3 January 2017

The Most Common Content Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid them


Content marketing mistakes come in various forms.

Although most of us know that marketing is a driving force of business success, some still downplay the importance of this function; trivialising it as a menial business element – or simply fail to approach it with the diligence it requires.

As you would have guessed, this is a ruinous attitude that leads them to make adverse marketing mistakes.

To error-proof your marketing efforts, consider the following common content marketing mistakes, and the suggested fixes for a successful marketing strategy. Check your content strategy against them and make the necessary adjustments before rolling out your campaign.

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Thumbsucking a content marketing strategy

A strategy is a route plan to success. It needs to be ‘drawn’ comprehensively otherwise you risk being derailed.

According to Content Marketing Institute’s 2015 survey results, 77% of B2C companies have a content marketing strategy, the tragedy is only 27% of the whole study group had a documented one.
50% didn’t possess a written strategy, while the rest either didn’t have it at all.

A ‘mental’ strategy is as good as a non-existent one. It is ambiguous and unreliable. To avoid marketing mistakes, develop a concise and focused content plan. Start off with clear and SMART objectives, then write down your course plan to achieving them. Your plan must answer the who, what, when, and where.

Lack of data-focus

Another example of typical marketing mistakes is acting on a wing and prayer instead of intelligence.

In much the same way as you wouldn’t get very far in fixing a car by guessing which part of it has gone haywire, you are also not guaranteed results if your marketing efforts are darting around the dark.

What you need is to identify critical success factors, collect data based on these, analyse, interpret and adopt it appropriately to your strategy.

One way to ensure that your content is data-driven is through making data the very core of your strategy, e.g. through adopting the Digital Marketing and Measurement Model (DMMM).
(I can’t stress enough how important a data-focused approach in marketing is – and the beauty of digital marketing is that you can measure everything fairly easily, so don’t miss out on this chance!)

Start by narrowing down to why you are undertaking the campaign, and move on to setting objectives, key performance indicators, and a strategy control plan to help analyse outcomes of your campaign.

Indistinct persona

The problem with not having defined buyer personas is that one is likely to miss the target and go off on a tangent. Without identifying and understanding your buyer personas, you are setting your campaign up for failure.

Consider splitting your buyers according to their needs, tastes and preferences, language, and online hangout spots for instance.

Outline what makes each persona tick, and what gets them to follow your call to actions. Only then can you truly put together a buyer-centric strategy that’s more likely to give results than the time you spent all week flirting with that guy in accounts before he started to talk about the plans he and his boyfriend had that weekend.

Zero to zilch follower base

There is nothing fun about spending precious time and brain cells building and implementing a content marketing strategy only to wind up with a handful of followers (if you should be so lucky) who aren’t even engaging.

What you really want is quality followers, quality likes and quality readers, right? Hurling out bucket-loads of unfocused text onto your blogs and site isn’t going to do the trick.

Rather, give your content better direction with a solid content amplification strategy – write what is important to whom it is important to, and post it in places they like (social media) to propel your reach and make it easy for them to find.

Wrong timing, wrong platform, wrong format

Other common content marketing mistakes include posting your content too late, too early, or on the wrong platform.

The relevance of information is bound to the borders of time. In most cases, posting a Christmas special in February is not going to amass as much interest as it would if posted in November.

Just as true, communicating the special only on Facebook at a time when Twitter is more likely to give you more reach is also a misfire. Know the best times and platforms to post your content on social media in order to help your strategy succeed.

Similarly, format plays a key role in attracting an audience. Some people prefer videos or infographics over text-rich media. In this instance, the content is likely to get passed up in favour of something more to the reader’s taste. Try re-posting your content in a different format at a later stage and see how it performs.

We know we have only given you the starting points to building a successful marketing strategy and avoiding the many marketing mistakes that have entrapped some businesses.

A more detailed outline of what you need is in our Lead Generation Toolkit.

Lead Generation Self Assessment Toolkit




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