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The 7 Biggest Content Marketing Mistakes

content marketing mistakes

Is your content marketing working? Are you getting the results you want?

If not, then you may be committing one (or more) of the 7 biggest content marketing mistakes.

Mistake #1: Not understanding your market

When it comes to marketing your material, you must know who your intended audience is. This will be a determining factor in the success of your material.

Once you know your market you can begin creating content that they want. Of course, you may know that they need one thing, but they may not know that. Meet them where they are and create content that helps them solve the problems they believe they have – then, only then, can you give them what they need.

Understanding your market also allows you to post your content in locations that are visible to them. This means that your content will be extremely focused and drive the most engaged potential customers to your site or product.

Once you have a good understanding of your market and their needs and desires, you’ll find it easier to come up with a constant stream of content ideas that will genuinely help your market.

Mistake #2: Creating content with no real plan in place

content marketing planning

Creating content is great, but do you know what you want each specific piece of content to do or what action you want your customers or clients to take? Many business owners know that they need content, so they begin creating content and posting it.

Unfortunately, there is much more to creating content. When you create content with a purpose, your company will receive more benefits from it. It is important for your business – and your sanity – to create content with a plan.

Having a plan allows you to know what type of information to include – or not include – in your content. An article created for your website that is intended to direct your clients to a download or sales page is going to be much different than an article created to help walk them step-by-step through a process.

Mistake #3: Not being yourself

Another of the most common content marketing mistakes is simply not being yourself.

You need to be yourself – it’s that simple. How many times have you thought the person you were working with was one way and later discovered what you though you knew wasn’t true at all?

You do not want to leave your customers and clients in this situation. People trust those who are trustworthy and honest. One way to show this is to be yourself. If you are a jokester, it is okay to add some humour. Let your quirkiness shine and set you apart from everyone else.

The best part about this is you can stop trying to be perfect.

Nobody is perfect and by accepting that and being yourself, you’ll usually find the “right” customers are more likely to be attracted to your business. Those who don’t connect with your personality will probably go elsewhere and that’s quite okay. You most likely weren’t a good match for each other.

Mistake #4: Doing what everyone else is doing

There are so many techniques for the perfect marketing strategy. Everywhere you look, you see and hear something that “you must” do to improve your marketing and grow your business.

Most small business owners do not have the funds or time to do everything. Therefore, it is important that you find what works best for you and do that. It may be a combination of what others are doing, or a strategy all your own.

Doing what everyone else is doing, is not always the best strategy. One of the quickest ways to get into the front of your niche is to do something different.

Mistake #5: Creating wishy-washy, boring content

The internet has made it possible for anyone to post anything. How much of that content is high-quality content? Not very much.

It is important that you create high-quality content that gives value to your customers. Filling your blogs, videos, and tweets with “filler” content is not going to give you the results you desire. People will look for people they can trust to give them content that has value to them.

Remember that value doesn’t have to be boring. You need to keep your potential clients interested while giving them information they can use.

Mistake #6: Not promoting content

Writing and publishing great content are only two of the steps in your content marketing pan. Many small business owners believe their content fails because it lacks quality – this isn’t necessarily true. Most of them time it is because they forget to promote it.

Promoting your content can seem scary when you only think of it as selling. Promoting your content simply means that you’re sharing it with your potential clients on purpose.

It is important that you use all your resources to promote your content. You can use social media platforms, blogs (yours and other bloggers), website owners, paid ads and other business owners to help promote your content.

content marketing mistakes

Mistake #7: Not tracking the results

A successful content marketing strategy can lead to strong relationships and a sense of community with your customers and clients. It allows you to become an authority and thought leader within your industry.

A strategic step in content marketing is tracking your results. You need to track your content from creation to distribution to ensure you have the correct plan in place. Tracking your results enables you to see where you are succeeding and where you may need to make a few changes.

If you’re making any of these 7 content marketing mistakes, make a commitment to change that … beginning from right now. You’ll soon start to see a great improvement in your content’s engagement and the results its getting, among other things, and the extra effort to get this process right will soon be well worth it.

5 Essential Relationships Every Successful Small Business Needs

essential business relationships

It is extremely easy for any business owner to become so laser focused on their products and services that they forget about the most important aspect of their business – the relationships.

Yes, you need to build relationships with your customers, but you also need to build relationship with other people too.

The following are 5 essential business relationships every successful small business needs:

1. Potential Customers

Most business owners can tell you that they are working on building relationships with their current customers, but what about potential customers?

The very first rung in your customer ladder is the potential customer. They are the ones who will help your business grow. People buy from and work with people they know, like and trust. You need to build a relationship with them so that they convert and become a current customer. Without the potential customers, your business will not grow.

Once you have connected with a potential customer, you want to keep that relationship growing. You do that by keeping communication open. Share valuable information through e-mail marketing, blog posts, social media content, and videos. Let them know you understand their problems and that you can help them.

Be yourself and let your personality – or your business’ personality – shine.

2. Customers

Once you have converted your potential customers into paying customers, you cannot stop the relationship building. It is important that you have a strategy for continuing your communication. Keep giving them the value and answers they need to solve their problems.

Trust me… the more you care and give, the more you will be rewarded with loyal customers.

You can also begin rewarding your loyal customers to let them know you still value their time and understand their needs. It can be something simple such as a coupon or discounted ticket to an event or product. Not only will they continue buying from you, but they will become your promoting army.

One of the best ways to promote your business or products is through word of mouth. When you develop a relationship with your customers, they will organically promote your business. They will talk about you to their family, friends, and coworkers.

Plus, if you stay connected with them and continue to provide value, they will remain loyal and continue to buy.

3. Staff/Team Members

It is important that you build quality relationships with your staff, contractors and/or team members and allow them to do the same with each other. Your business and its team will see great benefits when good relationships are fostered.

Teamwork, morale, dedication, productivity, and communication will all improve as this business relationship improves.

Having a plan in place that includes creating a clear, concise mission statement and values, team building activities, a plan for communication, measurable goals, and rewards will help create a team that meets deadlines and works well together.

4. Joint Venture Partners

Joint Venture partners (commonly called JV partners) are a great way to combine resources and expertise from two unrelated – or similar – businesses. Having JV partners is a great way to help your business grow faster, improve productivity, and increase your profits.

A JV partner can offer you new markets or distribution networks and provide expertise that can help your clients.

Unfortunately, it’s a business relationship that’s often overlooked.

When deciding on a Joint Venture partner, it is important to determine what type of services they can offer your clients that can continue helping them achieve their goals. You also want to make sure they are professional, honest, responsive, and share similar beliefs and values about business.

This can be tricky, but once you find the right JV partnership you can continue to grow your business in leaps and bounds.

5. Your Support Team

It doesn’t matter whether you have 5 customers or 5,000 customers… you need a support team. Your support team is there to help you when you need it.

You may need to bounce ideas off them, or just vent. This is why your support team needs to be people you trust and know will be honest with you. (It may not be your best friend who always tells you what you want to hear.)

You can build a support team of family, friends, and other business owners. A small group of business owners who get together once a week or a friend you can call on the spur of the moment are all quality support team members.

The relationships you create are going to determine the success or failure of your business. You will have a successful business by building the right relationships. Each type of relationship needs a plan. It is important to know why you are building the relationship and how it is going to help you.

Knowing the how and why will help you determine the right demographic to include. You can see your business grow and become more productive yourself with the right relationships.

How to Use Content To Build Your Brand

How to use content to build your brand

Content can take you and your brand from an unknown nobody to a credible expert, that people trust and buy from to better themselves or their business. So it’s important that you correctly use your content to shine the best light on you and your business. Your content can truly make you or break you and your business.

Content is how you share your experience and knowledge with the world.

So, how exactly do you use content to build your brand?

There are various methods, techniques, and strategies for using content to build your brand. These can be simplified into three steps: creating, distributing, and tracking your content.

Using these three steps properly will help your content to build your brand for you.

Step One: Create

There’s an enormous variety of content that you can create. The goal with this step is to determine which type you want to create, the purpose for creating it, and who is going to receive it. It’s essential here to understand who your ideal customer is.

What content are they looking for?

In what format do they want that content?

Types of content you can create include:

  • How-to – This is most often a systematic process that you share with your audience, giving instructions on how to do something.
  • Q & A – Use this type of content if you have a list of questions commonly asked by your audience. Answer the questions once and share with everyone.
  • Case Study – Share how you or your team, products or services have helped a client. Use anecdotes and statistics.
  • Testimonial – Let you clients tell your potential clients how you have helped them.
  • Company News – Share information from behind the scenes to show how you operate. Prove that you are not just in it for the quick money.
  • Why – Let your audience know why you believe a certain way, or why they should choose you and your business to help their needs.

The Purpose

Your purpose will help you determine which type of content you want to create. It will also help you determine how you want to deliver the content. Ask yourself, “What action do I want my audience to take afterward?”

Who is your Audience?

Depending on your audience, you may decide a specific type of content is better suited. If they are beginners, a step-by-step process may be best. If they have purchased from you before, letting them know why the next product may help them go even further and how it may benefit them.

Step Two: Distribute

Once you know what type of content you are creating, how are you going to distribute that content? The answer to this question will determine which type of media you use and again, who your audience is.

Types of Distribution Media include:

  • Video – Choose between live-streaming or pre-recorded video platforms and devices.
  • Audio – This is great for podcasts or sharing information with your audience through a teleconference.
  • White paper – If you are sharing technical information, this is a perfect format.
  • Blog – Share general information with the public. This is the ideal platform to use to share content in various formats.
  • Newsletter – Hard copy or email.
  • Article – This can be used in many forms, from advertising to detailed blog posts.
  • Infographic – This is a great way to show statistics in a highly visual format.
  • Guides – Dive into detail about a topic that your audience wants to know more about.
  • Worksheets – Use these if your clients need something they can use for their own clients or as fill-in-the-blanks for learning.
  • Checklists – Great for easy to follow systematic directions for a desired outcome.
  • Templates – Combines information for creating worksheets, guides, and checklists to walk your clients through a process that works.
  • Posters – This classic media form allows your client to have something tangible.

The type of distribution media you use requires that you know your audience well and that you are clear about what you want to share with them.

You may even decide that you can share the same thing three or more ways to connect with even more potential clients.

As a generalisation, if your content is directed towards millennials, you may want to use more videos and audios. However, if you are targeting the baby boomers, a whitepaper delivered in the mail often works well. Although this is something you may want to test as it can vary greatly from one market to the next.

Step Three: Tracking

In this example, the goal of using content is to build your brand – this means that you need to know how your business is growing.

Whether you like to crunch numbers or not, you will need some form of tracking to see how effective each type of content and distribution method is for you.

It will take time to generate useful data, but don’t let that dissuade you from trying something new.

There are many free analytic tools available to you. (Google Analytics is a good place to start). You can also hire someone to do the tracking for you. Whichever route you take, you need to know your end goal. You will need to determine what it is that you want your audience to know or do once they consume your information.

At first, the idea of creating, distributing and tracking content may seem overwhelming, so much so that it doesn’t get done. But once you get started – in even the most simplest way possible – you’ll soon start to get a better understand of what your audience is looking for and how to give this to them, without your content marketing taking up all your time and money.

Top 11 Tools For Content Marketers

content marketing toolsStart using these tools in your business today and simplify your content marketing.

You’ll discover the free tool that will ensure you never run out of ideas for topics to create content on.

Get another free tool that will make it super-easy to create simple graphics to help your content pop (especially when you need to stand out on social media platforms).

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