And fair enough – there’s so many tips and so much advice about the topic out there that it’s no surprise many content marketers fail to get it right every single time.
It’s a tall order trying to create amazing content time and time again, but if you simply avoid these seven sins, you’ll manage to create compelling content that attracts, connects, and converts.
#1 Envy – Copying Other Content Too Closely
It’s normal to feel envious when you see another brand doing amazing things with their content. And it’s totally normal to want to replicate that for your own business – if it’s working for them, it’s easy to think that it’ll work for you, too.
But, while it might be tempting to follow suit with your fellow competitors and churn out the same content, you’ll be doing your business a disservice.
Because your unique voice and experiences are at the heart of your content. They’re what make your brand real and help forge deep connections with potential customers.
Think about the best pieces of content you’ve come across.
We’re willing to be they’re unique, compelling, and packed full of individual nuggets of advice and experience. They tend to incorporate stories that are personal to the brand and speak directly to their audience.
First, consider what it is you want to achieve with your content marketing. This is different for every brand, so figure out your distinct goals, whether it’s increasing conversions, generating awareness, or creating a community of loyal customers.
You can then keep lust at bay by focusing your content marketing strategy on those specific, non-tangible goals.
Buffer has done a great job at creating content that positions them as a thought leader in the social media marketing industry.
#3 Pride – Not Focusing On Your Audience
Back in the day, it was common for a brand blog to feature the goings-on of the company. There’d be updates on new members of staff, information about awards they’ve won, and talk about new projects that were on the go.
This is great, but with consumers being savvier than ever, it’s important to incorporate their wants and needs into your content marketing too.
Sure, you want to shout about your achievements from the rooftops (and you should), but think about it in a way that will benefit your audience.
Avoid This Sin
Successful content that generates high levels of engagement is geared towards the audience’s wants and needs. It considers the problems they’re facing and provides a solution or soothes a particular pain point.
Squash your pride by remembering that content marketing isn’t just about you and your brand. Instead, it’s about your audience – a.k.a. The people you want to serve and educate with your knowledge and solutions.
As humans, our emotions drive our actions, and the more emotion you can invoke in your audience, the better – but it has to be the right kind of emotion.
You see, while it can be tempting to tug on the heartstrings or publish content that has a certain shock factor to it, you also have to consider how your audience is going to view that content and what it ultimately says about your brand.
It’s perfectly fine to create an emotive video that might have a few viewers shedding a tear, but be careful with how much content you put out there that sparks negative emotions – that’s things like fear, sadness, and confusion.
Avoid This Sin
If possible, avoid negativity where you can unless it’s really going to help you get your message out there. Consider the emotions your content might invoke in your audience and be sensitive to how they might feel at the end of it.
Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign is a great example of encouraging healthy emotions with content.
Encouraging emotion is good if it’s done sensitively and with purpose.
#7 Greed – Hungry For Sales
A lot of content marketers see content as a means to an end, with the end being more sales and more money.
Savvy consumers of today can sense when someone is just trying to get a sale out of them, and it can be off-putting.
Avoid This Sin
Of course you want your content marketing to tie in with your sales strategy, but it should also stand alone as a way to build a relationship with your audience and strengthen your trust with them.
Again, this can be achieved by continuing to give value, putting your audience first, creating content that is all about them, and consistently showing up with great advice that eventually leads into your solution.
Stop Sinning For the Sake of Your Content
If you’re guilty of any one of these deadly content sins, you’re not alone.
But, now you know where you’re going wrong, you can put steps in place to turn things around.
Put your audience first. From there, you can provide epic value time and time again, build trust and, ultimately, get more sales in an authentic and natural way.