Creative Marketing | 27/09/2016

Content marketing: what not to do

Posted by Lawrence Greenlee

Content marketing is a crucial element of most marketing strategies. Rightly so, it’s easier to communicate your brand, expertise and all-round greatness in a blog or article than it is using any other medium. Whilst it’s great that so many marketers and businesses have been jumping on the content bandwagon as of late, there are mistakes that we see crop up time and again. That’s why we’re going a bit Trinny and Susannah on you in this post (sorry); we’ve created the ultimate ‘what not to wear’ of the content marketing world.

Don’t write off good grammar

Please edit! This should be your mantra: Write, Read, Revise, Repeat. The aim of written (or any) content is to position you as a credible, knowledgeable source. If your piece is riddled with typos and grammatical misdeeds, you’re not communicating to your reader that you’re a bonafide expert in your field and your key message might be drowned out by silly mistakes. What’s more, a piece with lots of errors looks sloppy and rushed. You want to let your audience know that this blog has been hand-crafted for them with love and care, not something you’ve done last minute. A little proofing and editing can go a long way in boosting your brand.

Don’t just focus on the short term

When writing content, ask yourself, ‘hey, what’s the big idea?’ Meaningful content needs to have meaning behind it. Simple as that. Ask yourself what you want to achieve with your content. It’s no good having one piece of really great content. That doesn’t count as a content strategy, and, eventually, it will start to get old. Look at the big picture and plan timeless content in advance. This will make you interesting and help you stay relevant both customer-wise and search engine-wise.

Don’t forget manners

A little manners go a long way. Writing content is no exception. A good content marketing strategy creates communication that goes two ways. Just like a real life conversation. And, in a real life conversation, etiquette dictates that we don’t focus on ourselves all the time. So it goes that your content should focus more on your reader than on you or your product. Relatable information is valuable information, so think carefully about what your readers are looking for.

Don’t always go for the hard sell, but don’t forget a call to action

It pays to take a step back. As we’ve just seen, readers are looking for content that will help them, not a bombardment of information about your product. Writing things that you know your customers will want to read will help you build brand loyalty and clients who come back time and again. But, don’t forget the CTA or a small reminder of your brand, just to keep you and your amazing content at the forefront of your reader’s mind.

Don’t dumb it down but don’t go overboard with jargon either

Gauging the intelligence level or expertise of your client is really important in making sure the message you’re trying to communicate actually gets through. If you’ve dumbed your content down, your readers are going to feel patronised, and they won’t be happy about it. On the other hand, if you’ve jammed as much jargon in there as possible there’s a high chance that a lot of your audience won’t understand it. Just because you feel clever writing it, your reader might not feel clever reading it. They won’t be happy about that either. Another danger is that your message might be lost altogether in a sea of industry speak. This defeats the object of writing content altogether.

Don’t brush content off

Content is the main event and should never be treated as an afterthought. If you’re embarking on a content marketing strategy, you’ll soon find that it drives all of your other forms of marketing. It’s the glue that holds all of your other channels together. So, chances are, if your content isn’t in tip-top condition, it will be tricky to get your other marketing endeavours to the standard that you’d like.

Don’t forget other forms of content

Finally, remember, there’s more content than the bog standard article or blog post. You’ve got a whole range of forms to choose from. We’re thinking video, infographic, eBooks, opinion pieces, podcasts, interviews, whitepapers… the list goes on.

If you need a hand formulating an amazing content marketing strategy or your current one needs a little pick-me-up, feel free to give us a ring on 01273 208913 or pop into our HQ for a coffee and a chat.