smb-tech-trendsBy now your small business may be well on its way to having an active content marketing campaign. Your content may include frequent postings on social media channels. Maybe you have a blog or are contributing commentary to other blogs. When it comes to your website, you’re refreshing content with how-to articles or customer case studies. Still with all that effort, are you getting the results you want?

The goal of your small business content marketing campaign is to connect with your customers and attract leads. If, for example, Facebook friends are failing to like or share your posts, you’ve missed the opportunity to engage as well as reach more potential customers. If visitors are coming to your website but not sticking around, you need to figure out why.

Here are six mistakes to avoid to ensure your content marketing campaign stays on track:

Little readership value: Just because you find a topic of interest or thought provoking; it doesn’t mean your audience will.  At all times, ask yourself, what value does this content provide my audience? Your content should address customer concerns and interests. It doesn’t take much to figure that out either. Content that gets likes, shares and comments tells you a lot about what’s on the reader’s mind. Build your content strategy accordingly.

Overly promotional: Engaging isn’t selling. If your content is a running sales pitch; chances are your customers aren’t buying it. That doesn’t mean they aren’t buying your products or services but they probably aren’t spending time on your website to find out what else you may have to offer.  It’s fine to talk about new products and special offerings but don’t include a pitch in every post or article.

content magnateTalks at readers: The best content sparks a conversation with your audience. Your content is missing the mark if readers aren’t offering insight about their use of your products or their future needs. Pose questions and ask for feedback. It’s fine to ask your audience to tell you what they would like you to address. Aim for interaction and follow up when you get it.

Focuses on only one format: Don’t focus on just written content; mix it up. Readers love images and video (think YouTube). Podcasts and SlideShare presentations also are effective ways to present your information. Any piece of content can easily be repurposed to another format, as well. Start out with a blog series or marketing piece and turn into a SlideShare presentation to post on Linked In, for example. Think broadly when you are developing content to reach a range of customers through various formats.

Inconsistent messaging: Your small business stands for something and addresses the market in a certain way. Make sure your messages are consistent throughout all of your content as well as in your other marketing materials. Build your brand through consistency.

Lacks call to action:  Don’t leave it to your readers to guess what you’d like them to do. Include a strong call to action in your content to advise what next step you want them to take — visit your website to learn about a new product or service or sign up for a special offer.

If you are going to make content king at your small business; be sure it’s a royal success.