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5 Content Marketing Mistakes Your Business Probably Makes

May 23, 2015 | Content Creation

Everyday there’s new advice telling you what worked yesterday isn’t working today, that growth hacking is the way forward, or you be should focusing solely on producing evergreen content and not worry about anything else.

Content marketing is arguably one of the toughest areas of online marketing to master, with several best practices and ‘must-do’ mantras that many businesses live by. But what if these best practices or ‘must-dos’ are not relevant for your business? Are you just grinding your gears?
In this article, I will list the top 5 common content marketing mistakes businesses make.

1. Producing too much content

More is better right? Well, not exactly.

A study undertaken by Content Marketing Institute revealed businesses plan to create more content this year than ever before. While I don’t think producing too much content in itself is a bad thing, I do believe if you spend more time creating content than promoting it, you need to make a change.

I often hear from marketers who complain about nobody engaging with their content, blog posts going unnoticed and eBooks not being downloaded. I then ask how they divide their time between promoting and creating content. Most tend to spend the majority of their time writing.

Here’s what happens on the Internet in a 24 hour period:

24 hours online

How is anyone meant to find your content in all that noise? While producing 2,3,4 or even 500 blog posts a week is fine, you need to spend an equal amount of time promoting it otherwise no one is going to see your hard work.

Cliffs: Spend more time promoting content than writing.

2. Starting a blog

Don’t get me wrong, I love blogs but they are not for every business. Most businesses fall into the trap of spending too much time on writing articles and neglect all other forms of content marketing. Blogging drains a lot of energy and time, unless you can outsource, it may not be the best route for your business.

For example, if you manage an eCommerce store selling electronics, would your time be better spent creating video reviews of actual products than blog articles? Would you audience prefer a video review of your electronic gadgets with a demonstration, or blog posts?

Ask yourself where your audience goes for advice and knowledge, you may find LinkedIn, podcasts or YouTube to be a better use of resources.

Cliffs: Blogging takes up a lot of resources if not outsourced. What other mediums do you use to generate content?

3. Content marketing is way too expensive

A common myth that flies around the marketing world is content marketing is expensive. Inbound marketing is 2x more effective and cheaper than outbound marketing:

Picture 2

For smaller start-ups, finding the resources for content marketing can be quite sparse, but making use of user generated content, social media and viral campaigns can help reduce costs.

Due to this belief, businesses turn to freelance content writers paying them loose change for content. The result? Mediocre articles that nobody will want to read. Content marketing is not expensive in terms of ROI, but that doesn’t mean you can find great writers for cheap. You get what you pay for in this world.

Cliffs: Inbound marketing returns a greater ROI than outbound marketing.

4. Articles should be 500 words

Where did this number come from I will never know. Visit any freelance website and you will see all numerous businesses asking for 300-500 word articles:

Picture 3Asides from the terrible pay( which will probably result in terrible content), you should never set a specific word length for any content. It should be as long as it needs to be.

“Nobody wants to read long articles, they want everything short and snappy.”

How can you possibly condense a topic within 500 words and expect the reader to gain any sort of value? A Quicksprout study revealed that longer content also ranks better in Google:

content marketing
Source: Quicksprout

Not every topic is going to have enough content to be 2,000 words, but don’t limit yourself to 300 or 500 words. Content should be as long as it needs to be and not a single word over.

Cliffs: Longer content ranks and converts better.

5. A killer headline does not solve all

While the headline is the first interaction between you and the prospect, it’s not the only thing that matters. According to Copyblogger, 8 out of 10 people will read a headline while 20% will continue to read the rest of the article.

This is due to a number of reasons, such as:

  1. 1. Your target market isn’t everyone
  2. Your headline was great but was let down by the content
  3. You used a click-bait style headline
  4. Poor website design

Spend less time on grabbing attention and focus more on keeping their attention. Creating copy is all about getting the prospect to read the next sentence until they get to the end where they are faced with a decision.

Cliffs: Your content needs to be just as great as your headline.


Every best practice tip is relative based on your business and the audience you’re trying to attract. What do they want to know? How do they go about finding it? What intrigues them? Ask yourself these questions to get a greater understanding on where you should be focusing your content marketing efforts.

What are the biggest content marketing mistakes you’ve made in the past? What did you learn from them? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear them.


James Dickerson

Founder of CrushCampaigns

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