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The Biggest Content Marketing Mishaps

 by zack on 05 Oct 2013 |
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We all make mistakes. It's how we learn and grow. Still, if you can avoid messing up, it's certainly an advisable thing to do. One of the most common areas for ecommers misteps is in the arena of content marketing. Today, the Ashop blog endeavors to help you watch your step on the treacherous path of online store affluence by revealing some of the most common fallacies in content marketing. 

There Are No Shortcuts

Many marketers, and so called ecommerce gurus like to throw out maxims. They love to tell you how you can make millions overnight, and that anyone can do "such and such," or accomplish "so and so" in no time at all.  The harsh reality is, when it comes to content marketing, there is only one sure-fire way to make great content: hire proven and experienced content creators. Or look for talented up and comers to do the same. Either way, you should expect to pay top dollar for their services.
Sadly, there aren’t any Mario style warp zones that can take your pay grade to level 8 in a matter of seconds. You’ve got to scrape and scrounge for every conversion that you get. So don’t get caught in the standard trap of trying to get over on your customers with subpar content in great volumes. The only person that’s getting shortchanged is you.

Don’t Aim for Virality

Virality is often treated as the ultimate goal for content marketers. After all, it’s great having such an extreme level of distribution without paying for anything other than an initial investment for the content. However, virality doesn’t always translate directly to increased conversions.

Probably the most surefire way to get a YouTube video with 100,000+ hits is to feature an attractive girl in skimpy clothes holding kittens and bunnies while telling bawdy jokes. What exactly does that message give to your customers about your company? That you’re desperate for their attention mostly, and maybe that you have a good sense of humor. Unfortunately, that doesn’t really convince them to empty their pockets for your products. Virality is great for increasing exposure, but it shouldn’t be the main focus of your content marketing campaigns. Instead, you should aim for targeted traffic that is likely to be high-converting.

You want to build up a base of truly satisfied customers. Visitors who are genuinely appreciative of your brand and your products. These high value customers can be counted on to provide a base income while you look to reach out to other demographics and expand your prospects. The goal is not just to grab one time conversions, but instead to court long term return business. You don’t achieve that with viral content. You get it by offering quality products at reasonable prices and honestly advertising these benefits to your customers.

Don’t Rely too Heavily on Video

Video is awesome. We all love it. This blog has on several occasions espoused the power and popularity of video content, and its prominent position in content marketing. BUT it would certainly be foolish to hedge all of your bets on this one medium. Video offers a powerful and engaging way to interact with consumers, but guess what? Not everyone wants to sit and watch it. 

You may have a fantastically effective marketing video, complete with artsy images, and persuasive arguments about your brand’s superiority. Unfortunately, if it’s more than a minute long, you lose half the internet right off the bat.

This is a common reaction:

Aint Nobody Got Time for That Aint Nobody Got Time For That
As counterintuitive as it might seem, it actually can take far less of that notoriously short attention span to read a short article, rather than watch a video. This is because a reader controls the pace of his or her consumption of your media, rather than being at the mercy of the unchangeable interval of time required to watch your video. That’s why effective writing, along with eye-catching imagery, still have an affluent place in any savvy content marketing strategy.
Aside from that, why would you want to limit yourself to visual learners only? There are a ton of other potential customers that prefer different types of media over video. Make sure you aren’t ignoring major sections of the buying population by sticking to one technique too stringently. Otherwise, you’ll be like a boxer who doesn’t know how to throw a right hand.  That jab will score points, but you’ll never put together a winning combination with only one punch.

Don’t Treat Content as if it’s an Isolated Event

Content shouldn’t be standalone, not in its message, nor in its delivery. You don’t send a single sailor out in a lifeboat to explore an island. You organize a plan, and send a detachment of veterans who are experienced and well supplied. Similarly, A piece of content shouldn’t simply be published in your newsletter, and then left to wither in obscurity. Wait a week, and redistribute that content on your social media channels.

It’s also important that this piece of content make an impactful statement about one of your products, your company, your industry, your niche, or all of the above. Remember that effective content marketing isn’t traditional sales. You aren’t trying to get them to sign dotted lines. Instead, you’re telling a story, inw which your company is the protagonist. And if you have an attractive narrative, conversions will flow naturally from that.

This isn’t to say that traditional sales tactics don’t have their place in your content. Every piece of content that you publish should include a CTA of some sort. It’s important to draw in as much attention and good will from your customers as possible, but not at the expense of alienating them with an excess of zeal for their pocket change. 

Content marketing exists to inform and offer value. The ROI of offering this to your followers is trust first, and then revenue afterwards. Try not to lose sight of your content’s purpose, across all of your channels of distribution.

The trick to avoiding these content marketing mishaps, is keeping common sense at the forefront of your mind. People are complex individuals who have to be romanced a little before they’re willing to offer up their attention--or their checkbooks. You have to approach them from multiple angles with a cohesive message that addresses their individual concerns. 

Especially avoid coming at them with a single minded attitude of grabbing their value without offering them anything in return. You’ve got to give to get, and forgetting that is the quickest way to lose consumer interest. 


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