July 21, 2017

How to suck at content marketing in 5 simple steps

As Content Marketing is slowly arriving into the radar of CMO’s, marketers and companies, we hear all sorts of advice out of the mouth of so-called experts or know-it-all colleagues. So much that it’s hard to tell the difference between a good idea and a bad one. So we created this short guide to make sure you suck. Here are five simple ways to fail at Content Marketing. (Fortunately, we also explain how to get it right!)

distinguishing good and bad
how to sift through everyone’s ideas

1. Create dozens of content pieces

The more content you create, the better it is. Every piece of content needs to be unique. Every channel has to show different content pieces.

Why this is wrong, and how to be good at content marketing

If you think so, you will need huge budgets only to get started with content marketing. Instead, you should definitely start small. Create a few pieces of content. Then, break them into smaller pieces that you can re-use on social media, presentations, or videos. We call these “snack content”.

Remember this: your goal is not to have thousands of different, average content pieces. The goal is rather to have a few very good content pieces that you can recycle, re-arrange, and re-purpose.

don't only self-promote
nobody likes the guy who only talks about himself

2. Only speak about yourself

Speaking about your company is really what’s important, right? Of course! Everything you say has to be linked to what you do. Oh, and don’t forget to tell everyone how great you are. What’s the point of Content Marketing if you can’t speak about yourself?

Why this is wrong, and how to be good at content marketing

Well if you behave like this you will be the guy everyone hates at parties. You don’t need to place your company services in every content piece. Of course, you should talk about topics where your company can create a difference. People will see you as experts. You don’t need to brag.

but they are only the basic
but blogs are not a cure all

3. Use a blog

Blogs are the top innovation of the 21st century. Having your own corporate blog is the first step to success. Every company sets up a WordPress blog “automagically” becomes a rockstar and will disrupt its industry.

Why this is wrong, and how to be good at content marketing

This is not even close. This kind of thinking is stuck in the last century. Blogs are not the go-to solution. A blog is a very good tool, but definitely not the only one. You can use a blog as a basis. But to attract people to your blog, you will need to spread out your content pieces in other places. You know, like places where there actually are people.

We recommend serving content where people already are, instead of creating content for yourself that might never be seen. Embrace platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Medium, and Youtube.

You still need to present yourself.
When everyone’s work is speaking for itself, how can you be heard?

4. The content will provide

Now that you are doing great Content Marketing you don’t need to spend money on advertising anymore. The content speaks for itself. Hell, your prospects will easily find it through Google. So why should you throw money out of the window with advertising?

Why this is wrong, and how to be good at content marketing

By thinking so you create amazing pieces of content, but nobody will see them. You need to bring people to these content pieces. Use social media ads to display your content in front of your target group. Use search engine marketing to place your content when people express a specific need. People need a little help to find you.

new content has to be relevant but also timeless
content cannot solely rely on temporal relevance

5. Use the news

It’s important to always be news relevant. When a topic is hot or trending you should talk about it. People will see that you are always on the edge and you are always up to date.

Why this is wrong, and how to be good at content marketing

The danger here is that your content will die quickly. If your content is too tightly linked to the news, it will go to the trash bin as soon as the news passes away. You put a lot of time and energy into content creation. Make it count! Create content that will remain interesting and useful long enough. At least for one year after it’s been published.

Content Marketing is great but not magic

Before jumping into the world of Content Marketing you need a good strategy. Or you will fail by following common beliefs. To start building such strategy here a couple questions you can ask yourself:

  • What is it my customers always ask about?

  • What is the biggest question that customer support has to answer again and again?

  • Where are my customers finding information about the type of products or services I sell?

  • Who makes the buying decision? Who do they need to convince? How can I help them convince the decision makers?  

We hope we didn’t kill all your motivation to get into content marketing! It really is a great way to do marketing, but it needs the right strategy and planning. We’ll be proud to help you get on board if you need more help. Just start a chat right here in the bottom-right corner of your screen!

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