The internet is full of tips and advice on what to do when developing a content marketing strategy, but knowing what not to do is equally important to ensure success. Here are 16 things marketers should definitely avoid when doing content marketing.

What is one particular thing to remember not to do when doing content marketing? What should people do instead?

1. Overselling Your Product

Content marketing should be customer-oriented and not sales-oriented. Avoid coming across as being too pushy with your sales as this will put potential customers off your product. Try appealing to the emotional side of your audience and provide them with genuine value. The material for effective content marketing should feel natural and tell a story. – Ibrahim Alkurd, New Mine

2. Not Having an End Goal

Ask yourself what your end goal is. Building a community? Establishing yourself as an authority? High-level, high-quality contact lead generation? Getting in touch with experts in the space (e.g. you are researching something highly technical)? Content marketing requires a lot of upfront investment (time) that only slowly pays off. You’re in it for the long game. – Joey Bertschler, bitgrit

3. Failing to Diversify Content

Your visitors have a variety of learning styles and engagement levels. When you’re doing content marketing, don’t forget to create diverse pieces of content for all of your subscribers. You can repurpose old articles into videos, infographics or e-books. Each style has an appeal to a different audience, and they are all essential for growing your business. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC

4. Neglecting Data and Feedback

Content marketing plays an important role in growing a business, which is why it’s important to track its performance. It’s important to set up KPIs and monitor whether your content marketing is meeting these goals and what the impact is. Businesses need to track data and look at the feedback from the data and customers to understand how they can improve. – Blair Williams, MemberPress

5. Making People Feel Excluded

Good content marketing makes the audience feel welcome in your content, Great content marketing makes them feel included. Remember not to forget inclusion-based principles and reviews before publishing your content. You never get a second chance online, and in content marketing you are lucky if your brand gets more than a few views to begin with. Try not to exclude audiences, but instead include them. – Matthew Capala, Alphametic

6. Not Knowing Your Target

If you write blog post after blog post without a target in mind, then you’re writing for anybody, which won’t help you increase site traffic. Before you write a single word, you need to flesh out customer personas of your readers to understand what pain points they have and what interests them the most. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

7. Not Using a Content Calendar

If you’re serious about your blog and intend for it to grow and become lucrative, then you need a content calendar where you plan each post and its process from start to finish. With any routine, you need a schedule to ensure you stick to it and don’t falter. The same goes for blogging. To ensure the best results, create a content calendar that organizes your blog posts and keeps you on track. – Jared Atchison, WPForms

8. Focusing Too Much on Conversions

Content marketing should be used to create a value of some sort through entertainment, the latest news, trends, business insights and more. It shouldn’t be focused on making a sale or conversions, so don’t bombard your content with affiliate links, backlinks and other promotions to make more money. Instead, focus on delivering the best content that gives some value to the readers. – Vikas Agrawal, Infobrandz

9. Getting Impatient

Content marketing takes time to build and see results. Don’t let the desire for instant gratification distract and disappoint you from continuing to put in the effort and focus. Continue to produce high-quality content and allow your reputation to build organic growth. – Jared Weitz, United Capital Source Inc.

10. Overusing Calls to Action

Don’t use a call to action every time. That’s not content marketing — it’s copywriting! The difference between the two is that copywriting is more about making the sale, where content marketing is about taking the prospect on a journey and building a relationship with them. Copywriting is much more direct and doesn’t focus on the long term. Content marketing is much more about branding and presence. – Amine Rahal, Little Dragon Media

11. Creating Too Much Time-Sensitive Content

Many companies focus too heavily on creating time-sensitive content. Publishing stories about current events will give the company an initial boost in traffic, but it will quickly die off as that topic becomes irrelevant. Instead of focusing on current trends, drive long-term traffic with evergreen content. Write stories that will always be relevant and your traffic will continue to grow. – Shaun Conrad, My Accounting Course

12. Reusing the Same Post

One common mistake in content marketing is using the same post in multiple places. It’s important to know that Google will at best ignore and at worst penalize content that is not strictly original. – Ryan D Matzner, Fueled

13. Forgetting the Importance of Consistency

One thing you should remember not to do when doing content marketing is only posting things when you feel like it. The truth is, your followers expect consistency on your blog and social media account. If you are super active one week, but silent the next, you’ll start to notice a dip in your engagement, traffic and sales. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

14. Not Testing Different Creatives

Focus on performing A/B tests to find out if there are ads that could have a better performance in terms of content or visual appeal. You may be missing out on more revenue simply by settling for something that does work, but could be even better. You should be always improving — otherwise, you will become obsolete sooner or later (and this is not only applicable to marketing). – Kevin Leyes, Leyes Media & Team Leyes, by Leyes Enterprises

15. Focusing Too Much on SEO and Trends

You naturally need to consider what’s popular when creating content. At the same time, if everything you put out is based on SEO, keywords and trending news, it soon becomes obvious that you’re aiming mainly for clicks and search engine dominance. Make sure you write for your audience and not just Google. This helps you build a more loyal following in the long run. – Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting

16. Neglecting Content Promotion

Insightful and relevant content is a necessary foundation of an effective content marketing strategy, but it isn’t sufficient. High-quality content is expensive, and the investment is wasted if no one sees it. Blog articles, social media posts, newsletters and video must be part of a cohesive strategy that also includes paid and organic promotion to kickstart engagement and sharing. – Chris Madden, Matchnode

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