Here are the 6 mistakes I made in Content Marketing.
“So much of creating alone is working past the very real possibility of failure in everything that you do” — Cole Schafer.
A mistake can feel like the end of the world in the PR industry. I know I made plenty.
With that being said, I think it’s important to share my failure (or at least the moments that feel like failures) with you as I experienced them.
The point? You don’t have to go through these and avoid them wherever possible. Here are the 6 mistakes I made in Content Marketing:
1. Missing details in the email
One of the most effective ways to reach out to people in business settings is through email. As a content marketer (or specifically digital PR), almost 70-80% of our jobs are emailing journalists and editors.
I’ve collected mistakes in spaces ranging from addressing to wrong names to not having attachments to no signature. This is unforgivable — at least for me.
So instead of rushing, take your time to check every email you’re about to send out.
Instead of checking once, double (or triple) check your details before you hit that ‘send’ button.
Because it is vital for the recipient.
2. Addressing a person’s name inaccurately
Among the most embarrassing mistakes, I’ve ever made.
Finding relevant media is hard. Let alone getting their email address to share your content. But it doesn’t mean they’d be interested in receiving it.
My excitement in distributing the content led to a lack of personalisation and disrespect to the people I’m reaching out to.
So instead of just collecting email addresses, ensure you address their name accurately. This includes understanding their interests and coverage.
Instead of generalising your approach, consider a little personalisation.
3. Thinking links > value
A Journalist/editor is constantly looking for stories. A story that elicits emotions and sparks conversation among people. It’s almost too cynical to only think we want links from them.
Yes, you’ve had a brilliant idea after numerous brainstorming sessions. You poured your heart and time into the creation process.
But if the idea doesn’t fit with their editorial beat, it has no value for them.
So instead of jumping into the creation process, validate your story idea with people around you.
Instead of beating yourself up, do a retrospective to improve in the future.
4. Not saying thank you / following up after stories published
You’ve seen they published your content, even links inserted in the article #celebration. Your hard work has been paid off.
But you know what’s even better? Getting coverage while building rapport with a person for the long-term game.
Instead of selfishly celebrating internally, send a thank you note to them.
Instead of a one-time relationship, share generously without expectations.
5. Not maximising the tools you have
Creating and distributing content doesn’t need fancy tools — there are many free sources out there. This includes our team who is still doing it manually for most processes.
But whilst it’s great that this is working, I highly recommend using it as it’d help your work easier if your team/company has access to multiple tools (Ahrefs, Buzzsumo, Moz, etc.)
So instead of checking manually, find a way to automate things. One of them is putting an alarm for some topics/coverage sent to your email automatically.
6. Not thinking about the business goals
Paddy Morgan from Aira mentioned we’re probably obsessed about link building a little too much. Too much that we forgot about the reasons WHY we’re doing what we’re doing.
It does drive traffic, boost your rankings, increase brand awareness, and provide value to your target customer. But the goal is always conversion — unless you’re doing it for fun.
So instead of thinking about coverage and links, identify the steps that lead up to conversion — business goals.
Instead of creating one type of content, consider content-led link building.
I hope this can come in handy when you’re executing your work. If you have any further questions to chat about mistakes/concerns — I’d be happy to discuss them.