Marketing Minefield: The 4 Most Common Mistakes in Content Marketing
Have you noticed that in recent years when we see a story about a brand or a public figure that went viral, 50% of the time it was because they did something incredibly stupid? While it’s true that instances of your brand going viral could rapidly raise your brand’s profile in the matter of days, it would also be natural to assume that the exact opposite to happen especially in this current call-out culture we live in where even the slightest indication of political incorrectness would lead to anyone being shamed into oblivion.
This has made social media platforms something of a paradox. The sheer popularity of these platforms has led to the rise of modern brands and businesses such as videogame streamers and beauty vloggers but at the same posing a risk to the very same businesses they’ve fostered. A throwaway comment, an insensitive joke or anything that could be considered tone-deaf is more than enough to hurt their business, something that most businesses and SEO services should be aware of in their content marketing efforts.
Their mistakes are our lessons
One of the weirdest stories I’ve read recently is the feud between beauty vloggers James Charles and Tati Westbrook, a feud that I’ve been only made aware of because I Googled who James Charles was when he made an appearance in this year’s Met Gala. For those who haven’t been following this feud, James Charles is a male beauty vlogger who was born in 1999 and in 2016, made history by becoming the first male face for CoverGirl. Tati Westbrook, meanwhile, is another, older and more experienced beauty vlogger who took Charles under her wing as a protege and frequently collaborates with him.
This all changed when earlier this year when Westbrook, who owns a vitamin company, called Charles out for posting an Instagram ad on behalf of another supplement company which she described as a betrayal of their friendship. As a result of this drama, Charles set an unenviable record as the first YouTube personality to have lost a million subscribers within 24 hours as his subscriber count fell down from more than 16 million to a low point of 13 million. For comparison’s sake, try imagining losing almost a quarter of your business in less than 24 hours.
The drama between Westbrook and Charles isn’t just between them, the minute Westbrook aired it out in public, it spread like wildfire with members of the public, mainstream publications and other, bigger YouTube personalities chiming in on the issue. This is exactly the danger of committing a social media fiasco, your mistake would be screenshotted, shared and shamed into oblivion. The internet never forgets which is why you should always avoid committing the following 4 mistakes.
Trying to cover every subject
Far too often, businesses make the mistake of trying to cover as many subjects as they possibly can. This can lead to to two distinct possibilities; the amount of disparate topics could lead you to lose followers as it’s quite likely that your followers aren’t interested in hearing what you have to say in everything. The second risk is that you might be forced to comment on topics that you’re not actually qualified for and the minute you misspoke, you could end up being ridiculed and shamed as the internet loves nothing more than to showcase their smug superiority.
If your business does have its eggs in more than one basket, make sure to have separate blogs or social media accounts for each of these specializations, especially if they’re markedly different from each other. It’s also important to make sure that each of these topics is being handled by someone who actually knows what they’re talking about. Social media is a two-way platform and it’s entirely possible that you’re going to be fielded with questions so it’s always best to have someone capable of responding to these questions in charge of your social media account.
Too focused on being the first to everything
Social media isn’t exactly journalism, while you could win some points by being the first to catch on to something, quality and originality is a much more precious commodity. The downside of trying to be the first with your hot takes is that your hot takes might amount to nothing more than just hot air. Take time to properly consider what you’re about to post, look at it from every angle possible to ensure you’ve covered every based and try to base your contents around data and proper research instead of wild conjectures.
Creating content with the aim of going viral
This would never work because it’s society that dictates what would go viral and what wouldn’t. Tommy Wiseau didn’t create The Room with the intention for that film to become the shining example of what a cult favorite means; it just simply happened. Any attempt at mimicking the viral sensations of yesteryear wouldn’t work because the sincerity and honesty behind these viral hits is what makes them viral. Instead, try to create the best contents that you could possibly can according to your capabilities. If you have a knack for writing, then write or if you’ve never been camera-shy, try leveraging that potential by making vlogs. In the vast ocean that is the internet, we all have our own niche to play around in.
Putting customer research on a pedestal
If a research revealed that people like contents about burgers, should you be posting burgers round the clock? No, because that’s what everyone else would be doing. The right thing to do is to find out exactly what makes burgers so likable and then create something resembling those points so that you’d end up with contents carrying the same likable elements while still making sure that you still stand out in an ocean of generic burger contents. Yes, I do agree that this has been a very poor analogy but I’m sure you get the idea. Customer and market research is only superficially useful, the real value is only gained when you’re able to gleam the actual insights hidden in those numbers.