One quick glance around the web tells you that content creation is at the forefront of almost every effective digital marketing strategies. There is now more content online than there's ever been before.
Corporations and startups alike both understand that our Google Overlords demand content, content and more content.
And just like in The Big Lebowski, the Dude abides. Content's free to create, so we can just toss a ton of rambling blogs up there and share them on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, right?
Content Marketing Pitfalls Startups Should Avoid
That seems to be the unfortunate attitude of many startups and small businesses out there. And the problem isn't a lack of subject understanding. Many business owners have plenty to say about their industry and really should be churning out killer content. Instead, the problem is people are unaware of content's history and future.
The result? Spam City. We're talking a spam-crazy world where Google is even looking under your hood for spam. When big dogs like Mozilla have gotten hit for spam, you need to take this seriously. Here's what to avoid:
1. Covering too Many Topics
I'm not going to call any specific websites out, you probably know of a few that try to wear all the hats, all the time. But specialization begets specialization so it's no wonder that the IT revolution has driven industries into a more niche-orientated focus. Third party platforms have driven focused content, with leaders in the industry creating industry-specific tools which startups can utilize to quickly grow in their space. Get more focused with your content and take advantage of the specialized tools out there as they are expected to double in growth in 2015.
2. No Clear Goals or Planning
Content marketing looks easy, right? We just throw up a ton of semi-relevant stuff and watch the traffic flow in, yes? No. While that might have worked for content marketing forefather, Jell-O (all those recipes drove tons of traffic back in the day), today you need a content calendar. This will help you organize your goals and automate your original content publishing schedule, something 84% of top performing businesses will be doing in 2015.
3. Poor Writing
It's understandable that the founders of a startup would want to convey their unique opinions through content creation, but the truth is some people are meant to talk, some to write. It's nothing new or anything to be ashamed about. It's why companies hire copywriters. If you don't have a grasp of good grammar, spelling or stringing together thoughts in a manner that people understand, ask for help or delegate.
4. Unsure of Keyword Relevance
Across many channels, it feels as if keyword research is a lost art from the ancient SEO era. Many have taken the advice that you "write for people, not for search engines" one step too far and started creating content that's has poor direction. In other words, if you don't know how relevant your keywords are to your customers and how they stack up against competition in your niche, your content is going to be spammy as you create more of the same.
5. Failure to Measure ROI
Despite all of the increase in content marketing budget and awareness of the power of analytics, the biggest failure comes from not putting the two together. Hubspot reports that only 24% of all content marketers say that they have an effective way to measure their ROIs. That means the 76% are playing guessing games, never a good idea for any budget, let alone a startup's.
Have you been struggling with spammy content? Let us know below!