going to get zip.
Rushing It: Content development takes time – there’s no getting around that. Hiring a pro can increase the speed at which your content development strategy unfolds, but even so results can take months to appear. Deal with it.
Trying to Do Too Much: Are you working all day to make sales or promote your company, then blogging, tweeting, and outlining whitepapers all night? Your content development efforts are going to fizzle because there is no way you can keep up the pace. Plus, your strategy is probably unfocused since you’re trying to wear too many hats at once. Remember that focus is key, and sometimes focus means concentrating on a specific area of content development.
Treating Social as an Afterthought: Integrated. Let’s hear you say it. In-te-gra-ted. It’s what marketing needs to be these days, and that mix includes your content development efforts. If you’re not leveraging your content development across all channels, you’re sunk.
The takeaway here is that if you’re going to get serious about content development, get serious. Dabbling isn’t going to get you anywhere in this new world, the age of Panda and Penguin. You absolutely need to focus on quality, direction, and frequency of content development on your website, business blog, and social platforms to get the most bang for your marketing buck. Foster good habits and delegate responsibly to stay on track – and you WILL avoid the mistakes that your less intelligent competitors are making.
What content development mistakes have you made?