Despite 86% of B2B marketers using content marketing, less than half (48%) have a strategy behind their actions. This is mistake numero uno. Just as in any other part of business, regardless of industry, lack of strategic thinking – and an action plan – leads to oversights, assumptions and most of all, disappointing results. And that often means stakeholders abandon their content marketing strategy before it’s had the chance to prove itself with positive ROI. That’s mistake number two.

Lack of strategic thinking – and an action plan – leads to oversights, assumptions and disappointing results.Click To Tweet

Here are four more content marketing strategy cardinal sins.

1. Not building buyer personas

Know your audience. This can’t be stressed enough. Buyer or audience personas are essential to ensure you’re creating content that resonates. Personas 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.

2. Forgetting SEO

Just because you’re engaged in the process of content marketing and inbound marketing doesn’t mean the rules of SEO don’t apply. Keywords and keyword research are essential in helping both real visitors and search engines find your content. Write everything with SEO in mind. Interested in how others do it? Tools like Buzzsumo can help you reverse engineer your competitors’ most popular content.

3. Believing content = blogs

Don’t get me wrong. Blogs are absolutely core to content marketing. But variety is king. Diversify. After all, your readers will get bored with only blogs to read (and you’ll be tired of writing them!). Here’s a short list of other content categories to consider:

  • Whitepapers
  • Checklists
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Cases studies
  • Podcasts
  • E-books

4. Creating content that sells rather than teaches

The purpose of most content is to educate. Of course, part of your content marketing strategy is pitching your services and ultimately, generating leads, but that’s what your calls to action are for. Your blog posts and bottom-of-the-funnel downloads, on the other hand, are intended to be the informational, emotional bridge between commerce and consumers. They need to teach your readers how to solve their problems, building trust and, ideally, a repeat reader. Give before you expect a return.

Even if you’re not making these mistakes, the tips within should serve as good reminders of best practices that are core to content marketing success. And remember this too: If you’re not constantly measuring, analyzing and tweaking your content marketing approach, you’ll never know if you’re on the right path. Keep at it.

Looking to up your content marketing ante? Check out this guide.

How to Launch a Content Marketing Strategy in Eight Easy Steps [Guide]
For more than 15 years, Jen Zottola has helped bring clients’ stories to life – through media opportunities, digital and marketing content, executive presentations, employee communications and more. Fusing creativity with strategy, she crafts compelling, award-winning copy proven to reach and resonate with the right audiences in the most impactful ways. As editorial director, Jen collaborates with clients and account teams to provide counsel on messaging and voice, as well as writing and editing support. Her creativity isn’t reserved only for writing; Jen also gets a kick out of party- and event planning.