7 Things You MUST NOT Include in your Content Marketing Plan

Connecting the community, as influencers.

Content is the lifeblood of a website; without content, a website is just skin and bones. Now more than ever, your customers are going to your site looking for something to sink their teeth into. So don’t leave a bad taste in their mouth with content that isn’t up to par!

Investing in content marketing pays off. In fact, Hubspot’s State of Inbound Marketing Survey has found that prioritizing blogging results in 13x more positive ROI and brands that rely on inbound marketing save $14 for every new customer acquired!

Also, many Fortune 500 companies have invested in content marketing. A perfect example would be Forbes Brand Voice, one of Forbes Media’s programs where major B2B brands like SAP, JP Morgan, & EY have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to get quality content written by the Forbes team and published across their media. Why would they make this investment?

Many consumers, especially in the B2B realm, spend more time researching vendors and their own needs before ever talking to a sales rep. Regular consumers are very much like that too; when was the last time you got any value from a salesperson or hearing the salesperson tell you something you couldn’t find online? By investing in content marketing, you are making the path to purchase much easier for your customers.

If and when you invest in content marketing, you must implement a solid plan for creating a consistent schedule of quality content, which means avoiding these 7 things:

Being selfish – All of the content you write needs to provide value for your audience. It is not an opportunity for self-promotion. You can by all means publish content for sales or special offers, but do it sparingly.

Understand your audience – speaking of providing value, before you even write a DRAFT of your first piece of content, make sure you do a thorough analysis of your audience. Cover all of your bases, including psychographic, demographics, interests, etc. Arm yourself with this knowledge so you don’t waste your time creating content that will not resonate with your target audience.

Not posting regularly – You must firmly establish a regular content schedule; do not let yourself or your team slack on content creation! It will look bad going months without posting on your blog as you’re giving off the impression that you don’t care about your brand or your audience. If you don’t care enough to get into a routine of providing content that will educate or entertain, then why should your audience care enough about your brand to buy from you?

Not paying attention to trends – you cannot afford to have tunnel vision and ignore the buzz around you. Pay careful attention to what’s making waves in social and news media. If you can offer relevant commentary that also intertwines with your brand and offerings, then by all means write something up before the trend becomes yesterday’s news! But don’t hop on a trending bandwagon just because it’s popular, especially if it has nothing to do with your brand. For example, if your company makes microchips, what kind of commentary that you can make Caitlyn Jenner that resonates with your core audience AND ties back to your brand? One example of using trends to your content creation advantage is the post I wrote about keeping the Mad Men spirit living on in your marketing now that the series has ended.

Not tracking results – Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing multiple times and expecting different results each time. Before you write a glut of eBooks, white papers, blog posts, and so on, make sure that you apply a smart measurement system where you can analyze relevant metrics and tie the data back to success. After every month and quarter, take some time to examine your data to determine what works and optimize your strategy accordingly. Don’t waste time writing content that is not delivering tangible results within a given timeframe.

Not syndicating content – Unfortunately, content is not a field of dreams; if you build it, they (your audience) will not automatically come. You will need to incorporate social media and email marketing into your plan in addition to partnering with other relevant media publishers to cast a wide net and reach as many relevant people as possible.

Neglecting your plan – Last but not least is getting off track. Stay laser focused and don’t let yourself slip from creating content, otherwise you will fall behind.

Investing in content marketing will not result in overnight success. It will take time for you to develop quality content and incorporate that content into a customer acquisition plan, but it will pay off in the end. Happy content writing!