The Number 1 Mistake (We've All Made) in Content Marketing

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, where are they?

We've learned a lot of lessons when it comes to creating content for online branding and search engine marketing strategy. The learning never stops. Every year there are new strategies and technologies that change the game in one way or the other. And the explosion of social media is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to content.

Even though content marketing is always evolving, there is one mistake we see that remains constant:

#1 Mistake: Creating Content for Content's Sake

We've made this mistake ourselves so it's not hard to recognize. It all falls into the "build it and they will come" approach. When it comes to content, at the risk of being overtly meta, we should really be asking:

"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"

Basically, the real question is, what is the point of your content if nobody is ever going to see it? Maybe the real question should be (going from meta to cheeky) is:

"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, where are they?"

Currently, the internet is experiencing "content shock." There is much more content being produced than the demand or ability to consume it. How much does it cost to produce content, especially using social media? With a minimal investment of time, you can create mounds of content and publish it for free.

So how do we correct this mistake? It's easy, but takes discipline. It's the 80/20 rule.

Content Marketing is 80% Analysis and 20% Execution

You must first analyze your audience and the competitive landscape. In other words, answer the "Where are they?" question first. In other words, how are you going to make sure someone hears the tree fall? Don't start with the tree.

This is why at Envision, we love our analytics. There are some amazing tools out there to help understand your audience and competition. No single tool is the silver bullet. But used in conjunction with each other, we can ensure you aren't wasting your resources creating content for content's sake.

You can do the same with a simple Google search testing out different key words (make sure you recognize Google customizes searches based upon your location). Understanding how Google's search ranking algorithms work is the first step. Armed with this knowledge you can start to test keywords your customers might use to find what you are offering.

Our final tip here is always think of it from the user experience. Put yourself in their shoes. If you were a target customer, what type of falling tree are you listening for? What are you doing when you are most receptive to the sound?

Remember, there is a ton of content noise (trees) out there. That's why 80% of your marketing success will actually come from 20% of your content. Which is why you must spend 80% of your resources on analysis and 20% on actual execution to maximize ROI.Keep following the 80/20 rule and you will do great.

In our next article, we'll talk about the best type of content to create.

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Content MarketingEd Kang