Have you put a huge number of hours into your online presence, just to reap little benefit? There could be many reasons that your brand is failing online but perhaps none more important than your content strategy. Long pushed to the side as the secondary element to a brand's growth, content has pushed its way to the front lines and can make or break almost any company. Here are the things you might be doing wrong and tips to learn how to fix them.

One Without the Other

One of the biggest mistakes companies make is creating the content without marketing it. There are millions of blogs and opinion pieces all over the Internet. Making yours relevant is key. Just because it is on the Internet does not mean that it will reach people naturally. It is important that you take the time to market the content you produce. That is the point of the content in the first place - to market your business. In fact, marketing the content might actually demand more time than creating the content itself. Do you have an email list? Send the content to them! Use your social media. Put the word out.

Constant Advertising

I harp on this one all the time. The point of content marketing is to share something with potential consumers that is engaging, informative and not necessarily all about your product. Make your content customer centered, not product centered. Leave the advertising to your advertisements. Share something worth sharing and learning. Your consumers want to read something that is worth their time, so don't waste what time they give you, or you may not get any more of it. That doesn't mean you can't write a how-to that might include use of your product; just remember to keep it interesting and engaging.

Failing to Engage

Obviously this is the buzzword for content marketing. When you post content to your social media, there is a likely chance that someone will comment on it with some sort of statement, negative or positive. By making sure to reply to every one separately, you are still selling your business and product and they may not even recognize it. I recommend thanking people who make negative comments for their input without starting an argument.

Typos

This is probably the most overlooked step in content marketing, and one we all fall victim to here and there. The first draft of a content piece is just that--a first draft. There should be more drafts and multiple sets of eyes looking at it multiple times. Want to keep people interested in what you are posting? Make sure it is grammatically correct. There is nothing like a poorly written article to scare people off.

Not Having a Point of View

You absolutely cannot be considered a professional or expert if you do not have a stance or point of view. Standing in the middle or riding the fence can be boring and may make your content less than helpful. Even if a customer does not agree with your stance, they are more likely to respect you for having one than trying to be a people pleaser. People pleasers aren't trustworthy; they'll tell you what you want to hear to gain popularity. Stand up for something and have a point of view.

Holding Out Content

When you create content for your consumers, you are telling them that you are going to deliver consistently. One of the biggest contributors to content marketing failing is businesses discontinuing production of content itself. If consumers are hooked on your content and interested in what you have to say, they will come back to read more. If you quit, that's certainly going to stop (or significantly slow down) new customers from finding you. Continue to create content, and continue to create it in an interesting and engaging way.

Ignoring Your Employees

You ignore your employees at your own peril. They can be one of your largest assets when it comes to content article ideas or social media reach. Use their expertise and interests to create content that your customers and readers want to read. Rely on them to share your content to their friends and colleagues online. Your employees are the life breath of your company. Use that to your benefit.

Published on: Dec 15, 2015