5 Mistakes Content Marketers Must Stop Making

Niraj Ranjan Rout
Published on November 23, 2015
content marketing

“Useful X Enjoyable X Inspired = Innovative Content” – Ann Handley

Our mistakes as content marketeers can cost us a lot, and worse yet, more often than not – it is difficult to see what our mistakes have cost us.

Honestly, I think ‘damage control’ is not really a very feasible option for marketing on the internet, because once it’s out there it’s out there. The only option we have is to take careful, well-calculated steps and do everything possible to avoid mistakes in the first place.


Here are a few mistakes content marketers tend to make.

1. Quantity over quality

Oldest advice in the book, but definitely one of the most important.

Always. put. quality. first.

With the stress on keywords and search engine optimization, and metrics like domain authority, it is easy to think that the more content you churn out the better place you are at. Rookie mistake!

Remember that

We are living in an already information-overloaded world and throwing more info at your readers with no real purpose is going to frustrate your audience.

Even if you have lots of great quality content, it is important to use it judiciously. For instance if you are writing about digital marketing, don’t just dump all the facts, figures, infographics, stories, feedbacks into one huge chunky article. Instead split it into nice, neat and engaging articles and post them over a period time on your company’s blog. So, you are not only posting quality and digestible articles for your readers, but you are also increasing your online presence by posting a higher number of articles. This is the way to make the most out of your content.

2. Consider every clickthrough a win

Bringing in higher clickthroughs doesn’t necessarily mean that you are boosting revenue.

Presenting your content well enough to convert these impressions into readers – is certainly an essential first. What’s more crucial is – getting the visitors to act on your Call To Action buttons, and not bounce off.

We, at Hiver, have self-learned our way through content marketing, occasionally making mistakes, but also learning some great marketing lessons in the process. For example, after doing display ads for the first time, we started getting visits on our landing page – which seemed like a win at first, but then we realised that most users would bounce off the landing page.

This is when we started focussing on integrated communication. We ensured that the tone, and the theme of the ad matches perfectly with the landing page, and that there are not misleading expectations stirred by the ad copies. The bounce rate went down significantly.

It’s imperative that we focus more on the end goal; getting clickthroughs can be relatively easy.

3. Not optimizing your content for mobile

With millennials almost as much as running the world on mobiles, it is absolutely important to not only ensure that your content is compatible on mobile devices but to make it your priority.

Writing for mobile users is not the same as writing for desktop readers.

For example, every article has an area called the golden triangle which is the upper-left corner of the article and this area of the article must have engaging words, but this applies only to the desktop readers, for mobile readers, most of the focus is on the centre and top portion of the article.

So, you see optimizing your content for mobile requires some special effort on your part..

There is an extensive research on how to place your content to ensure the highest impact on the reader.

Some points to remember are

  • Make sure that your article has a preview section and that it is loaded with a powerful gist of the content, or an attractive beginning.
  • Use pictures, Visualizing your content can catch your readers’ attention, especially for mobile readers.
  • Ensuring high visibility using lots of spaces, shorter paragraphs and a crispy style of writing will help too.
  • 4. Let ROI take a backseat

    You may not believe it, but for content marketers letting ROI take a backseat is a very easy mistake to make.

    For instance,

    Let’s say you ran a campaign in the US that was tremendously successful; now you use the same content to run a similar campaign in India. Unfortunately, it doesn’t yield very good results, but since your campaign was already a huge success you just don’t wanna give in and you keep at it and this possibly will drive your ROI super low before you can turn back.
    What happened here? Given that is has done well once, you’re emotionally attached to the content. ROI – what’s that?!

    The same thing can happen while transitioning from one market to another , or from one service/product to another.

    Keeping regular tabs on your ROI will tell you when to cut your strategy loose and look for a new one. Additionally, repeating a campaign should be done only after thorough market check for suitability and not because you ‘LOOOVE’ your content/idea.

    But we tend to ignore these metrics out of sheer attachment to the content or the weakness to ‘play-it-safe’ and ‘avoid risks’ .

    To be clear, when I say ROI here’s what I am talking about;

  • Leads. These are potential customers who approach you after reading your content
  • Greater audience online. An increase in your audience can help you reach out to more people and hence indirectly furthering the opportunity to find sales leads.
  • Domain Authority ranking and increased visibility. This will help you win the SEO game which again exposes you to potential customers.
  • So, it is clear that while writing your post or designing your campaign, it is important to ask yourself if your content is driving or deterring results for your company.
  • 5. Over automation – drifting away from the human element

    It is, of course, undeniable that the advantages of automation are many, but like in any scenario, too much of it can only hurt your business.

    Sure, Automation takes hefty and tedious work off your hands, but it also implies lack of human touch and that, more often than not hurts your numbers and thereby your business.

    Some of the disadvantages of social media automation would be

    1. An automated post is often very obvious to the readers and will cause them to lose interest. If it were you, would you really bother replying to a comment posted by a bot?

    2. Lack of genuine thoughts and heart-felt comments. People respond to emotions like inspiration, tragedy, happiness etc and with automation it is difficult to entice your audience without the human element.

    3. Automation doesn’t really take care of follow up conversations. For example scheduling posts doesn’t exactly trigger a two-way conversation, on the other hand, posting a question on the article or initiating a discussion can.

    4. Irrelevant or inappropriate posts. Let’s say someone just posted about a tragedy and your automation software posts a comment saying ‘excellent article’, it would obviously be highly inappropriate.

    and these are just a few to mention.

    A better solution would be to thread on the thin line between over automation and under automation carefully and balancing it with genuine human engagement.

    As more and more startups and small businesses are coming into play, content marketing is beginning to play a very strategic and game-changing role in the success of the company.

    The thing about content marketing is that, when is you use it thoughtfully and strategically, it can bring you amazing results and that’s why it is important to know the right and wrong before you jump into it.


    Niraj Ranjan Rout

    Guest Contributor

    Niraj is the founder of Hiver (hiverhq.com), an app that turns Gmail into a powerful customer support and collaboration tool.

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