Content Marketing Missteps and Getting Your Brand Back on Track

Thursday Mar 7th, 2019

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As more people log onto their social accounts for a daily dose of digital sustenance, many brands are turning primarily to content marketing to better connect with current customers, reach new audiences, and build trust with consumers. However, this media-sodden landscape is still uncharted territory for many brands, leading them to make detrimental missteps in their promotional strategies. To provide a sense of direction for those meandering through this digital terrain, we’ve outlined five common content marketing mistakes and how to avoid them.

Nearly one in four people have installed ad-blockers on their mobile devices.

1. Undetermined Audience

When composing content, whatever the medium, it’s important to remember who you’re writing for. As with other marketing endeavors, your content strategy should align with the age, location, gender, income, and interests of the consumers you are trying to reach. By targeting a specific demographic, you’ll be able to narrow the scope of your content to fit the ideal consumer through more appealing and exciting material. Plus, casting too wide a net can be costly on your advertising budget, especially if you’re rolling out a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign. On the other hand, it is possible to be too niche with your content strategy. Make sure that your market is broad enough to attract new followers that may be right on the fringe, but not so expansive that you get lost in the noise of modern social marketing. To help you define your target market as well the context and scope of your content, consider:

  • Your current demographic
  • Your competition’s demographic
  • Your demographic’s social media usage
  • Your demographic’s presumed psychographics (attitudes, aspirations, values)
  • Your previous campaign’s data (if applicable)

For instance, if you’re targeting a millennial market, it’s critical to have a smart social media strategy, especially with Instagram. Pew Research noted a mindblowing 71% of 18-to-24-year-old Americans use Instagram every day! This photo-heavy platform is particularly useful for industries including:

  • Food
  • Travel
  • Media
  • Sports
  • Auto
  • Beauty
  • Fashion
  • Fitness

2. Disconnected Subject Matter

Once you’ve defined who you’re speaking to, you must decide what you’re talking about. Perhaps the most obvious potential topic is your brand’s product or service offerings, but this can only take you so far before your content seems too “salesy.” Remember, the average consumer can be exposed to nearly 10,000 branded messages per day, so if you’re looking to connect with your audience, you need to do more than merely create another ad. Rather than making a pitch with every post, craft content that your target audience would find:

  • Digestible
  • Helpful
  • Informative
  • Meaningful
  • Relevant
  • Valuable

Simply put: consumers are looking for content that will evoke emotion and resonate with them. Serve your audience by creating content for people, not just sales dollars.


3. Not Consulting Your Data

When it comes to data, don’t just use it to obsess over return on investment (ROI); use it to paint a picture of your audience. By tracking key performance indicators (KPIs), you’ll be better prepared to position future content for higher rates of engagement. By utilizing data, you’ll have a clear view of what’s working with your audience, be it the platform they’re using, subject matter they like, or media they prefer. That being said, you’ll want to roam off the beaten path from time to time to see if you notice any demographic outliers that are currently underserved and craving the type of content you’re producing. For marketers, it’s important to remember that the audiences of social media platforms are always in a state of flux.

4. Overtly Advertorial

People are looking for interesting and informative content, not advertisements. Case in point, GlobalWebIndex found that:

  • Nearly one in four people have installed ad-blockers on their mobile devices
  • One in two smartphone owners say they would prefer to block all ads
  • Nearly six in ten U.S. males have installed ad-blockers
  • Over four in ten U.S. females have installed ad-blockers

Furthermore, researchers have discovered that “ad-frustration is the primary driver behind current ad-blocking uptake in the U.S.” For this reason, smart brands have started using content to reach consumers (and it’s also why influencer marketing is so effective). Through creative content and influencer marketing, consumers get to avoid advertisements and instead take recommendations from the influencers they’ve grown to know and trust. In fact, ReportLinker found that a staggering 59% of people accept online recommendations from strangers as much as they do from friends.

5. Inconsistency

When it comes to content marketing, consistency is critical—this includes timing and design. In a world that’s rapidly changing, brands need to take the opportunity to be a rock for their audiences. Create a consistent content schedule with your marketing department to ensure your brand is always top of mind. Furthermore, make sure the branding is homogeneous. Lucidpress found that when businesses consistently present themselves within and across platforms, they are three to four times more likely to experience brand visibility. Furthermore, the average revenue increase attributed to a consistent brand presentation is 23%. If producing content isn’t conducive to your schedule, consider having other content creators and micro-influencers do it for you. Interestingly, this is a marketing strategy that can benefit from some flexibility. In fact, businesses should encourage influencers to take creative control, even if the products aren’t presented within brand guidelines.

What Consumers Want

Nowadays, consumers don’t just want to buy from a brand; they want to interact with it. Give your audience something to engage with by aligning yourself with micro-influencers that have the power to build trust for your brand, have access to defined and avid audiences, and can lighten the content-crush for your marketing team. To learn more about content marketing and how to connect with content creators, contact ApexDrop today.