Creating content that is heralded by flute-playing angels right to the pearly gates of your ideal customer’s screen may seem like a bit of an impossible task, but here at Ghidotti, that is what we strive for. And while we may spend most of our time and energy on designing and executing a content marketing strategy correctly, there are definitely a few vices to avoid ending up in Dante’s content Inferno. The following Seven Deadly Content Marketing Sins will send you straight to content purgatory, but don’t worry, Ghidotti is here to help.

#1 Not Planning Ahead

Having a brainstorm of innovative ideas with your team can make it so easy to dive in head first on your content marketing execution without stepping back and taking a deep breath first. Before you get ready to jump, you must develop a strategy. Without a successful content marketing strategy in place, your marketing will lack a foundation, purpose and organization, which will make it impossible to measure success. 

#2 Lack of Teamwork

Planning and executing a successful content marketing strategy cannot happen without a strong team behind the scenes. Collaboration drives better ideas and greater results so having a team to help out when things get tough is important. Take the Ghidotti Team for example. Our mix of personalities and strengths brings fantastic energy and determination to our content marketing, from the early brainstorm phase to garnering great results for our clients!

#3 Targeting the Wrong Audience (or not identifying your audience at all)

Identifying and understanding your audience is one of the most vital details in a successful content marketing plan. Before you can even begin to reach your target audience, you need to understand who they are, how they think and what they will need or want from your company. What you need to avoid is thinking that everyone will be interested in your content. Every client is unique. At Ghidotti, how we connect with our McDonald’s customers is completely different in strategy, look, tone, feel and execution than what we do for Arkansas Prostate Cancer Foundation, but by tailoring our content marketing based on their audiences, we are able to garner great results.  

#4 Not Measuring Your Results

Learning from your successes – and more importantly, your mistakes – can be vital when it comes to keeping your customers happy and your content marketing fresh. That isn’t to say you need to wait until the end of your road map to start thinking about results. At Ghidotti, we highly recommend tracking your results and reporting back to your team along the way. Moreso, we recommend adjusting as needed. It is completely normal to adjust your strategy over time as you or your client’s goals change. 

#5 Being a Copycat, Not a Thought Leader

At Ghidotti, we are big believers in thought leadership when it comes to every project and every client. Taking what you’ve seen someone else do and copy/pasting it for yourself will not make your work stand out. But what is thought leadership? At its core, it’s a marketing strategy that focuses less on content that sells and more on content that establishes you as an expert in your field. That’s not to say you cannot take inspiration from something you think worked well. It just means you need to think strategically about how you can make it work differently for your brand, your audience and your goals. 

#6 Overcomplicating Your Approach

Sometimes your content “dreams and ideas” may seem overwhelming. A brainstorm between your team can be total chaos as ideas bounce around the room, resulting in a plan of action that is over budget, over complicated and over capacity. Understanding your team’s bandwidth from the brainstorm stage and going forward will prevent you and your team from feeling over promised and under delivered. Knowing your limits from the roadmap stage will result in a plan that is valuable, steady and regular, and you will definitely see the results. 

#7 Inconsistency with Brand Look and Feel

Your business’ brand goes far beyond an attractive logo and a clever slogan. To establish your company in a way that builds awareness and differentiates you from competitors, brand guidelines are key. So yes, a logo and a slogan are important, but consistency with brand voice (the language you use across all of your content despite the platform) and brand style (which can include rules surrounding fonts and colors) will make your brand stand out. 

Once you absolve yourself of the following content marketing sins, you will be on your way to a strategic plan that will see tangible results.