8 ways content marketers make mistakes that waste their efforts

Only 30 percent of B2B marketers said their content strategies were effective, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2015 study. And this number is down from 38 percent in the previous year. In 2015, only 42 percent of marketers said their business had a clear understanding of effective content marketing.

Most ineffective marketing involves wasted efforts, which means wasted money. Don’t be like the 70 percent of ineffective marketers. Here are the eight common mistakes many marketers make that lose them time, customers and money:

Mistake #1: Publishing your content to the wrong social networks

Do you want to start a conversation with other brands? Try Twitter, not Facebook. Is your aim to engage young users? You’ll want Instagram or Snapchat rather than Pinterest.

It’s easy to get lost in the social media world, as we’re seeing an increasing number of options for social marketing. Fine-tune your marketing by understanding what each network is optimized for, as well as the general demographics of the different social channels.

Mistake #2: Posting bad content on social media

Even when marketers use appropriate networks for their audience, they often still make mistakes by publishing the wrong content. Social media posts should invite conversations. Marketing through traditional platforms like TV or print can be one-sided and successful, but effective social media marketing requires engagement.

Mistake #3: Quantity over quality

76 percent of B2B companies are planning to produce more content in 2016. While this extra investment might solve some brands’ marketing problems, the overwhelming pattern of brands expecting to increase their quantity (without devoting more effort to quality) might explain why only 30 percent say their strategy is effective.

Your customers aren’t looking for more content. There’s already a whole internet full of content – 1 billion sites, millions of lifetimes of video and over 300 million photos uploaded to Facebook every day. Your customers are looking for quality content – and so are Google’s ranking algorithms. Quality content helps you stand out from. More content just tosses you in with the competition.

Mistake #4: Not taking advantage of analytics

Analytics are available for most content marketing campaigns. Keep up-to-date with your insights to know how to fine-tune your content and improve it for your next campaign.

Mistake #5: Not using dedicated content creators

Many brands try spread their writers and designers too thin. Just as salespeople sell and accountants account, writers should write and designers should design. Whether your business goes in-house or with an agency, content marketing requires a dedicated team, not an offshoot of advertising or PR departments.

Mistake #6: Losing return visitors

Your return visitors are more prepared to purchase than newcomers. Use email lists, remarketing ads, long-tail topics and social media to target, nurture and draw your potential customers back to your website.

Mistake #7: Using the wrong length content

Going deep with your longform content helps to pinpoint and secure your qualified, lower-funnel leads by strengthening your relationship with them and pushing them further through the funnel.

Keeping your content topics wide and short allows it to reach a large pool of potentially interested customers, and plays to their quick, skimming reading patterns.

Mistake #8: Marketing just for conversions

On average, only 28 percent of a marketing budget is allocated toward content. Brands that see the most success in the long run allocate 42 percent on average.

Content marketing is a long-term game, but many businesses aim just for conversions as if nothing else matters in between marketing and ROI. This can lead to disappointing results and premature modification of your strategy before you know its true efficacy.

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Ben Silverman
Ben Silverman is a former marketing writer for Brafton. His writing experience dates back to his time reviewing music for The UMass Daily Collegian at UMass Amherst. Ben comes from a background in marketing in the classical and jazz industries.

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