13 Content Marketing ‘Don’ts’ To Avoid At All Costs

13 Content Marketing ‘Don’ts’ To Avoid At All Costs

Success in content marketing requires a deep knowledge of existing and prospective customers and successful, tailored campaigns to reach them all. But while reaching those customers and making the sale can be achieved with the right plan, there is still the possibility of making a lot of mistakes along the way.

To see positive results from your content marketing efforts, there are some important “dos,” but there are also some very important “don’ts” that should be considered. Below, 13 Young Entrepreneur Council members share their top actions to avoid in content marketing and why.

1. Don’t Manipulate Search Engines

We all want our content to rank in search results. But that doesn’t mean you should stuff keywords to manipulate search engines. Doing that will have more negative effects than positive ones. Search engines hate this practice, and doing it can lead to search penalties. – Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite

2. Don’t Ask More Than You Give

Content marketing is an opportunity to share value, educate and teach. When your primary focus is “asking” your audience to do something before you’ve built trust and credibility, you risk losing them. Be generous with your value; your audience will be thankful for it. – Trivinia Barber, PriorityVA

3. Don’t Sell Too Hard

While it’s okay to publish and share some self-promotional content, if every piece of content with your brand name on it is sales-oriented, no one will want it. Instead, most of your content should be educational, entertaining and/or engaging. Use content to build relationships that lead to sales and your results will be better. – Jonathan Prichard, MattressInsider.com

4. Don’t Use One-Size-Fits-All Messaging

Don’t fan your message to everyone. Include some sort of targeting and intelligence around it because if you don’t, portions of your audience will become unreceptive to future messages. A one-size-fits-all approach creates a lot of problems for almost any type of outreach—email, online, etc. Segment your data and audiences, targeting them with things that are appealing in their world. – Kevin Marcus, Versium Analytics, Inc.

5. Don’t Use Technical Jargon

Some content marketers use complicated words in their posts and articles to sound smart. Don’t do that because not everyone will understand those words. Your content won’t be able to deliver the best results if it’s difficult to understand. So try writing in simple language that can be easily understood by your readers. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

6. Don’t Forget To Educate

Educate, don’t manipulate. Don’t convince your readers, visitors or followers that whatever you say is true and believable. Don’t just state facts; show visible, unedited results. Don’t just give a description; use words that are relatable and understandable with pictures and videos that will explain everything you say. Reach out to help, not to oversell yourself. – Daisy Jing, Banish

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7. Don’t Rely On Techniques Just Because They Work For Others

My biggest marketing “don’t” and warning to new entrepreneurs is: Don’t assume that a technique that works for mass-marketed products will work for your niche audience. Just because an agency has created amazing results for a toothbrush company does not mean they will understand moms of kids with diabetes. If you see a proposal that doesn’t include A/B testing and relies on past successes, run. – Meghan Sharkus, ExpressionMed

8. Don’t Gate All Your Content

Content marketing is expensive. When it is very good content marketing, it takes time and is tempting to gate it, but resist the urge. You have to add value to a customer experience to generate trust and grow a following and, hopefully, loyalty. Gating too early is a big mistake and you will not have return users if everything is gated. – Matthew Capala, Alphametic

9. Don’t Forget Calls To Action

Don’t forget to add calls to action to your content, whether it’s a social media post or a blog article. You need to keep driving your audience to take action in some shape or form. People want an invitation to keep engaging with you. Make sure to ask people to join your email list, follow you on social media, share your content and more to make your content marketing more effective. – Blair Williams, MemberPress

10. Don’t Count Out Backlinking

There’s a lot of false information out there that SEO is dead, backlinks don’t matter and that all you should do is focus on good content. However, research by real SEO experts and actual life experience shows that backlink building and other SEO tactics matter—a lot. So, aside from building content, make sure that you build traffic to it by building links from various sources. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

11. Don’t Disregard User-Generated Content

A huge content marketing mistake is avoiding user-generated content. This type of content is an excellent form of social proof that allows your brand to build its audience and improve engagement. It sparks a conversation with existing and new customers as they navigate your business. – Jared Atchison, WPForms

12. Don’t Copy Content

Never copy content. Stay original. Share your ideas, and don’t be scared to express them; some people will love you for that. There are enough places in the market for everybody. – Alexandru Stan, Tekpon

13. Don’t Expect To See Instant Engagement

Don’t underestimate the time and effort needed to create a successful content marketing campaign. Creating such a campaign is no easy feat. To make an impact, you need to create engaging content for your target audience. Publishing new material does not have an instant effect. You need to establish a community of followers and give them time to engage with your content before you see the benefits. – Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC

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