Creating and marketing content for your audience does not have to be difficult or expensive if you plan it well and approach it strategically. There is always a chance for a misstep, which could be costly to your business. Did you achieve your goal? Besides conversion and sales, are there other ways to measure the success of your content? There are a infinite moving parts with any venture you take on in business, especially when sharing your amazing content with your audience.
Here are some of the most common content creation and marketing mistakes and the best ways to avoid them.
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Do You Have A Plan?
Whether you are creating content for your blog, online course, digital product, or podcast, proper planning is the most important step to successfully creating and marketing your content. You should map out the entire process from gathering your content to marketing, launch, and post launch strategies. Every single task should be identified and outlined before you implement your new blog, course, or digital product. You need to take some time at the beginning and map out the whole process. We suggest using a content calendar that maps out every task you need to complete to take from content from creation to delivery.
Don’t Jump the Gun Releasing Your Content
Do you get that tingle of excitement when you finally finish gathering, repurposing, and polishing your content and it’s ready for your audience? I know you are super excited to publish your blog, launch your course, or schedule your webinar, but are you really ready? To ensure you are ready, it is a best practice to plan out how you will share and monetize your content at least 3 months in advance. For example, if you are publishing a blog post, this time is much shorter, if you already have your pre and post marketing activities created. However 2-3 months is best for a robust online course, webinar, podcast, or even a digital product launch. There is a lot of work to do and you not meeting your goals if you release your amazing content too early.
Do you want to learn more about how to monetize your content? Have you always wanted to start a blog, create a course or digital product? Check out our free course How To Monetize Your Content in 7 Days, which teaches you the A to Z of monetizing your content the right way and helps you achieve your business goals.
Stop Wasting Time on People Who Won’t Buy
Have you been able to identify who your ‘’window shoppers’’ are? Do you know who your premium audience or followers are? If you decide to cast your net too wide, you are sure to waste time marketing to people who won’t waste their time reading your blog or buying your course or digital product. Instead, you need to develop a detailed customer profile and focus on targeting them by creating content the people in this profile want and need.
Spending a Fortune on Ads
Paying to advertise your blog, course, or digital product can get expensive if you are paying for ads. There is another way, try content marketing. This involves costs that can add up quickly when you’re running advertisements, but you can do it all without spending any money by taking advantage of content marketing. Create content that helps your audience and post this for free around the web. This will draw them in and then they’ll visit your website to see what you have to offer. You can even save money by hosting your blog with Bluehost, which offers a free domain for the first year. Instead, if you have an email list, you already have a captivated audience to share your valuable information with. Find out what engages your audience. You can gather information based on which links were clicked in your email sequence. For example, ConvertKit is an email marketing tool that offers great reporting and analytics that shows you which links were the most popular with your email list. This way you can create content around what your audience finds most interesting.
Flopping By Focusing Only on Features
It is so much easier to just focus on the features your content in your blog, course, or digital product provides. Of course, you feel the content in your blog, course, or digital product offers the best features and you can’t wait to tell your audience all about the features. It’s okay to briefly discuss the features, however spending more time highlighting the specific benefits for your audience is a much better approach. People are attracted to transformations and how their lives can be improved and how their challenges and problems can be solved by the content in your blog, course, or digital product. Remember your content was curated to solve a specific problem for your audience. Develop the image of a better life using the content in your blog, course, digital product, or podcast— this is what will attract premium customers.
Avoid Audience Assumptions
Take the time to identify your audience and where to find them. Do not make any assumptions about your audience. Instead rely on research and objective data about your audience. Get feedback and review metrics that will help you refine your customer profile and build your decisions about your approach and the content you use on this. Successfully content marketing requires understanding and bringing together a product and a market. It all starts with your content. Select content that highlights your expertise, while also solving a customer problem. It should be high quality, unique with an eagle-eye focus on helping your audience achieve their goals. Instead of making assumptions about your market, you should understand your audience and their needs. Focus on the customer profile you created which consists of the ideal group of people who benefit the most from your content. Familiarize yourself with your competition. Assess similar blogs, courses, or digital products so you can be aware of and focus on your strengths.
Doing It Without Support
Avoid working in a small box, figuratively speaking. Obtain help from people who can help you properly plan, create, market, launch, and follow up like a pro! Get help from people who can handle the tasks you don’t feel as confident with and those tasks you really don’t want to do. Leverage their skills, whether it is marketing before you launch your blog, course, or digital product, or if you just need someone to select the images for your social media posts. Do you have a proofreader or are you using a tool like Grammarly to check your content? You could even retain a virtual assistant to help with the daily tasks that bog you down. Trust me, what you pay in contracting others, will save you a great deal of time that you can focus on your business.
Don’t Forget to Track Your Results
Based on initial responses, you may feel your launch went well, but you do need to monitor your results and get feedback to know for sure. How do you measure the success of your content? There are so many metrics available to choose from for example, the number of visits to your blog or the number of course sales you have; that it is easy to get overwhelmed. Some people avoid reviewing metrics altogether. The best practice is to just select a few key metrics that can help you quickly understand what is working and what is not working. If you are using your content in a tangible item like a course, ebook, or other digital product, sales can be the main metric you should focus on. Of course this does not tell you everything that is working, but it can give you some information about your conversion rates. Closely evaluate the metrics and see how your blog or campaign for your course or digital product went. One metric we use often are clicks and conversions from our Deadline Funnel report. Choose a few key metrics to measure your goals and evaluate these to see how it went. Always reach out to your customers for feedback and see if there are any improvements they share with you.
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Each blog, course, or digital product launch offers valuable lessons for future campaigns. Avoid these mistakes and look at any missteps as learning opportunities for growth. Just remember you are the expert of your content.
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Angela Flores is a Team Consultant at Think Design Ed. She has a varied background in instructional design, leadership, and education. Angela has worked for mid-size and fortune 500 companies over the last decade. She enjoys blogging about her passions and spending time with her family.