37 ways to cock up your content marketing

Sonja Jefferson

Content marketing is all the rage but it’s not easy to get it right. Here are 37 ways to cock up your content marketing big time. Find another path!

Don't sell with your content marketing

1. Put selling before helping

2. Have no story

3. Write for everyone

4. Write for no-one

5. Write for your peers

6. Write for search engines before people

7. Big up your company in your content as much as you can

8. Think of your blog as a news feed

9. Depersonalise your content, stay safe

10. End every bit of content with ‘…which is why you need us, get in touch now

11. Ignore email. It’s dead.

12. Save time and money with stock photography (handshakes, jigsaws pieces, goldfish a must)

13. Get people to sign up to your newsletter with a pop up that fills the screen straightaway

14. “Turn off ad blocker software to read more’”

15. Hide those share buttons

16. Have no strategy or plan

17. Make it all up in the boardroom

18. Automate all social media feeds at all times

19. Never respond to comments and never say thank you

20. Ring up visitors to your website and try and sell to them

21. Email everyone who downloads your gated guide and offer them a demo

22. Feel the fear and don’t do video

23. Outsource everything

24. Leave it all to the marketing department

25. Quantity over quality every time

26. Form a committee to sign off every piece of content

27. Wait until your website is perfect before creating content

28. Wait until your business is launched before creating content

29. Quit if you don’t see any results in three months

30. Measure success purely on number of visits to your website

31. Never mention your competitors

32. Ignore typography, layout and design

33. Save time and money with stock photography (handshakes, jigsaws pieces, goldfish a must) Forget to proofread your content!

34. Never have an opinion

35. Believe social media is not for you

36. Be a robot

37. Focus on marketing, not making a difference

Content marketing mistakes

Any more you’d add to the list? I’d love to know.

Other posts you might like:

Want to know how to get content marketing right? Check out the Valuable Content Marketing book.

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8 Comments

  1. Good tips, although not sure 12 is strong enough to be repeated twice (33)!

    Reply
  2. Most of these are true, but to me this list doesn’t really approach content from a demand generation perspective (which let’s not forget is what most businesses are creating content for in the first place).

    Bigging up your company, calling people who visit your site, emailing people who download guides to offer you a demo… these are all things that done badly will obviously not work, but if they’re approached in the right way way can be really important for lead gen and making your content actually deliver leads.

    Appreciated this is supposed to be a listicle, but I’ve noticed recently that there’s so little content out there that digs deeper into these issues. It’s all very well saying ‘don’t email everyone who downloads your gated guide and offer them a demo’, but what would be more useful is to discuss when it is okay to offer people who have downloaded your content a demo. Or strategies for nurturing people from content download to wanting to check out your product – there’s so little stuff out there about that.

    Reply
  3. Hello Nick – eek! I nearly took no. 33 out and replaced second mention with something else (‘publish inconsistently or infrequently’ was on my mind) but thought I’d turn my error into a lesson instead (for me as much as anyone else!). Thanks for pointing that out.

    Reply
  4. Hi Hannah.

    Thank you very much for your considered and intelligent comment. You’re so right – content marketing must produce business results. I’m totally with you on that.

    Have a look at this post: Should your sales team follow up content marketing? – http://www.valuablecontent.co.uk/should-sales-follow-up-content-marketing/. This delves into the challenge of how to approach people who engage with your content. The comment stream is very enlightening too.

    Really hope this helps!

    Sonja

    Reply
  5. Thanks so much for getting back to me Sonja and I hope it didn’t sound like I was venting!

    At the moment I’m really interested in how best to optimise the journey from someone saying ‘hey! I’m interested in reading your content’ to ‘hey! I’m interested in trying out your product’ and I’ve been frustrated with how little discussion there is about it when it’s such an important part of content marketing for so many people. Thanks for the link – it’s a great post. That kind of discussion is what we need more of!

    Reply
  6. Sonja Jefferson

    It’s a valid vent Hannah. I’m glad you liked the sales follow up post. Thanks for the nudge to write more on the subject of how to use valuable content to best nurture relationships, leads and sales. I find Hubspot a good source of information on this subject too. Have you seen this article? A couple of years old be very useful: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/31406/How-to-Map-Lead-Nurturing-Content-to-Each-Stage-in-the-Sales-Cycle.aspx.

    Reply
  7. #38. Be afraid to give away your expertise

    (I hear this so often from coaches and consultants!)

    Reply

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