Content marketing is a great way to spread the word about your business or organization and grow your customer base, but time is a valuable resource and you want to ensure that yours is not being wasted. Communications, including everything from blogs and videos to brochures, websites and TikToks, are your link to the public, but if you’re making simple mistakes, you’re failing to maximize the value of your efforts. Avoid these seven errors and grow your business this year!
Not Truly Knowing Your Audience
Some groups go to great lengths to profile their customers, and it often pays off. You likely already possess an intuitive understanding of your customer base, but don’t underestimate the value of a formalized report! Not only will this help you make better product offering decisions, it will improve your communications efforts, and allow for more targeted social media and pay-per-click campaigns.
For example, at Peak Ed Designs, we have identified our main target audience as coaches and educators, along with service based companies and small business website owners. As a result, we strive to provide content that is relevant to these groups, such as the piece you’re reading right now.
Failing to Set Business Goals
Good business owners understand that, while goals can evolve, an organization should never be operating in the absence of solid targets and objectives. Are you trying to grow a certain aspect of your business? Boost repeat business? Increase your exposure to a particular audience? Communicating without established goals is akin to walking in the forest with no compass; if it leads you somewhere good, it’s probably an accident.
Content marketing is an important part of the sales funnel, and should be a focused effort. Peak Ed Designs seeks to maintain trust, credibility, and familiarity with the groups listed above, in order to ensure a certain amount of new projects each quarter, while boosting our SEO rating. Our goals dictate the content that we plan.
Not Writing for Your Customers
Are you trying to win a Pulitzer Prize? It’s possible, but unlikely for most people. Write accordingly. Everybody else should remember to bring it back down to earth. Authenticity is the buzzword, so keep it real. Don’t equate jargon with wisdom.
Of course you’ll want to remain professional, and represent yourself as a knowledgeable resource, but this can often be accomplished without going over the top.
Forgetting to be Conversational in Communications
This is an extension of the previous point. Is your writing reflective of the way you’d speak to a customer in your workplace or on the phone? If not, why not?
Being approachable is a good thing. Too much formality can be intimidating, and can create a barrier. Finding the right tone is a matter of trial and error, and understanding your audience helps.
Making Your Content Marketing Too General
If you understand what truly pains your audience, you can help them fix it! Peak Ed Designs has made the assessment that wasted communications efforts and stagnant business results are generally unpopular with our crowd, thus this handy guide.
To start this process, make a list of customer pain points. This can be informed through day to day conversations with customers, or through more formal research. AnswerThePublic and Google Trends are pretty handy resources to help give you ideas about what people are searching for.
Valuing Quantity Over Quality in Content Marketing
Content marketing is not a sprint, but a marathon. Consistency is key, but quality mustn’t be sacrificed. Establish a schedule that you can stick to without becoming overwhelmed. A certain format? Make a checklist and hold yourself to an achievable level of quality control. Perhaps this means good imagery, solid titles, or a certain length or word count.
Hollywood production standards are not what’s important, instead focus on providing value with all of your communications.
Failing to Include a Call to Action
You can lead a horse to water, but have you tried directly suggesting that they drink?
Providing value to your customer base is great, and showcasing your expertise is essential. By the time that they’ve finished watching your video or reading your email it should be obvious that their life will be enhanced by procuring your products or services. It still doesn’t hurt to conclude by saying so (see the box at the bottom of this post). In fact, it might be the most important part.
Peak Ed Designs strive to be focused and targeted with everything we do. This is the underlying principle that informs our approach to website design and education. We ensure that our creations work for our clients (and our clients’ clients) by striving to understand them and their habits, wants, and needs. If you’d like your communications to be more effective at growing your business, we’re here to help!
I want to grow my business and avoid wasting my time with failed communications efforts.