One reason startups come to me is because they need help with content marketing.
The number one problem most startups have is that they fly blind with content.
They have no framework for their efforts. In other words, they have no strategy.
So despite 86% of B2B marketers and 77% of B2C marketers using content marketing, only 48% have any kind of strategy behind their actions – and even less, just 35% – have a documented strategy driving their campaigns.
This is regrettable because a lack of strategic thinking leads to mistakes, assumptions, and disappointing results – and can often mean the stakeholders abandon content marketing before it’s had the chance to prove itself with a positive ROI.
Every piece of content you create needs to align with your business goals at a strategic level.
You need to know what segment of your audience you’re targeting, consider where they are in your sales funnel, and how to position your calls to action to achieve the desired conversions.
None of this can be done without a coherent strategy researched and formulated before you type a single blog post or else you’ll make the common content marketing mistakes that so many make.
So what kind of mistakes does this lack of a documented strategy give rise to – what gets in the way of our content driving the traffic and conversions that we expect and hope of it?
Within this context, I’ve put together a list of the common content marketing problems encountered by startups and companies of all sizes – issues that could almost certainly be averted with some basic strategic thinking and even just a one-page written plan…
1. You’re Not Using Personas
Personas are essential if you want to ally your business goals with the kind of content that will engage with your target audience.
They provide a snapshot of a certain segment of your market – a representative avatar – that helps you understand what your audience wants and expects from your products and services, and equally how you can position your offers to help.
Not using personas is a big mistake, especially when they are relatively easy to research.
For example, you could conduct interviews with your sales and customer service team, your buying customers themselves, or check social media accounts and forum profiles to find key demographic and career information.
Note down details of what challenges and obstacles they face and how your solution could help them.
By gaining this understanding, you can then make a more informed strategic decision about the tone, style, and type of content that will best appeal to these target personas – and by extension how you can encourage them to engage with your brand, products and services by positioning yourself as the answer to their problems.