Content marketing can be extremely difficult, due to the constantly changing nature of the Internet. It is even more difficult because content marketing is a relatively new practice, making mistakes common and difficult to spot. Spotting these mistakes is the first step in developing a more effective marketing campaign.
Mistakes happen, especially with content marketing. You’re trying to deliver your content to the right audience, through the noise and sheer volume of articles, videos, and picture galleries that run amuck on the Internet. There’s a lot to consider and many people end up looking at the wrong things, which results in campaigns that are doomed to fail.
Exclusively Measuring Success through Conversions
Measuring the success of your efforts solely through the number of conversions your site gets is terribly misleading. Conversions are important, of course, but while the aim is to get as high as possible, not every page is meant for conversions. Some pages are there to entertain the audience, others are meant as information, and other pages go for the sale.
This means that your engagement numbers may be just as important as your conversion rates.
One of the most important rules for any site is to make sure that your site serves the audience, and not your product or service. That means being more than a “buy” page. It means giving them interesting content, something they enjoy or something that they’ll end up sharing or liking. Serve the audience, then go for sales.
Taking Social Engagement Goals Out of Context
Likes and shares are a great way to measure how engaging your content is to your audience, but it isn’t the be all and end all of your marketing. It can be a good indicator of your content’s success, but only if it was made to be shared. The issue is that shared content is often less interesting to the reader, according to recent studies.
Just like your pages, some content is meant to be shared. This content should be short, quick to the point, and more visually engaging. Highly specialized content directed at a particular audience is engaging to the original viewer but is not likely to be shared. More generalized but still relevant content is best if you’re looking for shares and likes.
Comparing Advertising Rates Between Different Platforms
One of the worst mistakes that marketers can make is to think that what works well for one media platform will work well on another. The problem is that it’s apples and oranges. Comparing the click-through rate on a YouTube video to Google’s paid discovery system can result in poor profit and success projections.
Properly determining the value of each click comes down to what counts as a click. Is an impression good enough or do they actually need to purchase something for payment to actually occur?
You can actually ask various media platforms to give you an idea of what to expect in terms of click-through rates. This can help you manage your expectations properly and figure out where you should put your advertisements for maximum effect.
Focusing on the High Level View of Your Site Engagement
It can be extremely tempting to look at your site hits, see that they’re high, and call it a successful day. That will not do for any real content marketing efforts. Your pages all have different content, which will result in different reactions from different people. Engagement length will vary greatly between pages, a metric that varies due to the content and aim of each page.
The answer here is to go deep and figure out where your site engagement numbers are actually coming from. Look at where the traffic is coming from and where it’s leading. Alternatively, you can also group page types together and see how they’re performing as a whole. This will help you determine which traffic sources do well for which types of pages, which can help focus your efforts.
Misunderstanding Bounce Rates
Bounce rates are funny creatures. The name indicates that it’s a measure of how many users came to your site and immediately decided to take their business elsewhere. It’s actually a measure of how many people only stuck around for one page and decided to leave. The problem is that believing the former can lead to a marketer mistakenly considering a site a failure. Some sites get traffic through a loyal fanbase that visits whenever a new post comes up, which can lead to higher-than-average bounce rates.
To determine whether or not you’re getting bad bounces, look at how much time each bouncer spent on the page. If they stayed for more than twenty seconds, chances are that you’ve actually engaged the visitor.
If you’ve made these mistakes, don’t fret. Content marketing is a relatively new concept, one that continues to change. Tactics that work today may end up proving erroneous in the future. Keep your mind open and be ready for how the industry changes as time goes on.