Marketers need to adopt an audience-centric and quality-above-all-else approach to content creation in order to engage with potential customers consistently, according to new advice from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI). In its list of marketing faux pas that turn off an audience, it claims that overly salesy and SEO-heavy pieces can be detrimental.
Referencing the CMI’s research, digital marketer Neil Patel writes that just a third of content marketers believe that their strategies are very or extremely effective, which suggests that many brands and businesses are unknowingly making use of tactics that cause a disconnect with end-users and sabotage their content endeavours.
Patel states that content should be made for the audience and not merely created so that companies can just talk about their own interests. Marketers should therefore identify their audience, outline what it wants to hear and create relevant news, blog posts, white papers and other content formats to reach a maximum target audience.
Making content personable, practical and meaningful also means that brands should shy away from a preoccupation with selling. While content is important for promoting brands and their products and services, a fixation on selling rather than informing can be problematic. According to Patel: “People are smart. They can see right through a lack of sincerity and authenticity.” Aiming to educate is therefore a more sustainable and effective plan for building rapport and nurturing leads in the long term.
Content is also a vessel for SEO, but again, incorporating excessive search engine optimisation techniques can affect its quality and make it sound unnatural to end-users. Patel believes that keyword stuffing can be a problem and recommends that marketers focus on best practices such as using keywords in headers to optimise content for search engines.
Finally, Patel touches on the “more, more, more mindset,” which can easily backfire if audiences become overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information thrown at them. He points towards the recent Google algorithm updates to support the theory that “quality trumps everything else.” Patel concludes by stating that “content fatigue” is also an emerging trend that leads to marginal effectiveness.