Most marketers were schooled in the mentality that you need to get your message out at every opportunity; content marketing changed that rule.
Content Is Not An Ad
The problem is, not many people realize that content marketing should not be thought of as advertising.
Jeff Ogden of Find New Customers suggests that you stop selling and start helping. "As you envision and create content, the key is to position yourself not as a salesperson, but as a valuable resource." Failing to do this means that you run the risk of losing out on creating a customer for life.
But creating the wrong type of content isn't the only mistake that companies are making when it comes to content marketing. The way they go about creating content is also causing their efforts to come up short.
Automation Is No Miracle
In Inc.com Jayson DeMers of AudienceBloom predicts that businesses will look for ways to automate the content creation process to make it "more efficient and less labor-intensive." These efforts will do nothing but result in content that lacks quality and turns off consumers. Those who feel the urge to pursue automation should find their way back to a middle ground so that their content helps attract customers who find value in it, DeMers says.
The Long And Short Of It
Businesses also run the risk of getting the word count wrong when it comes to content marketing. Word count has proven to be an important ranking factor, with long-form content often ranking higher than thinner articles. But that can easily be misinterpreted. Long-form content that provides little value won't have the same effect as a shorter piece of content that really packs a punch. Content creators must also battle the average person's attention span, which isn't friendly to long-form content.
Marketers have to learn how to create content that provides enough information but has been written so that information can be chunked into shorter, easily consumed pieces.
Doing It The Right Way
Even people who have been on board with content marketing for years still make these basic mistakes because each one goes against what we were taught. Sell, sell, sell; do it cheaply and quickly; and of course more is better.
However take a look at this example of what content marketing can be about.
It is long at almost 800 words, but it is broken up nicely with five different sections, each providing something that adds value to the post. It doesn't mention any products or the brand at all – it simply exists to help readers better cope with holiday madness. Finally, it's well written. Clearly someone took time to create something that readers would find useful rather than regurgitate some of the same things that other sites are publishing around this time of the year.
Nothing about this post leaves readers with a bad taste in their mouth. It accomplishes its goal by drawing readers in and giving them something useful to take away. Odds are, people will come back to the site and buy because the company has earned their trust.