Content marketing! No one needs to tell you that it’s great. You are so on board. You’re all set to start blogging. Forget three days a week….you’re going for five. And social networks? Bring ‘em on! You’re going to make your mark on each and every one.
You. Are. Going. To. Do. It. All.
But before you get started, I have one request of you. Stop. Just…stop. Because you’re about to make the biggest content marketing mistake. You’re about to become inconsistent.
Setting yourself up to fail.
It’s usually unrealistic to go from doing nothing to doing everything. Think about that diet you started, the one where you weren’t ever going to eat carbs, or that time you decided to juice. Yeah. That probably ended with a wild-eyed version of you crouched in the corner eating cake. The point is, these types of grand commitments sound great, but are typically not sustainable.
When it comes to content marketing, if you don’t consider a schedule that works for you, you’re bound to become inconsistent in your efforts. And inconsistency kills content marketing success. Why?
1. Because your audience can’t count on you.
Blogging is a commitment you make to your audience. If you’ve promised blog posts five days a week, you’d better be writing them. If you’ve slacked off and your posts become sporadic, you’re conveying to your audience that you’re unprofessional and flaky. Not exactly the image you were going for.
Solve it: Frequency and consistency are two separate things, and it’s possible to start with a low frequency of posts but still maintain consistency. Develop a realistic schedule and you can work on increasing your frequency in the future.
2. Because you get frustrated.
At first, you’re frustrated because you’re unable to keep up. So you slow down. And then you’re frustrated by the fact that you had to slow down. It all becomes so overwhelming. Instead of scaling back to a less frequent but still consistent schedule, you give up entirely.
Solve it: When you find yourself getting frustrated, reevaluate rather than throwing in the towel. Social media can be a great business tool, but maybe you need to focus on one or two social networks before moving on to others. Determine how you can achieve a few small successes; they’ll give you the motivation to keep moving forward.
3. Because you become a non-believer.
You used to love content marketing, but now you’re certain it’s a bunch of baloney. Clearly it’s not working for you, and you figure it probably only works for the Coca-Cola’s of the world, anyway. You’re not seeing results, so you’re not going to keep killing yourself over it. You’re sure that content marketing is a waste of time.
Solve it: There’s plenty of proof that content marketing works—when done well. The problem might not be what you’re doing, just the momentum you have yet to build. Content marketing was never going to bring you a handful of new leads and an insane ROI overnight, and if that was your expectation then you didn’t understand it correctly to start with.
If you’ve been wishy-washy on your efforts, you can’t blame the philosophy without first being honest about your implementation of it. Once you figure out a better schedule and get into the groove of it, take another look at your analytics, forms, and subscribers. The stronger numbers are bound to be there.
Before you burn out, reevaluate.
Remember, your audience needs to be able to rely on you. And as a business, you need to project a competent image—but you can’t do that with a blog and social networks that go untouched for weeks or months at a time.
Avoid the content marketing crash by:
- Evaluating your resources and capacity for content creation and distribution
- Developing a realistic schedule
- Creating a series of small, achievable goals
- Tracking meaningful data while being honest about the effort you’ve put in
Whether it’s once a month or every day, if you’re developing great content consistently, your audience will find it, read it, and love it. You can start small and still be on your way to something big.
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