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Written by Caroline Cox on Aug 21 , 2020

From thin content to improper targeting, these are the common content marketing mistakes you want to prevent.

Here, you’ll find:

  • Mistakes content marketers often make
  • Why creating a content plan is key
  • Tips for promoting your content
  • How to avoid some of the common pitfalls

Creating content is one of the best things you can do for your site’s search engine optimization (SEO). Not only that, but it’s a great way to educate your audience, leverage yourself as an industry leader, and let your brand’s personality shine.

But that doesn’t mean it’s a piece of cake. On the contrary, high-quality content takes planning, strategizing, time, and more. Read on to find out some of the common content marketing mistakes people make. Plus, we’ll discuss how you can avoid falling into the same traps.

1. Not having a strategy in place

These days, it’s fairly easy to set up a blog on your website and begin posting content. But in order to make the most of the time and effort that it takes to create content, it’s best to go into the process with a solid plan in place. Otherwise, you may look back after a few months of posting and see disjointed, randomly published posts that aren’t as cohesive or beneficial as they could be.

How to avoid: Before your first piece of content goes live, sit down and create a strategy. How often will you post content? Who will be in charge of the content? What is our brand’s voice and tone? Who will write and upload it? What topics do you plan to cover, and how will you promote it? These are just some of the questions you can ask to clarify your content plan.

Pro tip: For organization’s sake, it’s a good idea to create a content calendar. This way, everyone on your team can see what topics have been covered, which ones are planned for the future, deadlines, who has written which posts, and more.

common content marketing mistakes

Even the most well-written content can fall flat if it doesn’t properly speak to your audience. (Image via Unsplash)

2. Aiming for quantity over quality

When you’re just starting to build up your content library, it’s tempting to want to publish as much as you can as quickly as possible. But the truth is, you simply can’t rush good content. Just like proper SEO, it takes time, effort, and intention to do it right.

How to avoid: Even if you have an accelerated timeline or a team of content contributors, there should still be parameters in place to ensure your content is high quality. The best content is created to educate your audience and help them solve problems — not to game search engines. Publish work that’s thorough, accurate, easy to read, up to date, and informative. That way, you can rest assured that what you’re putting out into the digital world is worth standing behind. 

3. Not targeting your audience with your content

Even the most well-written content pieces can become content marketing mistakes if they don’t properly speak to your audience. If someone lands on your blog or website and finds content that doesn’t apply to them in some way, they’re likely to bounce.

How to avoid: If you haven’t already, it’s time to flesh out your ideal client personas. These personas can help you determine the common responsibilities, goals, and pain points of your audience so you can better address them in content. It’ll also help you understand what language and tone to use to best resonate with the people you’re trying to reach. 

4. Publishing thin content

As we’ve mentioned before, there’s no magic number when it comes to your content’s word count. However, it’s generally understood that content under 400 or so words is known as “thin content.” This type of content may not be as impactful or valuable to the reader as content that spans, say, 600 words or more. (We’ve found the sweet spot is closer to 800-1,200 words.)

How to avoid: When tackling a topic, make sure that you do a thorough job of explaining it. This could include insights such as how it can be applied, tips for success, and offering additional resources when it makes sense. Don’t simply write filler sentences to hit a certain word count. Rather, make sure that the piece properly addresses the reader’s question or curiosity.

5. Creating multiple posts on the same subject

In a perfect SEO world, each page on your site has its own keyword it aims to rank for. But once you’ve been publishing content for a while, it can be difficult to come up with new topics to tackle without risking overlap. Creating multiple posts that cover the same topic is known as duplicate content. This is considered a black-hat SEO technique, which could get you penalized by search engines, even though it can happen by accident. 

How to avoid: You can avoid creating duplicate content by checking your archives before starting a new piece. This helps ensure it hasn’t already been covered in the past in the same format. If it has, you can consider updating or lengthening the existing content. If the older content doesn’t provide much value, you can simply write a new piece and post it to redirect from the previous URL. 

Pro tip: Republishing content that’s been posted on another site, such as a guest blog, on your own site is also considered duplicate content. If you do this, Google will likely favor the page that was posted first, or it won’t rank either page. A page is considered duplicate if about 80% of the content is the same, so even trying to change around a few sentences isn’t enough.

content marketing mistakes

If you publish content in a forest and no one reads it, does it make a sound? (Image via Unsplash)

6. Neglecting to follow SEO best practices

Keeping SEO top of mind during the content creation process is one way to ensure that it gets the widest reach possible. That’s because priming your content for SEO makes it more recognizable by search engines. As a result, these pieces are more likely to show up in organic search results when someone searches for a related keyword or phrase. 

How to avoid: We’ve got a whole guide to creating an SEO content strategy (and a free webinar recording, too!). A few of the main ways you can work to make your content SEO-friendly are:

  • including images with alt tags
  • using subheaders
  • leveraging internal and external links
  • having a page title and meta description

7. Keyword stuffing your content

One of the most common content marketing mistakes we see is overly using keywords or location info on your site is defined as keyword stuffing. This used to be a way to try to quickly (and ethically) rise through search engine results page (SERP) rankings for a particular keyword — before Google caught on, that is. According to the search engine, “Filling pages with keywords or numbers results in a negative user experience, and can harm your site’s ranking.” 

How to avoid: Avoid keyword stuffing by only including your keyword and related phrases when it makes sense in your content. Don’t repeat your keyword unnecessarily. Sometimes you can accidentally conduct keyword stuffing in your content. Depending on your site platform, you can prevent this by installing an SEO plug-in (like Yoast for WordPress) that’ll alert you if your content includes stuffing.

8. Failing to promote your content

If you publish content in a forest and no one reads it, does it make a sound? By not promoting your content, you risk not reaching as many readers as you could. Significant effort went into producing your pieces, so it’s paramount that you do what you can to promote them. 

How to avoid: Depending on the type of piece you’re promoting, you can get the word out in a variety of paid and organic ways. For longer, meatier content, you can create ads that go to a landing page offering the content (such as an e-book, template, or guide) in exchange for a form fill-out. You can also organically promote on your social media channels and through your email newsletter

9. Not regularly updating your content

The longer you leave content on your site untouched, the more likely it is to grow stale and outdated. Whether it’s a timely blog about a certain year, a statistic, or a how-to guide for an often-updated platform, as time goes on, these pieces may need a second look — and perhaps a refresh — to stay relevant to your audience. 

How to avoid: Create a plan to conduct regular content audits. This way, you can easily identify which pieces need to be updated, modified, and even consolidated or redirected. This is a great way to keep your library fresh and up to date. 

The takeaway

Once you have a solid plan and the proper steps in place, you can get into a good groove with content creation. Building up a library of pieces that directly speak to your audience, fully explain the topic at hand, and feature original, natural, well-written copy will give you an edge over your competitors and help you avoid content marketing mistakes. 

Caroline Cox

Caroline Cox

Caroline is HawkSEM's content marketing manager. She uses her more than 10 years of professional writing and editing experience to create SEO-friendly articles, educational thought leadership pieces, and savvy social media content to help market leaders create successful digital marketing strategies. She's a fan of seltzer water, print magazines, and huskies.

Questions or comments? Join the conversation here!

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Written by Caroline Cox on Apr 30 , 2020

Content marketing is key to a successful, growth-minded business strategy — here’s why.

Here, you’ll find:

  • How content benefits businesses
  • Tips for creating a content strategy
  • The various types of content marketing
  • Why regular content audits are key

The writer Nora Ephron once wrote, “Everything is copy.” And while she wasn’t exactly referring to the art of content marketing, the idea still applies. After all, content is part of your brand, no matter your industry. From your About page, blog, and social media posts to paid search ads, product descriptions, and everything in between, it all falls under the umbrella of cohesive messaging.

Publishing great content can boost your SEO, help gain your target audience’s trust, and allow you to rise through the search engine results page (SERP) ranks. Whether you’ve got a process that needs refreshing or are starting from scratch, here’s what you need to know. 

hawksem - content marketing

Having educational, interesting content on your website helps visitors see your company as one that’s trustworthy and reputable. (Image via Unsplash)

Why does content marketing matter?

A solid content strategy can increase your website’s organic traffic from search engines, grow your email newsletter list, and expand your reach on social media. But that’s not all content is good for.

Having educational, interesting content on your website helps visitors see your company as one that’s trustworthy and reputable. It also shows that you’re paying attention to both your customers and your particular industry. Content helps people find your business, learn more about you, and, ideally, become customers.

How does content marketing affect SEO?

Many brands make the mistake of randomly churning out unedited content, posting it on their site, then wondering why no one is reading it. But creating content without a plan or strategy in place likely won’t do much to boost your SEO.

Your time and resources are valuable, so it’s worth it to invest in creating a solid, sustainable content marketing strategy that has SEO in mind.

Among other things, the steps to creating an SEO content strategy include:

  • Conduct keyword and topic research
  • Build out a content calendar
  • Write for people, not search engines
  • Amplify your content 

How do you target your audience through content?

The most effective content speaks directly to its target audience. Think about it: a blog focused on wedding planning likely won’t use the same tone and verbiage as one about BMX biking. It’s not that the same person wouldn’t be interested in both, but each site has different offerings and, thus, different goals.

If you don’t already have your personas fleshed out, now’s a good time to do that. Personas help you envision the people you’re speaking to by offering additional demographic information, like their job title and where they reside. 

The good news: You probably already have all the info you need to develop ideal client personas. Look for this data in your customer relationship management (CRM) tool, Google Analytics, or the analytics section of your social media profiles. If you want to build it out, you can always create a customer survey to garner additional feedback.

Looking into this data will be especially interesting if you begin to notice behaviors or interests that you weren’t expecting or previously targeting. 

Pro tip: When sending out surveys, you’re essentially asking your clients for a favor. While a customer feedback survey should only take a few minutes max, you may get a better response by sweetening the deal. For example, you could promote the survey via an email and mention that one random responder who completes the survey will win a $100 gift card. 

How many types of content marketing are there?

If you only think “blogs” when you hear the phrase content marketing, then you’re not seeing the full picture. Content can be many things, from blogs, guides, and whitepapers to e-books, webinars, podcasts and more.

Videos, for example, are a content type that can positively benefit your SEO. “If it’s a well done video, it can be very engaging to your users,” SEM expert and our lead strategist Justine Rabideau explained in our recent SEO content strategy webinar. Plus, videos can also keep visitors on your website longer while they watch or listen to your content.

E-books and case studies can help you set yourself apart from competitors, and you can leverage these more in-depth content types as lead generation opportunities. The same goes for your PPC and paid social efforts. 

Once you’ve built up a sizable content library, you can work on expanding your reach through experimenting with other content types. See what your audience responds to, then optimize (or try a new content type) from there. 

hawksem - content marketing

Writing down your content strategy makes it easier to optimize, build on, and update as time goes on. (Image via Unsplash)

How do you create a content marketing strategy?

Whether you’ve got a digital library full of content or are starting at square one, there’s never a bad time to implement a cohesive content strategy. 

A good content strategy:

  • Keeps you organized
  • Helps you work smarter, not harder
  • Can boost your website SEO
  • Attracts visitors to your site
  • Helps educate and inform your audience
  • And more

Everything in this post can fall under the umbrella of content strategy. But the key aspects are understanding your audience, knowing what keywords you want to rank for, analyzing which content performs best, having a cohesive brand voice, and being consistent. 

It helps to map out your strategy to ensure transparency across your team and the company at large. Writing down your strategy also makes it easier to optimize, build on, and update as time goes on.

How do you brainstorm content ideas through keyword research?

Keyword research is table stakes for any thought-out content strategy. Not only does it help you determine what topics you want to tackle through content, but it also reveals what keywords you’re already ranking for, if any.

One way to conduct keyword research is through tools like Moz, Ahrefs, and SEMrush. These sites can reveal insight into what industry-related questions and topics people are already searching for on search engines. They can also provide insight into related keywords, the volume of people searching for certain keywords, and how competitive certain keywords are when it comes to ranking for them. 

Once you pinpoint the keywords you want to rank for, it’s a good idea to create a spreadsheet that includes these keywords, and pull in info about volume and competition too, so you can prioritize accordingly.

Once you determine the topics and keywords you want your site to rank for, don’t skip doing your own research on Google itself. The SERP can show you what other keywords and questions Google is associating with your key terms. 

The SERP can be a good indicator of what other things people are searching for when they’re searching for your product or service. See what comes up in the “People also ask” box and under “Related searches,” as well as the source behind the featured snippet. All of these places can spark ideas about how to tackle keywords through content.

Pro tip: Check out your website’s Google Search Console profile to see some of the terms that you’re currently ranking for. 

How do competitors approach content marketing?

Speaking of checking out the SERP, this is also an opportunity to see what your competition is outranking you for — and how you can use content to fight back. (You know, figuratively. No roughhousing!) 

See what content ranks at the top of the results page as well as in the featured snippet section. How is the content formatted? How long is it? When was it published or last updated? You don’t merely want to copy what another brand is doing in a thinly-veiled attempt to outrank them, but this can give you helpful insight into what you might do differently. 

Outside of the SERP, check out a few of your competitors’ websites. (And if you’re not sure who they are, simply search for your specific business and see what other related sites come up.) It’s hard to outrank the sites of big-name brands, but you should at least be able to glean ideas about what content they cover and how they present it. 

How can a content marketing calendar keep you organized?

Having a strategy mapped out is one thing — having an organized system in place to make it happen is quite another. But if you want your plan to be sustainable and manageable, organization is key. That’s where a content calendar comes in.

Many content marketing teams create a cloud-based spreadsheet (like a Google Sheet) that can be modified, shared, and updated as needed. This spreadsheet can be a catch-all for your content. 

A content calendar often includes elements such as:

  • The content type 
  • The title
  • The author
  • The due date for the final content
  • The publish date
  • The keyword
  • The funnel stage

A content calendar can be as basic or as detailed as you need it to be. The more people on your team, the information you may need to add for transparency and to make sure everyone knows their responsibilities, such as editing, proofreading, and uploading. It also helps you plan for the content you want to publish in the future, so you can make sure you’re posting the right mix of topics, keywords, and funnel stages for your audience.

hawksem - content marketing

Content audits help you identify content that’s outdated or no longer relevant. (Image via Unsplash)

What are some content marketing stats?

  • 70% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing.
  • Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website.
  • Content marketing rakes in conversion rates six times higher than other methods.
  • 43% of marketers say consistent production is their biggest struggle when it comes to creating engaging content.
  • 55% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority.
  • Only 9% of marketing professionals evaluate their strategy as excellent.
  • Content can potentially result in 434% more search engine-indexed pages than business sites that don’t publish content.

What are the best ways to publish and promote content?

Once your content is edited, finalized, and formatted correctly, it’s time to publish. Whether you’re a team of one or 100, your content should be as high quality as possible. That means checking for things like spelling mistakes, grammar errors, wonky formatting, and dead links before your content goes live.

And with all that goes into the strategy and creation, it’s easy for the task of promoting it to fall by the wayside. But failing to promote your content is a huge mistake. If no one reads what you publish, then what’s the point? After all, you’re writing for people, not search engines — if you want your content to be truly effective, that is.

Carve out time to regularly promote your content, both new and older pieces. You can promote organically and through paid efforts. On the organic side, you can post links to your social media pages. The most effective organic posts generally feature a visual element — like a graphic, GIF, video, or photo — and short, eye-catching verbiage about why someone should click through. You can also promote this copy through your company newsletter.

On the paid side, you can boost some of your social posts and turn them into paid social efforts. You can also gate some of your longer-form content and promote landing pages that offer that content once someone fills out a form. 

Why should you conduct regular content marketing audits?

The longer you publish content, the more likely it is that some pieces will become outdated. That’s one reason why conducting regular content audits is so crucial. Content audits (also called revamps or revitalizations) help you identify content that’s outdated or no longer relevant. This way, you can update these pieces without losing the link authority the URL has built up.

If a post is more than six months old, chances are it could at least use revisiting to make sure all the links are still active and all the information is accurate and up to date. 

Audits are also a great opportunity to look for:

  • Thin content (blogs that are less than 600 words, for example)
  • Posts with similar content that could be combined or redirected
  • Data or statistics that have more recent numbers tied to them
  • Content that is underperforming and could be reworked or fleshed out

The takeaway

With all the benefits that come from content marketing — from better SEO to increased reach — brands that don’t prioritize it simply can’t compete with those that do. 

By investing the time and effort it takes to produce high-quality content for your target audience, you can show them that you understand their pain points, can provide them with solutions, and are a trustworthy resource in your industry. 

Want more insight into how content can help take your digital marketing to the next level? Just say hi.

Caroline Cox

Caroline Cox

Caroline is HawkSEM's content marketing manager. She uses her more than 10 years of professional writing and editing experience to create SEO-friendly articles, educational thought leadership pieces, and savvy social media content to help market leaders create successful digital marketing strategies. She's a fan of seltzer water, print magazines, and huskies.

Questions or comments? Join the conversation here!

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Written by Caroline Cox on Nov 6 , 2019

From ideation to optimization, these steps will help you create a solid process for quality content marketing

Here, you’ll find:

  • Methods for sourcing content ideas
  • How to prioritize your content calendar
  • Tips for effective content writing
  • Ways to promote your content to your audience

A site without strong content simply can’t compete with one sporting an extensive blog, an array of case studies, and other helpful written resources. Having quality content on your website is one of the most effective ways to take your SEO from “eh” to “awesome.” 

Whether you write it yourself, leverage a team member, or outsource to an agency, these are the elements you need for content that’ll make your brand an industry thought leader.

HawkSEM blog: 11 Steps to Create Quality Content

After you have your plan written down, you can update and optimize as needed. (Image via Unsplash)

1. Start with a quality content marketing strategy

Before you put pen to paper (or marker to whiteboard, or fingers to keys), take the time to lay out your content strategy. Ask yourself things like:

  • What are your content marketing goals?
  • Which KPIs will you measure?
  • How often will you publish?
  • What tools will you use to stay organized?
  • Which forms of content will you publish?

Once you’ve worked out the nitty-gritty details, lay them out in a content strategy doc. After you have your plan written down, you can update and optimize it on a quarterly, biannual, or annual basis as needed.

2. Flesh out your personas

When you’re building your plan for creating quality content, it helps to go back to basics. After all, the ultimate aim of quality content marketing is to:

  • Raise awareness about your company
  • Educate and provide value to your audience
  • Build loyalty and credibility
  • Improve your search engine results page (SERP) rankings
  • Differentiate your company as a thought leader
  • Drive sales

The most effective content marketing speaks directly to a company’s ideal client persona (ICP), in a language they understand. So, if you haven’t already, make sure you’ve fleshed out your personas

Once you can visualize who your content is speaking to, you can then begin to target their needs and wants, buyer’s journey stage, and interests in a more concrete, specific way.

While you can get as detailed as you want, thorough personas often include:

  • Name
  • Photo or graphic representing the person
  • Company type or industry
  • Job title
  • Key responsibilities
  • Pain points
  • Helpful demographic info (like age, salary, city or region, etc.)

3. Define your voice and tone

Your brand’s voice and tone are illustrated through your website, your content marketing, your ad copy, your social media, and more. These things are reflected in how you speak to your audience. Your voice and tone should make sense for your audience as well as the overall ethos of your business.

A good place to start with identifying your voice and tone is by looking at your target personas. How do they talk? Are they more formal or casual? How much time do they have to consume your content? All of these elements can factor into your voice and tone. 

Next, revisit your company’s mission and values. Some businesses use bright colors, youthful acronyms (like LOL), and other nontraditional marketing elements in their branding.

Others have an audience that prefers a minimalist design, a serious demeanor, and no-nonsense verbiage. By blending together the right combination of elements, you can define your voice and tone.

Pro tip: You can codify your voice and tone by creating a content and style guide exclusive to your company’s content marketing. This can include goals, guidelines, and any mechanics you want to make clear, along with info on voice and tone.

4. Conduct keyword research

Grab your shovels — it’s time to do some digging. Identifying your best SEO keywords can help inform your content goals and the topics you cover. If you want to improve your SERP rankings, high-quality content informed by proper keyword targeting is one of the most effective SEO tools at your disposal.

Keyword research can tell you what keywords you’re currently ranking for, what keywords bring users to your site, the most popular keywords for your industry, and more. You want to pinpoint what the user would be searching for (what terms and phrases they’d often use) to find your product or service.

Conduct your research by listing out topics relevant to your business. Next, determine the keywords that would fall under those categories. You can then use an SEO tool (like Google Keyword Planner) to find out the monthly search volume. You can also go directly to the SERP to see how you stack up against your competition.

Ideally, you have a mix of long-tail keywords, which are phrases that usually have three or more words, as well as one-word keywords. Just keep in mind that one-word keywords usually aren’t high converters.

It’s not so much about search volume or length of the keyword — the goal is to rank as high as possible on the highest intent keywords. Targeting is how you find the keywords that have the highest buying intent behind them.

Pro tip: While it’s good to check out which keywords your competition is ranking highly on, don’t spend all of your time and effort trying to outrank them. There’s plenty of value in carving out your own niche as well.

HawkSEM blog: 11 Steps to Create Quality Content

Once you’ve determined your goals, done your research, and consulted your team, you should be able to prioritize your content ideas. (Image via Unsplash)

5. Gather and organize your ideas

Keyword research is a solid jumping-off point when you’re creating your quality content plan. But it shouldn’t be the end-all-be-all of your ideation process. This is a great opportunity to leverage people on your team and in other departments to help decide which subjects your content should cover.

Consider hosting a brainstorm session or creating a Slack channel where content ideas can be shared and discussed. This is a great way to leverage colleagues (like the sales team) who are regularly interacting with prospects and clients and hearing about their pain points, needs, and interests. Put all of these ideas onto a cloud-based doc that can be regularly modified, added to, and updated. 

Once you’ve determined your goals, done your research, and consulted your team, you should be in a place where you can properly prioritize your content ideas. Figure out which topics you want to tackle sooner and later, then create a quality content marketing calendar to keep it all organized. 

While there’s no one way to create your content calendar, it’s a good idea to include elements such as:

  • content title
  • content type
  • writer
  • due date
  • publish date
  • keywords
  • funnel stage or persona

As far as formatting, you can create your own spreadsheet or opt for a pre-made template.

6. Determine your creation process

The creation process for your content will depend on things like your bandwidth, the size of your content team, and the amount of content you want to produce in a certain time, among other things. But laying out a process will make the whole endeavor seem less overwhelming and more manageable. 

A common content marketing creation process looks something like this:

  1. Determine topic
  2. Conduct research
  3. Gather information
  4. Brainstorm headlines
  5. Create outline
  6. Write draft
  7. Edit draft
  8. Finalize draft
  9. Format and upload 
  10. Publish

Again, your process doesn’t need to follow this format exactly. However, by creating a step-by-step checklist for content creation, you can break up tasks into smaller bits to easily stay on track — and on deadline.

7. Let drafts breathe

This step may not seem crucial, but trust us, it is. While it can be tempting to type up a draft, give it a quick once-over, and immediately publish, it’s often not the wisest move. 

Not letting your drafts “breathe” — aka taking a break between writing and publishing — is how errors and incomplete content get published.

Even if you just get out of your desk chair and do a lap around the office, or wait until the next morning to reread your draft, reviewing your content with fresh eyes can make a world of difference. The last thing you want is to publish or send the content to your boss and get a “???” message in response.

Pro tip: No matter how technical your industry or topic is, it’s a good rule of thumb to always write how you speak. By writing in a way that’s conversational, your content comes off more human, authentic, and trustworthy. Plus, with voice search continuing to grow in popularity, content that uses simple, concise language is that much more likely to rise through the search ranks.

8. Have someone else edit (if possible)

Speaking of having a fresh set of eyes (which sounds kind of gross, now that I think about it), those eyes are ideal for another key part of creating quality content: proofreading and editing. Editing is an important step to take to turn a piece of content from good into great.

This editor could be your boss or a colleague, and it doesn’t have to be the same person each time. If you’re on a small team or are a team of one, you can be your own editor. Just make sure you don’t edit your piece directly after finishing the draft.

It’s also a good idea to print out the piece and read it that way — the change of format often helps you spot errors you may not have seen on the screen. 

No matter who edits, make sure they know what to look for. A good editor can see both the forest and the trees. This means that they’re looking for an overall solid piece of content that’s thorough, educational, and covers the topic properly. They also should be on the lookout for grammar and spelling errors, missing words, and an inconsistent tone.

9. Think beyond blog posts

Blog articles can be a huge asset to your website for all the reasons above. But don’t think that blog content is all you need to create. Quality content also comes in the form of social media, guides, case studies, checklists, e-books, white papers, webinars, podcasts — the list goes on.

Once you’ve built a quality content marketing foundation, you can experiment with new formats and see how your audience responds. You can also create complementary content that covers one topic in a variety of ways, with each piece linking to one another.

Pro tip: Don’t rush the headline-writing process. A good headline can be the difference between someone clicking on your link or continuing to scroll. After you’ve written a piece, try to spend at least 10 minutes brainstorming as many headline options as you can before making a final decision.

10. Don’t forget to promote

Like a tree falling in the forest, if a blog article is published and no one knows about it, does it make a sound?

To ensure your content gets the widest reach possible, you’ve got to do what you can to promote it. While you don’t want your social media to be a one-way conversation where you’re constantly shouting about your own company, you should be sharing your content regularly with your audience and followers. 

If you send out a client or prospect newsletter, this is also a great opportunity to include your own content. If you’ve published a new e-book or research findings, you can go so far as to add a banner to your website homepage directing people to the post.

HawkSEM blog: 11 Steps to Create Quality Content

Content marketing is an SEO tool that takes time to cultivate. (Image via Unsplash)

11. Monitor performance

A content strategy is never set in stone. After a few months of publishing, it’s a good time to do a performance check-in. Look into your content traffic and performance metrics, see which pieces are doing well, and see if your rankings have improved.

If you’re not seeing much change, don’t panic. Quality content marketing is an SEO tool that takes time to cultivate. As long as you’re producing work that’s informative, interesting, digestible, and accurate, you’re on the right track. 

Your content plan should include reminders for optimizing older content as well — ensuring all links are still active, the information is up-to-date, and any new developments are included. When you start to see patterns emerge that show what’s working and what’s not, you can optimize accordingly. 

The takeaway

Quality content marketing is a great avenue for showing your audience that your business knows how to leverage experts and wants to help them learn more. 

By following these 11 steps, you can build up a top-notch resource library that positions your company as a leader among your competition.

We’ve helped tons of companies big and small take their content marketing to the next level. Want to know more? Let’s chat.

Caroline Cox

Caroline Cox

Caroline is HawkSEM's content marketing manager. She uses her more than 10 years of professional writing and editing experience to create SEO-friendly articles, educational thought leadership pieces, and savvy social media content to help market leaders create successful digital marketing strategies. She's a fan of seltzer water, print magazines, and huskies.

Questions or comments? Join the conversation here!

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