In this article, I will share with you the 6 very common mistakes marketers make when starting with content marketing for small business and how you can fix that, step-by-step.
You probably heard about content marketing and its benefits and how other people and companies are gaining great results from content marketing which you can achieve as well, whether you are a small business or large business. But of course, you must avoid doing mistakes.
When I started content marketing for small business, I made a lot of mistakes that influence my results which I had to fix to get the optimal results from content marketing. That causes me to slow down but I have learned a lot.
And these mistakes are made by a lot of marketers whether they are experienced or not, as starting your content marketing for a small business is different from already doing content marketing for established brands.
Therefore let me share with you the 6 very common content marketing mistakes I and other marketers made when started content marketing for small businesses.
1. Not Having Proper Content Marketing Plan
The first and very common content marketing mistake is not having a proper content marketing plan in place.
Far too often I am seeing marketers or business owners just writing articles without actually planning what they will be producing.
And according to the Content Marketing Institute, 63% of businesses don’t have a documented content strategy, which can cause poor content creation workflow and poor results.
This is a mistake that causes businesses to give up on content marketing as they can’t see the results that they want to achieve. And this is because they have no plan that they can follow and they just drift around.
A plan helps you to focus on your targets and goals and start driving better results, for example, you need to have a plan for your company blog to know what keywords you want to target to start ranking for that particular keywords.
And this is extremely important as just randomly produce content will not rank high.
So, what can you do about it?
First, you need to sit down and come up with 2-3 keywords you want to really rank for. Like for example for me, it could be Content Marketing, SEO, and Digital Marketing.
Second, start planning your content marketing only around those keywords and I really recommend you start with only 2 keywords maximum 3.
And I have produced the entire video about How to Create a Content Marketing Plan for Small Business so check it out here this video, so you know how to go about it and fix it.
2. Focusing on Wrong Keywords or Not at All within Their Content
The second mistake marketers make when starting content marketing is focusing on wrong keywords or not having focus at all within their content.
Keywords are the most important for conversion rate, click-through rate, open rate, and anything related to create an effective content marketing strategy.
Therefore, if your content marketing strategy has the wrong keyword targeting you will be driving different website traffic that will not convert because they are not your buyers.
Like for example, my blog is about business marketing, but if my keywords will be mostly around business finance and operation, then my traffic or users are not the people who I want to attract, to convert them for my products or services. Therefore, my content marketing strategy will be ineffective.
So how can you fix that?
First, you need to find your related keywords to your business. So ask yourself question what’s my business about? For example, My Business is about selling exotic coffee or My Business is about helping businesses with Finance.
Then take the two most important words or three, which are exotic coffee and Business Finance. Then use one of the keyword research tools, like for example:
KeywordTool.io where you put the keyword Exotic Coffee and you got plenty of ideas, also you can choose Questions or prepositions. The same applies to Ubersuggest…
Or even better, buy the book and read it and you have enough keywords for your content marketing.
Also, I have talked about more about keywords and how to select them in this video, so check it out.
3. Spread Themselves Too Much Across Too Many Content Channels
The third mistake marketers make when starting content marketing is just go on too many channels at the same time and then having a hard time keeping up.
The truth is, having multiple channels is a great strategy for many reasons, such as multiple lead and traffic sources, Good for SEO and to improve your customer experience.
But if your team is not large enough, then you just spread yourself too thin and you will be not able to manage it effectively and you will not drive any positive results for your marketing.
Therefore you must properly estimate your marketing resources so you are not aiming too high that will discourage your team or too low that you will not see any results.
So how can you fix it?
The first I can recommend to your small business is to start with a maximum of 3 basic channels and get them right. That are one social media channel, email marketing, and blogging. Those channels are already proven to drive high-quality leads.
Therefore, it is great to start with them, but also it depends on your business, industry and how large is your marketing team, is it just you as a business owner or 1 marketing member?
But you can also hire freelancers from Fiverr or UpWork to help you with social media or email marketing.
With blogging, I would recommend you learn how to write blog posts as you are the subject matter experts or you can find freelancers within your industry, but generally speaking, if you want good quality blogs, then you need to spend more money on this.
Because finding a good and creative writer for your niche is quite difficult because most of them are writing already for themselves or are taken by some else who is paying very well for their services.
4. Not Producing Content for Target Audience & Buyer Personas
The fourth mistake marketers make when starting content marketing is not producing content for their target audience & buyer personas.
This one is a big one. You need to know that whenever you are producing content it is for the people who want and can buy your products or services, and not for yourself.
This will highly help you with prequalifying your leads and reducing your time to qualify them yourself.
Therefore, if you are starting your content marketing you need to know who is the target audience and buyer personas. Because it will lead you to produce your content for them and around their interest. This leads to a higher conversion rate, speeding up the sales cycle, and reduce cost per acquisition.
So how can you produce your content marketing for target audience & buyer Personas?
First, you need to create your target audience and buyer personas. The easiest way to do that is to look at your current best customers and find similarities within demographics and firmographics such as age, location, gender, job title, a certain position, hobbies, etc.
Then create your personas, which is basically a fake ideal customer, based on the information from the target audience.
To give you an example, let’s use the targeted keyword examples from previous, which are Exotic Coffee and Business Finance so:
Mr. Peter, is 30 years old, working as a finance manager with long hours and very often working overtime. Morning Special Coffee is the ritual he can’t give up staying productive throughout the day. Also, Mr. Peter has a small team so, he needs an effective accounting system to streamline and automate repetitive tasks, to be more productive.
And there you go, this is just an example of a buyer persona for exotic coffee and business finance.
I have written entire articles about Target Audience and Buyer Personas, so check it out.
5. Focusing Only on SEO
The fifth mistake marketers make when starting content marketing is focusing only on SEO and not on their target audience.
This mistake is similar to the fourth mistake which is producing your content marketing for Google or YouTube and not for your target audience.
And obviously, when you are trying to build a following you would want to generate the most amount of traffic for your content. So what’s actually wrong with that?
Well, the problems with that and I see them very often is because the search engines algorithm is built to find the best content for its users.
So even thou you might theoretically rank very well in beginning with your content but that only a very short time, because once your readers will arrive the user experience and the quality of content will be not there and they will leave.
Which of course will send signals to Google, that this content is not good and will be quickly replaced by other ones.
So what should you do instead?
Focusing on SEO is very important of course, but remember, your users comes always first as search engines search for the best quality content for its users like I said.
Therefore first when you are producing content after the initial research. Just focus on your buyer personas for who you creating this and don’t be bother by SEO.
Once you produce the awesome quality content, then you can do the search engine optimization. Remember, it called optimization, that you optimize your content not search engine creation to create your content only around a search engine.
And this is my 5 quick SEO tips for your content marketing
- Instead of “It”, use a keyword, for example: “It helps to attract more clients” so instead “content marketing helps attract more clients” but don’t go overboard
- Add your image alt-text with proper description and use the keyword within.
- Name your featured picture the same way like your article and add your brand name
- Add internal links throughout your new content. (TIP: Use ctrl+f and search for those keywords you already produce content. For example, I am writing an article about content marketing strategies and I know I already produced content about SEO strategies, so like this, I can quickly find if I have related phrases where I can put an internal link.)
- And the last one is to focus on your meta description and headline. Of course, use your keyword within it and give it some spice so people want to click on it and read more.
So like I said, SEO is a big part of your content marketing, especially for your blog and social media, but don’t let it be in the way of your content marketing, remember, well-produced content has a bigger impact rather than poorly made which great SEO.
6. Never Update Their Content
The sixth content marketing mistakes that are unfortunately done by many marketers is that they never update their content marketing, especially their blogs or ebooks.
Unfortunately, I cannot find research done about content marketing updates, but from my memory, I can say only around 30% of marketers update their content marketing regularly and the rest is keep producing new content.
Study conducted by SEMrush, 2019 has shown that 51% of companies say updating old content has proven the most efficient tactic implemented.
And of course, there are many great benefits of regularly updating your old content such as:
- Improve click-through rate
- Increase website traffic
- increase the lifespan of an article
- ease your job
and many more…
So how can you update your content?
The first go into your Google Search Console and find the articles that have been doing well a year ago or two years back, but now are not getting any more traffic or very low.
And it is quite easy to do. Just go into your Google Search Console, click on performance, select data and move it to 1 year back, and choose pages.
Now, this is where you open the old post and trying to find the keywords that are high performing for the page, but you are not really mentioning that particular keyword. Once you find 3-5 keywords that your page was ranking for but you have not mentioned them, then take those keywords and include them within the content. Add new sections, rewrite old sections, and so on. Also, try to update the pictures as well or videos.
And there you have it, the easy way how you can update your content marketing.
In this article, I do not want to discourage you from starting a content marketing for your business or overwhelmed you by all the things you must ensure are done so your content marketing is well-performing.
I do understand that it is a lot of things that need to be done, and do not worry if you will make these mistakes. It will definitely not ruin everything and still it it better to have so content than non.
Remember, practice makes perfect. Therefore focus on one or two mistakes that you know you are making the most often and fix those and doing it like this until you are completely mistake-free. (Not sure if that is possible.)
And don’t beat yourself for making mistakes, mistakes are a great way to learn. As long as you learn from your mistakes and trying to not repeat them you will be alright.
Also, I want to mention that I am still making mistakes too, even those I have mentioned just now. It is normal to forget something. Therefore I have always someone that corrects it and makes sure I do not have these mistakes.
Anyway, I hope you have learned something new and enjoyed my article.
Some pictures are coming from Freepik and some of my links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase something, I might get some small commission as a reward for reference. Of course, I am actively using all these services and products and I only affiliate products or service I have full trust in their quality!