Content marketing is a critical component for today’s marketers because it’s an effective means of focusing on the needs of your target audience and attracting new leads to your business.
According to a 2018 survey conducted by the Content Marketing Institute, 91% of B2B marketers say they use content marketing, but only 24% rate the success of their approach as very or extremely successful.
To help technology marketers improve the effectiveness of their content marketing efforts, I’m sharing 5 common content marketing mistakes, and what you can do instead to avoid them in your own content marketing practice.
1. Not Having a Great Headline
A great headline is the hook that reels your audience in and makes them want to read more. Without a compelling headline, there’s nothing to pique the interest of readers and make them want to click on your article.
With so much digital content available, many people don’t take the time to read an entire article. In fact, 33% of visitors spend less than 15 seconds reading the content they land on which is why creating headlines that grab and hold a reader’s attention is so important.
To write great headlines:
- Create urgency by setting deadlines and using time-sensitive words
- Include keywords relevant to your target audience
- Use brackets to set clear expectations
- Make bold but accurate statements
- Use numbers in your headlines
2. You’re Product Focused, Not Audience Focused
Good content marketing focuses on creating and sharing valuable, educational content to attract and keep customers.
However, it’s easy to slip into an overly product-focused approach, which, from your readers perspective, can appear to be just another sales pitch.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 67% of B2B marketers always/frequently focus on creating content for their audience versus their brand. This leaves room for improvement in the other 33% of marketers who sometimes or rarely create content for their audience.
While some content should highlight the strengths and positive aspects of your technology, this information should take a back seat to providing information that helps your customers solve a problem.
To provide information geared towards the needs of your audience, do research on what’s of interest to them. What problems are they struggling with? What information can you provide that may help them make better decisions? What information can you provide that your competitors are not providing?
The focus of your IT company’s content marketing should be to share information that helps add value for the reader first and promotes your product second.
3. You’re Not Respecting The Buying Cycle
The buying cycle is a journey or sales funnel consisting of three basic phases:
Visitors arrive at your site with varying needs and expectations and could be at any stage of this journey. Since IT companies often have long, complex buying cycles, they need content to help potential customers get through it.
To respect the buying cycle, create content that helps customers at each stage of their journey. In the awareness stage, you’re trying to attract visitors who are in your target market and most likely to buy from you. Content at this stage should include blogs offering tips and tricks, and easily downloadable infographics.
In the evaluation stage, offer information that helps readers understand or evaluate your solution or service. Content for this stage could include case studies, eBooks or webinars.
At the conversion stage, the customer has grown to trust you and is ready to buy. Content for the conversion stage can include testimonials, tutorials or how-to articles.
Respect for the buying cycle is crucial because it allows you to create content to address every stage of the buying journey and does not push prospects to buy before they’re ready.
4. Limiting Your Content To Only Blogging
Although blogging is one of the most effective ways for tech companies to connect with audiences and differentiate themselves from the competition, it’s not the only effective method of content marketing.
Other types of content to have in your marketing toolbox include images, videos and infographics.
Research shows that images aid recall. People will remember 10% of what they heard 3 days later but when a picture is added, they’ll remember 65%.
Videos are another way to build out your content marketing offerings. According to Animoto, 4x as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it and Hubspot reports that 53% of people want to see more video content from marketers.
Infographics are also a great way to pack loads of information into easily digestible bites. If you’ve got lots of statistics or data points to share, think about using infographics to communicate visually instead of only with the written word.
5. Not Having A Clear Call To Action
The call to action is an important part of your marketing efforts because it elicits a response from your reader. As a technology content marketer, your goal is to get exposure for your company and to establish yourself as useful and trustworthy in the minds of your audience.
A call to action (CTA), tells the reader what to do next and communicates a clear benefit to them for doing what you ask. Do you want them to read more, download an eBook or subscribe to your newsletter? Readers won’t know to do any of those things unless you ask them to, so don’t neglect this important part of your marketing efforts.
Content marketing is an effective way to market the solutions your technology company offers. I hope this information helps you to avoid some common mistakes, gain more credibility and increase your leads.
If you need help creating engaging, informative content marketing assets, contact me here.