The Top 5 Content Marketing Mistakes Most Businesses Make (and How to Fix Them)

Content marketing is one of the smartest, most impactful investments you can make in your business—but only if it’s done right. Unfortunately, many businesses don’t understand how to use it, or view it as another way to advertise.

While it is part of your marketing and sales efforts, content marketing focuses on building relationships. It’s about bringing your audience helpful information that solves a problem, earns trust, or makes their lives easier. It’s about talking with—not at—your potential customers.

Here are five content marketing mistakes we’ve seen most business make, and how we recommend you fix them:

Mistake #1: No plan or strategy

We see a lot of companies create content without a purpose or direction, which is a waste of their time and money. Generating content for content’s sake is not working toward their company goals.

How to fix it:

Begin by making sure you have a marketing plan in place that includes clear and measureable goals. Then create a content strategy around each of those goals. Content is the foundation of your business, and it should be true to your brand values and voice.

Mistake #2: Not knowing your target audience

Many companies make the mistake of not identifying their ideal customer, and try to talk to everyone through their content. This results in an ineffective and diluted message that doesn’t really resonate with anyone.

How to fix it:

Spend some time thinking about who your business best serves. Think about their age, gender, geographical location, education level, and any other attribute that describes them. Understand their pain points, what keeps them up at night, and what led them to have the problem your business solves. Develop content around their story.

Mistake #3: The content is poor quality

Most people will stop reading if content is unclear or confusing. They will also lose trust in the company if the content is peppered with grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.

How to fix it:

Make sure every piece of content you write is clear, easy to understand, and has a goal and purpose. Proofread everything before you publish it to avoid embarrassing typos that will cost you your credibility. If you don’t have anyone internally that can take on this role, consider hiring an outside agency to help you.

Mistake #4: Not using data to evaluate your content’s impact

Some companies don’t have the systems in place to measure their content’s effectiveness. If you don’t track how your content is resonating with your audience, you won’t know what’s working and what’s not. Like mistake #1 above, this will end up wasting your time and money.

How to fix it:

Start tracking your content’s data using tools like Google analytics, Hootsuite, HubSpot or Sales Force. Then you will be able to make strategic decisions that are based on fact. You can continue to do what’s working, and make adjustments to what isn’t.

Mistake #5: Not staying consistent

Starting, stopping and restarting your content efforts is confusing to your audience. It makes them question if you can follow through on something, if you are reliable, and even whether you are still in business.

How to fix it:

Create a team who is responsible for a content calendar. Assign someone to oversee the calendar, determine who will be responsible for creating the content, and establish deadlines. Planning ahead and holding yourself accountable is the best way to stay consistent with your content.

We know that effective content marketing takes time. That’s why we partner with companies just like yours who want to grow their content marketing efforts, but just don’t have time to do it themselves.


If you’d like to learn more about our approach to content marketing and how we work with our clients, please contact Jessica.Clay@ClayAgency.com for a free consultation. We can work with you to give your content marketing efforts the care and attention it deserves.



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