Marketing Bootcamp

3 Fatal Content-Marketing Mistakes You Need to Avoid

Join us for a free, live webinar and learn how to drive revenue with content marketing. Tune in 8/4 at 10:30 a.m. PT. Register Now »

Content Marketing is in a really good place right now. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 83 percent of B2B and 77 percent of B2C marketers have a content strategy in place. They are learning how to track content ROI because they realize that if they get their content strategy right, it has the potential to deliver sustainable results over the long term.

The key here is to get it "right". While content marketing is a valuable tactic, you cannot afford to take a wrong step.

For example, if you focus on content creation and ignore distribution, your content will have a limited audience. That will adversely impact its deliverables. If you don’t correct this error, you will find your content marketing campaign struggling to deliver returns. That will hurt your overall inbound marketing plan.

For this reason, you must avoid making mistakes that have the potential to destroy even the best-laid content marketing plans. As 2015 is upon us, it makes sense to identify content marketing mistakes that you must avoid this year. Let’s take a look at three of them:

1. Not creating "unusual" content.

Stay away from ordinary content. It will bring down your marketing campaign like a house of cards. Ordinary does not work anymore. Shift focus to "unusual" content that is imaginative, authoritative and extremely interesting.

There should be a sense of exclusivity about your content. It should be the kind of content that "only you are able to offer" and nobody else. This could take the form of inside news, personal stories revolving around your brand, case studies, podcasts showcasing contrarian view points or highly creative and informative videos (a la Whiteboard  Friday by Moz)

Unusual content stems from creative ideation. Stretch the limits of your imagination and research process to come up with content that makes its point in manner that is different, engaging, appealing and aligned with your predetermined marketing goals. Make sure such helps meet your business objectives.

Related: The Secret Ingredient for Succeeding at Content Marketing

2. Thinking content marketing is the new link building.

Unfortunately, there are still businesses and marketers who look at the process of content creation and distribution as a means of building high-quality links. If you are thinking along these lines, you are making a big mistake.

Content marketing is about active audience engagement and relationship building. You must use content to build audience connections that trigger conversations around your brand.

Link building is old school SEO, and Google frowns upon anything and everything that looks like a link building tactic. Today, there are many other factors that influence a site’s search rankings like UX, brand mentions, etc.

Google wants businesses to use quality content for educating customers, generating brand awareness, enhancing reputation and nurturing brand loyalty. This process, over the long term, will build a collection of relevant high authority links pointing to your website.

Think of these links as a bonus of your content marketing campaign that will boost site rank. If you see content marketing through the narrow prism of link building, you will get it terribly wrong.

Related: 22 Ways to Ramp Up Your Content-Marketing Strategy

3. Gaming search by producing low-quality content.

You cannot game search.

Google’s algorithm is constantly changing (courtesy of major and minor updates that are released throughout the year) as it seeks to keep improving the quality of search results. You might be able to fool the algorithm for some time, but it will wise up sooner rather than later.

So, if you are thinking of pulling wool over Google’s eyes by producing and publishing low-quality content, you’ve another thing coming. One of the worst things you can do to your content marketing strategy is produce thin content.

Forget delivering returns, such content will severely damage your credibility. Low-quality content that doesn’t add any value to the reader’s life tells your audience you don't care about their needs. If you persist in delivering such content, it will tear your brand reputation to shreds. It will be nearly impossible for your business to stage a comeback, if this happens.

So, take a good hard look at your content marketing campaign. Initiate immediate course correction, if you are making any of these mistakes. Any delay, will cost your dear.

Related: 3 Scary Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid