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!
Writing Whatever the Heck You Want (Instead of What’s Trending!)
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.
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!
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!