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Content Marketing Mistakes

Hungry for some truth? Today’s your lucky day!

“Content marketing may be a relatively simple strategy,” says CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group. “That doesn’t mean it’s easy.” These are the wise words of Michael Brenner. (Psst… For those who don’t know Brenner, he’s a content marketing pro!)

Brenner’s words considered, it’s likely that your business is making some mistakes when it comes to content and your marketing strategy. Here are the top five mistakes you’re making with your content!

Not Using Keywords

Keywords? SEO? What does it all mean!? Don’t worry. Let’s start at the beginning.

Search engine optimization, also known as SEO, is a way that marketers tailor their content to appeal to search engines. Popular examples of search engines include Google, Yahoo!, and MSN Search. In today’s world, search engines rule the scene!

SEO keywords, also known as keywords or keyphrases, are “terms added to online content in order to improve search engine rankings,” according to Backlinko. Having a set of target keywords for your business is crucial because they are the bridge between what people search for and the services or products you provide.

To build this list, you must complete thorough and frequent keyword research. Keyword research is “the process by which you research popular search terms people type into search engines like Google.” Then, using said research, you strategize how to include these keywords in your content. Thus, placing you higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).

A higher ranking can improve your chances at business, deem you as an authority in the market, and increase a client’s likelihood of trusting or choosing to do business with you. 

Consider this: If you were searching for a new veterinarian for your dog, would you scroll to the fifth page of results on Google to the vet with a bleak social presence? Or, would you be more likely to trust a business that popped up on page one with hundreds of positive reviews and photos?

For this reason, it’s important that all of your content is optimized with relevant, targeted keywords. You want to rank higher on Google, don’t you!?

For more on why SEO is important for a financial services company (or any company for that matter!), visit this article. We promise you’ll walk away having learned something new.

An additional mistake to be wary of, (and often a byproduct of having a list of relevant keywords that you’re using on a consistent basis!), however, is keyword stuffing.

Keyword stuffing, as defined by Google, is “the practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results.” In short, you’ve gone too far! You know… there is such a thing as over-optimizing, and keyword stuffing is exactly that.

It’s a fine line to walk for sure. Our SEO team at Digital Storyteller can help you there.

Failing to Cater to Your Audience

Hooray! You’ve launched your business. Now, who should you market to? Some people might think, “If we market to everyone, we’ll

The truth of the matter is that your business, product, or services might not appeal to everyone. As Chris Do, Emmy award-winning designer, director, and CEO and founder of The Futur, once said, “If we cater to everyone, we’ll stand for no one.”

So, get eerily specific about who your audience is.

Learn who they are, what makes them tick, what they need and want. Who is benefitting from your business? What motivates them? Who holds influence over them?

Then, use this information to inform your branding, brand voice, and brand archetypes. These three elements are what help your brand become uniquely recognizable.

Narrowing down a specific target audience and catering to them specifically makes what you offer more memorable. Plus, when you cater to your audience and consider what they might want first, your chances of winning over their trust are higher. It’s a win-win!

As a business owner, when you only write content that you want to write, instead of what your prospects are searching for or need, you set yourself up for failure in an instant. (Just think how different your target audience is from you!)

Instead of writing whatever the heck you want, we’d recommend writing what’s trending. And no… we don’t mean “trending” in the sense of what’s currently trending on TikTok or Instagram. When we say “what’s trending,” we’re talking about what your prospects or target audience is currently searching for.

In other words, there’s a difference between what you want to talk about and what your prospects want to talk about. As Regina George from Mean Girls would say, “Stop trying to make fetch happen. It’s never going to happen.”

For those who are unfamiliar with the 2004 American teen comedy film, stop trying to make prospects interested in what you are interested in. You’re there to serve them.

Content Marketing Mistakes

At Digital Storyteller, we use SEMRush—an all-in-one tool suite that helps improve our clients’ online visibility. We use tools like SEMRush to conduct topic research. (Yes, you should be researching what to write about! Not just writing anything and everything you find interesting.)

SEMRush provides a ton of information on keywords and topic research including keyword difficulty % and search volume. 

Keyword difficulty shows you how hard it is “to rank in Google’s organic search results for a specific term” whereas search volume measures how many people are searching for a particular topic, keyword, or question.

Simply put, to be on top of your content marketing game, you need to answer relevant questions that are being asked frequently. After all, you don’t want to write content that no one is searching for in the first place!

Writing Too Much or Not Enough Content

This one is pretty self-explanatory. If you’re writing too much, your content will get swept under the rug. Longer doesn’t always mean better! Remember, it’s not the 1800s anymore, aka you’re not the author who is getting paid per page that they write.

Moreover, attention spans are shrinking. In fact, a recent study by Microsoft concluded that the human attention span has shrunk nearly 25% in just a few years. Search engines are getting smarter every day.

Even if you write the longest article ever, filled to the brim with what you think is juicy information, Google will not rank you well if your content fails to meet the needs of that target audience we chatted about earlier on in this article.

Finding the sweet spot between too much content or not enough is a tightrope, but with our help, we know you can do it! Think Goldilocks…

And of course, it’s equally important that prospects and existing clients are engaging with your brand. This might look like likes, comments, clicks, shares, and so on. When you have high levels of engagement in today’s day and age, algorithms reward you by pushing your content to more people (which leads to brand awareness aka exactly what you want!)

Your Content is a Walking Sales Pitch

Let’s face it. You’re not Jordan Belfort. Today, people look for more than just a sales pitch. People are drawn to stories.

Consider: how do you feel receiving constant ads or pitches? At Digital Storyteller, we think it’s pretty annoying, and would recommend that instead, you try your hand at telling a story.

Why? “Storytelling enables marketers to develop a deeper connection with the audience,” according to Forbes. “[It] is a fundamental human experience that unites people and drives stronger, deeper connections.” (Well, duh! Storytelling even goes back as far as the cavemen days.)

National Geographic is a top-notch example of a brand that implements great storytelling.

Their awe-inspiring images paired with their captivating stories keep people coming back for more. Check out this example from their Instagram!

National Geographic

By crafting a story, you provide value.

It can be used to educate, share, communicate, and connect.

Instead of overselling your content, focus on a call to action (CTA) instead. CTAs with strong action words that evoke emotion.Feeling overwhelmed? Here is all you need to know about crafting organic content creation to grab your prospects’ attention plus four tips on how to organize content!

SEO SEM

When it comes to digital marketing, the number of three-letter acronyms is so high, sometimes we find our heads spinning! But don’t worry.

At Digital Storyteller, we’re here to help you identify the difference between two who share many similarities and differences. Enter SEO and SEM. So, let’s get started with SEO vs. SEM: What’s the Difference?

What is SEO?

First things first, let’s individually define the two. At Digital Storyteller, we talk a lot about Search Engine Optimization or SEO. For those just now getting on the SEO train, let’s start with the basics!

According to Moz, SEO is “the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.” SEO is how marketers tailor their content to appeal to search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.

For example, you might search ‘coffee shop near me’ or ‘coffee shop open late’ on Google. The way that Google then provides results based on your search is determined by SEO. SEO is the tool that tells Google, “Hey! This is what information my website has, this is what I’m talking about, and these are the types of people that would find my website interesting!”

For more on SEO, meta descriptions, title tags, SEO strategy, link building, ranking factors, and so on, check out this article for 10 tips to maximize your SEO efforts this year, this article we wrote on why SEO is important, or one of our newest articles on how to effectively combine SEO and content marketing!

What is SEM?

Now let’s talk SEM. We promise, it’s not as scary as it sounds, and definitely not as scary as STEM!

SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. And what’s search engine marketing, you might ask? SEM, according to Optimizely, is “a digital marketing strategy used to increase the visibility of a website in search engine results pages (SERPs).”

In the past, SEM typically encompassed both organic and paid search. Today, however, it almost exclusively refers to paid search advertising.

If you’ve begun to put the puzzle pieces together, you might be thinking to yourself, “Huh… That sounds a lot like pay per click, or PPC.” Well, if so, congrats! SEM, paid search, and PPC are all used interchangeably.

In a final attempt to provide clarity for you, SEM is “the act of using paid strategies to increase search visibility.” Every day, businesses pay big money for their ads to rank first on search engine results pages. Hint: You can tell when businesses are using SEM by the bold “Ad” text that accompanies a search result.

SEO SEM

Similarities vs. Differences

Let’s first start with a bullet list of similarities. Both SEO and SEM:

  • Use keyword research
  • Help your business appear in search results
  • Increase traffic to your website
  • Only work if you have a specific target audience and keywords
  • Require ongoing effort (i.e. optimization, monitoring)

Here are some differences between SEO and SEM:

  • SEO search results include featured snippets whereas SEM search results might include phone numbers, additional links, or callouts.
  • SEO takes time, but once you reach a high ranking on a search engine, you typically stay there. SEM, on the other hand, is rather immediate, which also means that your ranking is not permanent.
  • More people are likely to click through organic SEO results in comparison to SEM.
  • Like previously mentioned, SEM includes the bold “Ad” text in a search result.
  • Every time someone clicks your SEM result, you are charged. Hence the term, “pay per click.”
  • SEM is easier to experiment with.

So, What’s Best for Your Business?

We know, we just dumped a lot of information on you! (But it’s golden, so you’re welcome!) Now that you have a grasp on SEO and SEM, their similarities and differences, it’s time that you explore making an informed decision about which to use for your business.

Consider the following:

  • Do you know your industry yet?
  • Typical cost per click in your industry
  • Is your business relatively new? What is the overall health of your website?
  • Your client buying cycles
  • Who is your competition?

These questions can help inform how you compare to competition as far as search goes. 

As a quick and final word as far as definitions go, as put simply by our fantastic SEO Manager here at Digital Storyteller, “When comparing SEO and SEM, SEM is considered broader. You could even consider SEO as a type of SEM in a sense.”Still not clear on which is best for you? Learn more about how to optimize your content for search here. After all, investing time and resources into content development is in a sense useless if not properly optimized.

Marketing Agencies

Marketing agencies today have more tools than ever to support clients in their marketing efforts. Content creation, website design, SEO optimization, the list goes on. But at Digital Storyteller, we have our eyes on a few agencies in particular. Here are the eight best marketing agencies in San Diego.


KWSM

KWSM

Founded: 2010 by Katie Wagner after retiring from her TV news career

Where:

  • Orange County, CA
  • San Diego, CA
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Las Vegas, NV

Specialty: Boy, oh boy! KWSM does it all. While every plan is different, they specialize in creating customized digital marketing strategies that help clients get results through:

  • Social Media Management
  • Content Creation
  • Website Design and Management
  • Content Optimization (SEO)
  • Online Advertising
  • PR and Influencer Marketing
  • Video and Photography
  • Social Media Coaching
  • Speaking and Workshops

Their Mission: According to their site, “KWSM exists to help great companies make genuine connections with their customers. We believe good business starts with strong relationships, and the best way to build them is by sharing your story.”


Digitopia

Digitopia

Founded: In 2004

Where: Carlsbad, CA

Our Promise: “We promise to deliver strategic insights. We’ll be easy to work with. And, most importantly, we’ll never leave you in the dark.”

Their Approach: Digitopia uses the phrase process, platforms, people to guide their B2B digital growth strategies.

“We take the stress of inbound marketing off your plate allowing you to focus on all the other important parts of your job. Whether you need…

  • HubSpot help, or
  • Content and inbound strategies (that actually bring in traffic and leads), or
  • Online advertising purpose-built to optimize your spend

…we have you covered.”


Brandetize

Brandetize

Founded: In 2001

Specialty: Strategy, lead generation, website, branding, sales conversions, technology and analytics, and more

What makes Brandetize different from other marketing agencies? Brandetize offers:

  • “Full-service customer lifecycle marketing
  • Customer focused, cohesive goals
  • We’re thinkers, not just doers
  • Strategy comes first, then we execute
  • Thoroughly seasoned staff of experts
  • Partnership model: Get results and write a check from the increase in sales
  • We don’t profit until you profit”

Office of Awesome

Office of Awesome

Founded: By dynamic duo Rebecca Tall Brown and Leah Prehn, 2015

Specialty: Aside from being awesome? Office of Awesome offers hourly brand advisory services, 12 to 18-month brand breakthrough strategy, and two to ten-year brand architecture strategy. They promise to take what you have and make it even more awesome!

Why They Rock: “We’re a brand strategy consultancy that builds brand experiences on the foundation of smart business strategy. Using our inside out approach, we capture the momentum of all that is working in your existing brand, improve on it, and package the results in a market-ready plan… We see the unseen areas of your business that we can fix, clarify or define before you spend time and money on external branding or marketing.”


Raindrop Branding + Advertising

Raindrop Marketing

Founded: By Jacques Spitzer and Adam Wagner! (Raindrop compares these two to oreos and milk and peanut butter and jelly. In other words, they’re the perfect pair!)

Specialty: Simply put, Raindrop helps build your brand and build your audience. At Raindrop, “our goal with every client is to take you to your next level by helping new audiences to discover you, crafting deeper relationships with your core audiences and allowing you to confidently be the best version of yourself.”

Plus, their video production is top-notch! In fact, they have accrued more than 400,000,000 video views for their clients, been awarded two Emmys, and have produced the #1 performing Youtube ad of 2020.

The Story Behind the Name: It all begins with this quote: “True friendship looks like raindrops coming together on a window-sill; beautifully and effortlessly before your eyes.” 

As written on their site, “I think we can all agree; best friends are… well, the best. They are there for us, cheering us on, listening to us and helping us to live our best lives. We imagined that same level of trust, open communication and fun-loving spirit as the foundation for our work.

“The result is a truly special connection with our clients that we believe inspires even greater work. Being a Raindropper means partnering generously and creating strategically. We revel in the success of our clients and celebrate the collaborative culture that we share as a team.”


Power Digital

Power Digital

With Offices In… San Diego, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco

Who Are We? Power Digital is “a cutting-edge, nationally recognized digital marketing agency dedicated to elevating your brand through innovative marketing solutions, custom strategies, channel expertise, and flawless execution.”

Some Rules They Live By: Integrity, loyalty, trust, challenge yourself, find the solution, embrace change, don’t take yourself too seriously, and more as seen here!

What They Do: A better question would be, “What don’t they do!?” Power Digital offers:

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Amazon Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Creative
  • CRO
  • Diligence
  • Email Marketing
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Organic Social
  • Paid Media
  • Paid Social
  • PR and Outreach
  • SEO
  • Web Development

Wayward Kind

Wayward Kind

Founded: By Jules Taggart (Psst… She’s kind of awesome. Jules loves riding on the back of a motorcycle with her husband, running near the beach, and her two daughters, Olympia and Helena)

Who Do They Serve? Although Wayward Kind represents clients from a variety of industries, all of their clients are hell-bent on shaking up their industry for the better. “We actively seek out clients who are purposefully wayward and not afraid to go their own way… We work with challenger brands who are making a significant impact in race, class, and gender equity.”

Their values include human connection, libration, no noise, and low ego, high impact.

What Makes Them Different? Wayward Kind is a digital marketing team “built on the belief that effective marketing is rooted in human connection. We help ordinary businesses have extraordinary conversations with their clients… we help you start and nurture online conversations that bring in new clients.”


3Q Digital

3Q Digital

Founded: By David Rodnitzky out of a coffee shop in Pacifica, CA, in 2008

Their Motto: Infinite Possibilities. Infinite Growth.

Why They Rock: 3Q Digital is growing, growing, growing! With six U.S. locations, two international presences, and over 20 virtual locations, this marketing agency can work with you wherever you are!

3Q Digital Offers…

  • SEO
  • Conversion Rate Optimization
  • Programmatic
  • Analytics
  • CTV/OTT
  • Strategy and Planning
  • Digital Due Diligence
  • Creative
  • And more!

At the end of the day, there isn’t a hard and fast answer for which marketing agency you should use. Each company is unique! (But we think you should choose to work with us!) If you’re ready to take a look at what our outsourced marketing services would look like for you, contact our team at Digital Storyteller today.

We know we’d make a great team, we’re just waiting on you!

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