With the exponential growth in content marketing, there’s a lot of competition out there and ensuring your content stands out can be difficult at the best of times. If your content is falling flat, make sure you’re avoiding these content marketing mistakes so your piece stands out from the pack, getting the attention it deserves.
Competing against the noise without an angle
You’ve been hard at work brainstorming and you finally have a great idea for content. However, when you check online you find it’s already been done last year, and the year before, and the year before that… you get where I’m going with this.
If you proceed with this idea and you don’t alter it, when it comes to pitching the creative asset to journalists, you’re probably going to end up competing in a sea of noise with multiple content marketers who are pitching the same idea that’s a regular feature on their content calendars.
So what do you do? How do you get your content to stand out?
‘PIVOT!’ as Ross from Friends would say. Maybe there’s a new twist you can add to the idea or a new angle you can take to enhance it. Perhaps you can even repackage it into a different format. Repacking an old idea and doing it in a better way makes you stand out from the pack.
Not being the master of your content’s destiny
Well, that point sounds dramatic, doesn’t it? That’s great, considering this is really important!
Picture the scene, you’ve made some great content, it’s interesting, timely, and unique. Now, it’s time to start pitching. You write your pitch email explaining what your content is and send it out to journalists. Then you wait, hoping you’ll get a response and have your content picked up and published.
If that’s all you’re doing, then you’re not being the master of your content’s destiny that you should be.
First off you don’t just want one pitch email, you want several! Make sure your pitches have different angles relating to your content targeted at different groups of journalists. The more unique angles, the more chances you have of a journalist picking your content up as your pitch is more targeted to them and their writing topics.
Get Social, and by that I mean don’t just use Facebook and Twitter! There are so many channels that you can use to start getting your content out there. Create accounts on Buzzfeed Community, Mix, Quora, StumbleUpon, and Reddit, and then start posting your content on them. Reddit, in particular, can be a treasure trove of usable channels and with new subreddits appearing every day there’s bound to be multiple subreddits you can leverage to get your content out there. Remember, journalists browse these channels too, looking for stories. If your content is absent then you’re missing out on potential opportunities.
Creating forgettable content
We’ve all been there.
We’ve been given a narrow content topic scope and anything we create we already know is doomed to fail, yet, we have that one amazing idea we know will do well, even though it’s slightly out of scope.
When this happens, put up a fight! It’s up to you as the content marketing expert to advise and persuade your client or colleague why you feel your content marketing idea is the best for them and will meet their needs. When evaluating content ideas think about it this way, would you be proud or happy to share this content on your own social media channels? If it’s not interesting you then the likelihood is that it won’t interest anyone else, and if that’s the case, why bother?
Being too corporate
So, you’re company loyal and if you’re cut, you bleed their logo colors?
That’s a good thing, but not when it comes to content! Content marketing is not advertising, the moment people see branded content they switch off and their brain marks it as an advertisement. Just think how hard YouTube adverts work to make you not skip the first 5 seconds of their adverts before you get to that video about cats you wanted to watch, a desire to skip is the same thought that will run through peoples heads when they see a company logo on that awesome graphic you created. What’s more? Corporate content isn’t going to get picked up by the media as even they will think it’s an advertisement. They offer paid services for that!
You’ve been doing content marketing a while and you’re pretty good at it, but are you still making yourself uncomfortable?
When’s the last time you pitched an idea that you weren’t sure whether it would work or not? When’s the last time you introduced a new content marketing campaign format? Being uncomfortable is the difference between good and great when it comes to content marketing, remember ‘Who Dares Wins’ as the British SAS would say.
There you have it. Always have an angle, master your content’s destiny, be unforgettable, don’t be an advertisement, and stay uncomfortable.
Wishing you a very successful year ahead of you in your content marketing!