It’s a common misconception that enterprise content marketing isn’t creative, strategic, or helpful. It’s also a common misconception that it doesn’t convert and help the business, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Unfortunately, I’ve spent way too much time this year talking to clients on the phone who have been misled in these ways.The best defense against these assumptions is to do your own homework, do your own research, and be smart enough to listen to someone else’s advice as if it may be flawed or misleading; if you can find the holes in their argument or find proof that what they say isn’t true, then you are better-armed to make good decisions for your business.
You haven’t thought about your audience.
There are two major mistakes that B2C content marketers make, and fixing them is the best thing you can do for your content marketing.
Positioning is crucial. When you don’t consider your audience and why they will want to read your content, you risk producing material that doesn’t meet their needs. If they don’t feel it’s relevant to them, they won’t read it. And if they don’t read it, you’ve failed to meet their needs and have wasted the time you spent producing the content in the first place.
Positioning is all about understanding who your audience is and what keeps them up at night. If you haven’t taken some time to understand who your target audience is — for example, by performing competitor research — you’re not ready to think about positioning yet. Your audience should answer all of these questions: Who are my readers? What do I know about them? What do I want them to know about me? Why would they care?
YOUR AUDIENCE: WHO ARE THEY AND WHAT DO THEY WANT FROM YOU?
Even if you’re a B2C marketer, you need to start thinking like a B2C marketer! If we return to our example of selling chocolate, the people buying chocolate aren’t looking for chocolate as much as they’re looking for pleasure and indulgence. They want something sweet, or something with a nice presentation that makes them feel
Here’s the kicker: you probably already know what mistakes you’re making. You know what your weaknesses are. You have a vague idea of where you’re falling short, but aren’t sure how to fix it.
What’s stopping you from improving?
Your audience has no problems with your content because they don’t see it as a problem. They don’t see the same issues that you do. Your audience is your first defense against common content marketing mistakes because they enable you to improve your content without any extra work on your part. If you don’t care about engaging them in the first place, then how can you expect them to care about engaging with your brand?
Forget about mistakes for a moment and think about what kind of interaction is happening on your website or blog as a whole. Does it feel genuine when someone reads through every one of your posts? Is there enough variety in the kinds of content that you’re posting? What words are being used? Are people asking questions or are they being told what to do next? Are they feeling inspired or are they feeling like they’re being sold something? Do they leave the site feeling like they just need to buy something right away or do they have time to think about it and get back to you later?
Marketers are often so caught up in the big picture that they don’t consider the little details. The first mistake that B2C content marketers make is not thinking about their audience when paying for a piece of content. It can be easy to make the mistake of paying for the wrong type of content, but it’s crucial to have an idea of who your target audience is. If you’re an e-commerce store, think about what kind of person would purchase your product or service. Who are they? What do they care about? Are there specific pain points that your brand can help them with?
If you’re a large brand, it’s easy to get carried away by the idea of reaching as many people as possible. You want to think about how your company fits into the marketplace and how you can speak to potential customers in a way that’s relevant and engaging!
When you’re creating B2C content, it’s crucial to focus on consistency. It may seem like a small thing, but if you always use “you” when referring to your customers, it shows that you’re speaking directly to them. Always keep in mind how your company will benefit your target audience and what types of language they’ll respond best to.
Your content isn’t optimized for mobile.
Your B2C content isn’t optimized for mobile.
Content marketers face unique challenges in the mobile space. Download rates are greater on mobile devices than desktop, but you have to adapt your content marketing to make sure it’s optimized for mobile. There’s also the issue of speed: Mobile users grow impatient if they have to wait more than a few seconds for a page to load, especially when they’re on a cellular network that has a slower connection than their home Internet. So here are five common issues with B2C content and how to correct them:
1. Your content isn’t responsive or is difficult to read on a small screen.
2. You’re using large graphics that are impossible to load on a slow connection.
3. You aren’t using the right formats for social media or mobile viewing (such as videos).
4. You aren’t optimizing your content for search engines or sharing platforms (such as Facebook) or both.
5. Your page takes too long to load on a mobile device, resulting in visitors leaving your site before it loads completely — even if they come back later, they’ll have lost interest and might not return.”
Your buyer personas are too generic because you failed to do the research
1. Your buyer personas are too generic because you failed to do the research.
When I talk to a lot of B2C content marketers, they all have the same problem: they’re not really sure who their buyer persona is. They might have one, but it’s more of a wish list than an actual person. And that’s okay if you’re just starting out, but if you want to be effective, you need to start profiling your ideal customer—in as much detail as possible.
That’s because in order for your content marketing to work, you need to be able to speak directly to your target audience’s needs and wants. When you actually profile your ideal customer, you’ll have a much better idea of what they need from your business so that you can give it to them more effectively.
For example, let’s say that one of your buyer personas is a woman (or man) between the ages of 25 and 35 who makes $50,000–$65,000 per year and has two kids at home. That may be a good start, but now you need to go further: What TV shows does she like? (A specific show like Homeland might indicate that her husband works in law enforcement
Your content provides no value — and you know it.
“It’s easy to see when content marketing is not going well,” says Marcia Riefer Johnston, author of Content Strategy for the Web. “You’re doing it for a variety of reasons, but the content itself doesn’t provide any value — and you know it.”
When that happens, she says, it’s time to step back and take a good look at what you’re doing. “Figure out how to make the content better,” she advises.
You’re not reaching your target audience
When I see content marketers who are struggling to produce good work, I see one or more of the following:
• They’re creating content that adds no value to their target audience.
• They are unable to express their ideas in a clear, compelling way.
• They’re not paying attention to their analytics, and as a result, they have no idea where people are dropping off in their content.
Let’s look at each of these issues individually.Content has no value to your audience if you’re producing blog posts that add nothing to their lives. How can you determine what your audience needs? Ask them! Survey your audience or do some research on forums where they hang out and find out what they want. Or just ask them! I meet so many people who tell me they need help with SEO — but when I ask them how they got my name, they can’t remember how it came up. If you’re going to spend time writing for the web, create content that is relevant and helpful for your readers.
Content is painful to read when the writer doesn’t know how to express ideas in a clear manner. Copywriting is an art form; don’t hire someone who is self-taught in this skill. Have someone on your team who will
You don’t have a strategy for using social media to promote your content.
If you’re a B2C content marketer, you know that it’s more than just writing and publishing. You have to think about promotion. But most B2C marketers don’t have a strategy for using social media to promote their content.
I’m guessing you’re reading this blog post because you’ve finished reading the first one and you want to know how to fix your B2C content marketing strategy.
Here are some of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to their content marketing strategies, plus how they can be fixed.
1. You don’t have a strategy for using social media to promote your content.
Social media is an amazing tool for helping you build your brand, connect with potential customers and grow your influence, but it’s only as good as the plan you have in place for using it. Social media can be time-consuming, so if you aren’t clear about what you plan to do on social media in order to drive more traffic to your site and convert those visitors into raving fans, then don’t bother with it.
If you’re looking for help with your social media marketing strategy, check out my free online class that will walk you through the process of creating a rock solid plan for using social media to grow your business. Click here to get the details on that free training .
2. You aren’t leveraging video marketing or infographics in your content strategy. Video marketing and infographics are two of the best tools available to B2C
Your content is not being shared on social media. If you’re not seeing the results on social, then you are not doing it right. You need to rethink your strategy and start sharing again.
The biggest mistake B2C marketers make is that they don’t have a strategy for using social media to promote their content.
The second biggest mistake is that they don’t spend enough time and energy on creating great content that will be shared or linking to their other content.
You should be writing content just as if you were writing an article for a newspaper or a magazine.
You don’t know how your content is performing, or how you could improve.
Most content creators have no idea how successful their efforts are, or could be. This is true for both B2B and B2C companies.
Trying to play catch-up with your metrics will drive you crazy. To truly understand the value of your content, you need to know what your goals are and how you plan to get there before the first word is written.
The best way to do this? Create a map before you start writing. (I like Google My Maps because it’s simple, free, and always at my fingertips.) Give each piece of content a purpose and make sure that purpose aligns with your primary KPI (key performance indicator). This will ensure that you’re producing content that’s not just relevant but also valuable to your audience.
It’s challenging, but important, for B2C content marketers to understand how their content is performing. When clients ask questions about social media and content marketing efforts, it’s difficult to predict what the impact of that content will be. You can’t measure a return on investment the same way you would with a traditional advertisement or direct mail.
A great way to overcome this challenge is to create analytics reports on your content marketing efforts. What are people reading? Where are they engaging? Are there any patterns you can uncover?
We all know that marketing a business is hard. It’s especially hard in an industry like B2C content marketing, which is constantly changing and evolving. With so much happening, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks of creating your own content and forget what really matters: creating great content that resonates with your target audience.
The more we work with B2C brands and the more research we do into what resonates with consumers, the more we’ve seen big mistakes made again and again. Here are the top three things you should never do when creating your content strategy.
Not knowing who you’re talking to
When we first start working with a new brand, one of the first things we ask is “Who are you trying to reach?” If they can’t answer this question, then there’s a good chance their content isn’t going to resonate with anyone either. Your content needs to be built around your audience — everything from persona development to channel selection should be based on understanding them.
Strategy, not tactics
There’s a fine line between being tactical and being strategic about your content marketing efforts. It’s always tempting to dive straight in and create some killer pieces of content before you’ve had time to analyze everything.