It’s time for some tough love: If your content marketing isn’t performing as well as you expected it to, it’s probably not the discipline’s fault — it’s yours. Content marketing works — we’ve seen the success stories from dozens of businesses, large and small.

But it’s not a “set-it-and-forget-it” kind of technique. It takes time, dedication, and a solid plan right from the start. It also takes flexibility and the willingness to continually tweak your formula so that you’re always getting peak performance.

If you are running into problems that are keeping you from reaching the success you deserve, it might be time to take out your chemistry kit and make some adjustments to your formula.

Mistake 1. Don’t Give up

Content marketing doesn’t usually fail because of content quality. The main reason is because it’s inconsistent or it stops.

Content Optimization, SEO

Never, ever quit.

Many businesses view marketing through the lens of the annual report. Quarterly earnings, key performance indicators, and metrics must be up and to the right on the graph to validate a current marketing technique. The problem is, content marketing doesn’t work this way. Results may not come instantly; and even if you are fortunate enough to achieve “overnight success” with a particular piece of content, these types of wins may not have a sustainable impact on your business’ goals.

Mistake 2. Focus On Quality Not Quantity

Content Optimization, SEO

Why is quality important? There are many reasons, including it builds trust, increases your engagement, and drives thought leadership. But paramount among all those reasons is this: Content quality is important because Google thinks it’s important. And since Google sends you more traffic than any other source, it gets to set the standards.

Consider Google’s own explanation on why quality is essential:

Provide high-quality content on your pages, especially your homepage.
This is the single most important thing to do. Informative content is always interesting for the customers and is a prime tool to fetch relevant traffic to the website
If your pages contain useful information, their content will attract many visitors and entice webmasters to link to your site.

Here are some requirements for creating content that achieves high-quality status in Google’s robotic eyes: The content on the page should be unique. Don’t stuff it with keywords. Use internal links to make it easy for users to navigate to other content you offer on a related topic. Focus on a single subject (you can always link to additional pages on related topics, or break a complex topic into multiple parts).

Use affiliate links or ads with caution (or not at all), as they may detract from the user’s experience and engagement. If you create pages dealing with finances, medical information, or other sensitive topics that are subject to regulation, make sure your content is accurate, trustworthy, and meets all legal requirements. Your content should include helpful features like takeaways, key data, explanations, videos, or images.

Mistake 3. Content is King, Not those Links

Speaking of Google, another quality-related error many content marketers make is that they focus on getting links to and from their content, rather than on creating content worth linking to. While old-school SEO was all about the links, today there are a lot of other factors that have a greater impact on your content’s rank and influence. These include citations, brand mentions, and link quality.

Content Optimization, SEO

 

To ensure that your content strategy is supported with best practices that will organically draw audience interest, avoid shady link-bait practices like:
• Creating pages with little or no original content
• Cloaking
• Using sneaky redirects
• Adding hidden text or links
• Creating doorway pages
• Loading pages with irrelevant keywords

 

Mistake 4. You Aren’t Marketing Your Content

The simple way to market the contents can be summed up by these things: creating great content, making sure it gets found in search engines, and promoting it to your followers
If you don’t market your content, it will never get the chance to spread its wings and bring in new fans and followers, let alone new prospects and customers.
If you haven’t been giving your content the promotional support it needs, consider adding one or two of these tactics into the mix:

Leverage influencer marketing: When influencers promote a product or service, their circles are likely to respond — both through immediate action and by spreading positive brand association.
Entice the relevant audience like the followers: Get your audience members excited about your content and they’ll share it with their networks on your behalf.
Create Google AdWords campaigns: If you’re promoting a new white paper or e-book, you can create display campaigns to raise awareness and remarketing campaigns to retarget visitors who abandon your content before taking action.
Develop Social Media Campaigns: Sharing your content on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram may not make your content a viral success story overnight, but every interaction it earns from the members of your community has the potential to create a ripple effect that can impact your bottom line over time.
Build email Marketing Campaigns: Think of a well-executed email strategy as the backbone of a successful content marketing program. It’s an essential structure that supports your various content efforts and is the best technique for building a subscriber base — which helps you stay at the top of your readers’ minds.
Try your efforts with native Advertising: This in-stream content distribution technique uses ads that appear as part of the typical browsing experience, extending the reach of your content to audiences that may not be exposed to your owned channels.

Mistake 5. Your Writing Is Dull, Is Poorly Constructed, or Lacks Focus

Content Optimization, SEO

You don’t want to be the man in the picture, No one does.

Writing high-quality content is a challenging task and let’s face it, not every content marketer is cut out to become the next Hemingway. But, if your content isn’t performing properly, a failure to follow the basic mechanics of quality writing may be the source of the problem.

 

For content marketing to succeed, your company’s ideas need to be communicated clearly, logically, and in a compelling way — and nothing hinders good communication like sloppy writing, confusing or disorganized ideas, or discussions that leave readers hanging.

 

Here are some tips for constructing your content in a way that will grab audience attention, get them excited, and spur them to take action:

Write like a human:  and don’t be afraid to write long stuff: Long is not boring. Long is trustworthy, shareable, engaging, and valuable. If you’ve never written a 2,000-word article before, give it a try.
Make your point clear and compelling, and deliver it quickly: Exciting content has a clear point of view and isn’t ashamed to show it. Make sure your point is stated in your headline, is explained in the first few lines of content (i.e., before your reader loses interest and moves on), and is supported throughout the rest of your effort.
Structure your discussion logically and present it in a readable way: As you research and write your article, don’t merely string together a few random thoughts. Instead, create an outline of your ideas to give your discussion substance and a logical flow. Then, follow user experience best practices to lay out your content so that it’s easy to read and visually engaging.
Don’t forget the conclusion: As content creators, we labour over headlines and opening lines, but we often forget what to do when it’s time to conclude the write-up. Give your readers something to remember by including a strong conclusion that sums up your discussion, reiterates your main point, and directs readers toward the next step you want them to take.