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Top 5 Content Marketing Mistakes and Why You Should Avoid Them

pile-of-books-01Running a successful content marketing campaign for your business isn’t as easy as publishing a dozen or so articles to various sites and directories. Sure, this may gain you some initial exposure, but the benefits will be minimal at best. And depending on the approach you take with content marketing, it could have a negative impact on your website. The bottom line is that you need to carefully consider where, and how, your content is being marketing to ensure it benefits your business’s website and brand.

What Is Content Marketing?

The official definition for “content marketing” is:

Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

Companies have used content marketing long before the internet was invented. In the early 1900s, for instance, Jell-O salesmen walked door-to-door to provide families with free cookbooks. Along with useful recipes, the free cookbook also encouraged people to try Jell-O as a dessert. The company saw a significant boost in revenue in the years to follow, which was likely due to their content marketing campaign.

Mistake #1) Using Private Label Rights (PLR) Articles

Private label rights (PLR) articles are literally sold for pennies a piece (sometimes they are even given away for fee). Their dirt-cheap price attracts many webmasters and bloggers looking for niche content. As the old saying goes – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is – hold true with PLR articles.

Even if you only spent $10 bucks on a pack of well-written PLR articles, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will benefit your content marketing campaign. Typically, PLR articles are sold to hundreds or even thousands of people; therefore, publishing it on your website, blog or anywhere else may trigger duplicate content filters.

Mistake #2) Not Sharing on Social Media

Social media networking has changed the way we view content. More and more people are using social media to discover news, current events, or even recommendations on places to eat rather than using a search engine. You can use this to your advantage by sharing your content on your social media accounts. Doing so will generate some initial exposure which hopefully generates a response by others. If there’s enough reaction on social media from others, your content could go viral, bringing in a flood of new visitors.

Mistake #3) Overuse of Anchor Text

In the old days, publishing blog posts or articles with keyword-rich anchor text was a highly effective way to rank a website for its respective target keywords. However, Google has since devalued the SEO impact of anchor text. This was part of the Mountain Valley company’s efforts to weed out low-quality websites in their Penguin update.

Does this mean you should completely avoid anchor text in your content marketing campaigns? Absolutely not, as anchor text remains a key factor in determining a website’s ranking in the search engines. However, there are two key rules you should follow:

  1. Keep your anchor text to a minimum.
  2. Diversify your anchor text using different keywords, site names and url variations.

Mistake #4) Only Focusing on Text Content

When you hear the word “content,” you probably think of text. Text is certainly the most common type of content on the web, but there are several other forms worth using in your overall marketing strategy.

There’s no rule stating that you must focus on a single type of content, so don’t be afraid to experiment with non-text elements. Here are some different types of content to consider using:

  • PDFs
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Infographics
  • Press releases
  • Case studies
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • How-to articles
  • Web applications

If don’t have the skills and/or tools necessary to create certain types of content, you can always outsource the job to a professional. There are dozens of professional companies out there who specialize in content creation. Investing in a quality piece of content can prove well worth the investment in the long run.

Mistake #5) Following a Precise Formula

Another all-too-common content marketing mistake webmasters make is following a precise formula. Some people assume that a new blog post or article must be at least 500 words. They’ll continue to write and stretch an otherwise simple article into 500 words, believing it offers higher SEO value. Other people believe they must use a precis keyword density in their articles.

If you’re still following rules such as this, stop. There’s no magic formula for creating content, as the “ideal” word count, keyword density and other elements vary depending on the particular topic. If you can cover a topic in just 300 words, then go ahead and publish it; articles shouldn’t be longer just for the sake of being longer. On the other hand, if it takes 2,500 words to cover a topic, then publish the full 2,500 words.