Monday, December 10, 2012

Marketing for Entrepreneurs: Content Marketing - Don't Make These Mistakes

We're running a featured series of guest posts on positioning and content marketing between Thanksgiving and the Winter Holidays, authored by David Chapin, CEO of Forma, and author of the forthcoming book "The Marketing of Science: Making the Complex Compelling."

This series springs out of an extended interview that CED's Jason H. Parker conducted with Chapin, and will cover topics on positioning your business to stand out as unique, crafting a successful go-to-market strategy, building a content-marketing strategy that works, and how to develop a working strategy with only 1-2 hours of dedicated time per week. This week's contribution discusses mistakes entrepreneur's can't afford to make.

Content Marketing: Biggest Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make

The single biggest mistake is not having a content marketing strategy in the first place. Many companies have significant expertise within their walls. But they fail to publicize this expertise or to give it away for free, so it doesn’t help them attract new customers. 

A seismic shift in marketing is happening right now. The Internet gives each and every company access to a stage with microphones on it. This is a tremendous advantage to small companies, because content marketing “levels the playing field” for these organizations. But unless these companies act quickly and begin to create compelling, unique content, by the time they get on stage, all the microphones will be in the hands of their competitors!

Companies that do have a content marketing strategy, typically make these mistakes – among others – by producing: 
  • Content that is too broad (not focused enough) or too generic (not evidencing deep-enough expertise). 
  • A stream of content that is too intermittent. (They started a blog or a series of whitepapers, but let the effort lapse. As a result, content is not being steadily added.) 
  • Not linking content creation and promotion to a clear strategy for Search Engine Optimization. 
  • Gating their content. When you your thought leadership behind a wall by requiring a user to register to access it, you are cutting off one of the most important audiences you have – the search engines. Don’t gate your content. 
  • Not repurposing their content to enable its reuse. 
Please understand that content marketing is not simple, and is not necessarily easy to plan and then execute successfully. It requires a mental shift from being a “shameless promoter” to becoming a “tireless, expert publisher.”

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