Bet you’ve heard the saying “Content is king”. While most of the times this is true, you can’t go around thinking your business is based solely on publishing content.
Having a content strategy saves you from getting drowned in a pool of sorrow, triggered by useless efforts. Efforts that make you focus on all the wrong things. Let’s start with some general strategy mistakes. Say you have a rather new business or quite a fresh startup. What are the first things that go through your head, once you’ve launched your product?
Being the best is good, but not enough.
The first and most important mistake most new entrepreneurs face is competing to be the best. In spite of what you may be thinking, competition is a healthy thing. After all, thriving to be the best at something is a good idea, but you should consider there are others like you out there, or better yet, there are others that started before you.
Learn from competitors. And from their mistakes.
Originality, brilliant ideas, strong strategies, good marketing professionals and a solid team will slowly but surely bring you closer to success. Which is why you should trust yourself instead of comparing with competitors. Learning from others in the industry could be an honorable viewpoint. The only issue with this is you may end up either doing the same faux-pas like your predecessors or misinterpreting their strategies, thus misapplying them.
Everybody can not love you.
Another delusion you could be facing is trying to satisfy every customer. Sure, customer service is important and if you don’t ensure it, you may be receiving a lot of negative reviews in the future. But let’s get one thing straight: not all clients will be happy clients. There’ll always be at least one single individual that will be dissatisfied. Which bring us to the last and quite relevant blunder. Feeling disappointed because of negative feedback. Staying positive is of utmost importance in a world where competition is harsh. So, don’t pant every time you make someone unhappy.
Disappointment isn’t the end of the world.
There will be complaints. There will be unsatisfied clients. There will be moments when you’ll feel like all your struggles are going nowhere. Stay strong. Stay optimistic. Don’t ever give up, no matter how much it costs. It is up to you to trust an idea that actually deserves to have a public. It’s also up to you to work hard to get it out there. That being said, let us begin with the actual list of misconceptions you may encounter in establishing your content strategy.
1. Selecting an audience without knowing its needs. Launching a product without a preliminary market assessment is a truly grave mistake and publishing content that isn’t focused on that particular audience is even a greater mistake.
2. Believing content is the only key to achieve online success. This is where a content marketing team may be prove to be useful. Having a great publishing calendar is wonderful, but content doesn’t have to end up on your site or blog and sit all alone in there without somebody ever discovering it. Content is good for ranking and for Google, but there’ll be quite some time until search engines will start considering your site in queries.
3. Inconsistency. Say you start off by publishing content on a daily or a weekly basis. There will be users who will want to subscribe to your newsletter, like you on Facebook, follow you on Twitter or use any other social network to keep up with what you publish. Then, you start getting clients and you end up in a muddle of assignments. You’re so busy you can’t afford wasting time writing… but what happens to that public that’s been following you from the very beginning? You will lose it. People’s tastes or preoccupations change if you don’t keep them close to you.
4. Expecting mind-blowing results after publishing your first post. Whoa there, horsey! High hopes are useless. Just as we were saying before, there will be others that do it better than you. There’ll also be others that have more experience than you. The things you have to focus on are your strategy, publishing content on a consistent basis, as well as sharing that valuable content on all social channels you’re capable of using.
5. Another startup life-threatening mistake is forgetting about your existing content. This includes forgetting to optimize it for the world wide web, for search queries and for users that may actually be interested in what you’ve talked about in previous posts. Audits come in handy in this type of situation. Having a content strategist is, by all means, surely valuable.
6. Targeting quantity instead of quality. Here’s where you find out that content isn’t actually king. Your readers are the kings. And it’s a given fact that a user that’ll find an article unworthy of reading will not return to the site.
7. Failing to answer questions or comments. This is almost as important as providing a customer service. Site visitors want to be noticed. They want to know that their inquiries are taken into consideration and somehow resolved. Establishing a relationship with your site visitors means attracting customers.
8. Presenting information that is either outdated or of no importance to the industry. You may still be in awe of the fact that someone invented something 5 years ago. But there’s a high chance that your potential customers already know about that. A quick and reasonable solution is staying up-to-date with your industry’s latest news. This gives you topics for new posts and the opportunity to compare opinions with users.
9. Ignoring social media. Socializing with potential customers can actually happen through social media. Don’t ignore social networks, for nowadays they are one of the most significant way of gathering an audience.10. Publishing content that is either too technical or less specific than you need it to be. A quick market research will show you just what your audience is. You may be producing items that speak to only one category of customers. However, let’s not ignore the fact that there may also be regular users that access your site, users that have acquaintances, users that are employed, users that have ended up on your site with the help of a search query. What can you do for them, if your content’s overly technical? On the other hand, what should you do to not lose customers, if your content isn’t specific enough? This is where content strategy and a good content marketing team come in.
11. Hiding precious information. We’re not talking about the stuff you want to do. Brilliant ideas should be kept behind the curtain. But useful info such as what your business is all about, what your endeavours are, what you can actually do for clients or what some positive or negative aspects of being an entrepreneur are may boost your online image. People appreciate honesty and forthcoming content. You probably don’t want to admit it, but failures actually increase your experience in a field. Which is why your readers should know about them and about what you’ve learned from failing at something. Being capable of accepting losses proves you are mature enough to handle one task or another.
12. Ignoring networks on the rise. The online medium is a rather tricky environment. If you decide to handle your own content, you’ll be amazed at the amount of workload that’s needed to publicize it. Social networks like Pinterest, Quora or LinkedIn weren’t exactly popular sometime in the past, but people turn to them when it comes to discovering relevant content, especially nowadays. Which is why you should keep up with online trends. However, using social networks only for publicity is a grave mistake. Just as we were saying, building a relationship with customers should be one of your endeavours. Therefore, answering questions, being active on forums and talking about general topics about the industry you’re in will actually improve your public image.
13. Last, but not least, SPAMMING – the mother of all mistakes. No matter the amount of excitement you may be experiencing after publishing a post, do not, by all means, spam anyone! You will get booted from sites. Your account will be deleted. Social networks will not publish your answers if they contain links to your site. You’ll end up as a persona non grata only by advertising yourself. Try to gather an audience by providing precious answers and solutions, instead of flashing people with the products you sell.
Where should you go from here?
There are high chances that you’ve already made at least one of the missteps we’ve presented up above. Don’t worry, though, there’s still enough time to think your strategy through and get things back on track.
In conclusion, creating a content strategy that successfully dodges these mistakes is a way of avoiding frustration and downfall. Let’s not forget, it’s also a means of ensuring future success. Stay focused. Be optimistic. Get yourself out there.