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5 Ways Not to Build Your Audience With Content Marketing

5 Ways Not to Build Your Audience With Content Marketing

The basis of content marketing -- and, in a broader sense, inbound marketing as a whole -- is that consistently great content builds an audience of well-qualified leads.

Building that audience means applying effective strategies using content that will draw your target customers.

The concept is simple, but in practical terms, crafting a successful content marketing program is complex.

From understanding your audience to designing your strategy to drafting content pieces, there are many ways to end up with a less-than-successful content marketing system.

The following are five common mistakes that can keep your content program from reaching its full potential in building an audience of targeted leads.

1. Content That Is Too Broad

Your first impression might be that the best plan is to try to reach every conceivable customer with your content marketing strategy and with every content piece. In reality, instead of reaching everyone, content that is too broad won't effectively reach any high-quality leads.

If your content doesn't speak to leads' specific needs and interests, they will look for a resource that does. To ensure that each piece of content is relevant, it should be written with a single customer in mind.

2. Inconsistent Terminology

Regardless of your industry, there are likely objects and concepts that have several different names. It might seem like using these terms interchangeably will give you the greatest audience reach, but this can actually negatively impact your content strategy.

Not only does inconsistent terminology affect your ability to rank in search results, but it can also mean you're missing the opportunity to reach potential customers.

To attract and engage with the right customers, it's critical that you use the same language as your potential customers, and use that language consistently.

3. Focusing on the Wrong Metrics

Another common misstep in content marketing is targeting the wrong metrics, then using those analytics to make changes to both content and strategy. Instead of building your audience, focusing on the wrong data points can drive potential customers away.

Obsessing over a particular metric can also drive attention away from the larger picture of your content strategy.

The metrics you choose to analyze must relate directly to your business goals and should keep the focus on the people you are trying to reach.

4. Sales Pitch on Every Content Piece

You may have heard the advice that every piece of content you post or promote should include a call to action: some step you want the reader to take as a result of viewing that content.

However, there is a distinct difference between a call to action and a sales pitch.

Emphasizing your products or services and asking for a purchase on each content piece will be a major turn off for potential customers. Instead, your calls to action should only occasionally ask for a sale; most often, they should direct visitors to further useful resources.

5. Neglecting Key Formats

The number of potential content platforms and formats is nearly immeasurable and only continues to increase.

Rather than taking advantage of these opportunities, some marketers and brands put all of their efforts into a single content format, like blog posts, to the neglect of others.

On the other hand, being present on every platform can be overwhelming and can overtax your marketing team. To build a strong content base in the right formats, it is essential to know the content platforms and types that are used by your target audience.

Focusing your efforts on these key formats will help you build your audience more efficiently.

Content marketing can grow a long-term loyal audience, but it requires strategic effort. Avoiding these common content mistakes can help you more quickly assemble an effective body of content while building an audience that will bring loyalty and sales.

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