If you are in the world of content marketing and are not allocating sufficient time to the technology side of things, then you are likely to be wasting a lot of time. It’s easy to get consumed by the creation of content, but smart content creation requires a lot of thought and planning.
In this article we outline 7 costly technology mistakes made by content marketers, and I’d love to hear if any of these resonate with you.
1. Not Optimizing Content for Google
It would be nice to just write articles and ignore how Google is going to rank them, but if the majority of your traffic is coming from Google why would you ignore the librarian that’s indexing your book?
You want to find out what people are searching for that is relevant to your business, and then write content around these topics. If they are not searching for it on Google then you’re going to have to work harder to get search engine traffic.
My friend Mark Schaefer invented a term called ‘Content Shock‘, about the overload of content. Because his article was so controversial it was mentioned thousands of times on the web. You can see, in the image below, that there are 1,282 links from external sites to this content.
That’s what happens when you invent a term and create demand for a keyword. Mark’s website ranking went up and he gets ongoing traffic.
But if you are not going to create demand for search phrases, stick to the ones you know people are already looking for.
Action: It’s not necessary to optimize every article, but you should consider what people are searching for when you are writing so that you can give your content a better chance of being found and getting ongoing traffic.
2. Not Optimizing for Social Media
Lee Odden recently did a Slideshare presentation to promote the Social Media Marketing World conference in San Diego. He tweeted a link to the presentation and, when that tweet is viewed on Twitter.com you can see the tweet but you can also see the full Slideshare presentation.
This is because Slideshare are optimizing their content for sharing across social media channels.
We’re going to get a little technical now! If you check the source code on Slideshare.net for this presentation you’ll see the following:
meta name=”twitter:card” value=”player”
meta name=”twitter:player” value=”https://www.slideshare.net/slideshow/embed_code/31915033″
meta name=”twitter:title” value=”Riding the Waves of Social Media – 38 Tips from the Pros #SMMW14 eBook”meta name=”twitter:image” value=”http://cdn.slidesharecdn.com/ss_thumbnails/social-media-marketing-world-2014-ebook-2-140304180227-phpapp02-thumbnail-4.jpg?cb=1394135232″
This is information that Slideshare has configured to give Twitter enough information to embed their presentations within Twitter. It is known as a Twitter card.
Social media optimization techniques such as this are important to consider for all social media channels. If you’re not thinking about this, you are making a mistake.
Action: Talk to your developers about your social media optimization.
3. Your website is not mobile compatible
Is mobile important…?
If you’re sharing content on Facebook and people are clicking on links and arriving on a non-mobile compatible website, you’re in very dangerous territory!!
Having a mobile version of your website is just as important as having a desktop version. So you need to jump in and build it.
You’ve 2 main choices:
a) Building a mobile version of your website – This is inexpensive to get up and running and there are some great options available. For example, if you are on WordPress you can use WPTouch.
b) Build a responsive design – This is where you have the exact same website but it’s adjusted to fit with the relevant device.
Action: Read this article on how to support mobile for your website.
4. Not having enough automation
Automation is sometimes seen as a bad word in the world of social media. But there is bad automation and good automation!
You can’t automate relationship building and when you share content you need to interact with any responses. But there are some aspects of automation that are essential: there are so many platforms, you probably have an audience online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and you also have a life!
It is often appropriate to automate when you want to:
a) Resend old content – If you have evergreen content (content that doesn’t go out of date) why not reshare this content to your audience, because this is changing all the time? Sharing great content to your audience is useful, and some of your older content is bound to be great!
b) Distribute your blog content – When you publish a blog post, you want to distribute this to your social media channels every time. So why not automate this distribution?
c) Automate emails – You can’t automate all emails, but you can use automation systems that check to see if people opened your email and clicked on the links, and then automatically send an email based on these actions. As so many people who come to your site are not ready to buy, you need to build marketing automation that takes people through a process to get them to the stage of buying. You can’t do this manually!
Action: Review what automation you have set up and see what additional automation you can implement.
5. Too much focus on traffic and not enough on conversion
Why do people always ask how much traffic you get for your website? That’s like asking you if you’re busy. It’s easy being busy and it’s easy generating traffic.
What’s hard is generating traffic from the right audience that converts.
A conversion could start off as an e-mail subscriber, someone signing up for a demo or even buying your product and service.
If you are driving lots of traffic through paid or unpaid means you need to really focus on conversion. This means building:
a) High-converting landing pages.
b) Building subscription/sign up boxes that are prominent on the site and have the elements for conversion (clear call to actions, social proof, powerful words etc.).
c) Split testing – Testing out your conversion process, optimizing and making improvements.
d) Lead nurturing – When you get a subscriber, you need to put them through their paces. Walk them through a lead nurturing process that brings them from being an unknown person, to a lead, to a sale. This filtering process will eliminate most people, but most of your traffic probably won’t buy from you.
Action: Invest in the right tools for conversion. For example, Leadpages is a fantastic landing page tool.
6. Your website not hosted with the right people
What happens when your site is so popular it gets hacked?
What happens when you get massive spikes in traffic for articles picked up by high profile sites?
You need to have your website on a reliable platform, hosted by a reliable provider. When you are reviewing your hosting provider you should never just look for the cheapest solution, as there is a lot more to take into account than the price.
Things to consider when choosing a web host include:
a) Is performance going to be good? This is where you might need to call on your tech-savvy friends to evaluate the hosting provider. What bandwidth is available? What machines are used (dedicated or virtual)? What memory is available? What caching mechanisms they have in place? And so on.
b) Is there a CDN? A CDN (content distribution network) means that your data is served up to the web browser from the closest data centre. So an Irish user might access a data centre in the UK when browsing your website, but a US user would access it from a US-based data centre. If the data is closer, it’s going to be faster. If your hosting provider doesn’t support this then you’ll need to set up an account with another provider such as MaxCDN.
c) Do they provide protection against hacking? Security of your site is a complex issue and your WordPress developer will not be able to cover all the bases. You need someone that will be there 24×7 in case your site does get hacked. Ideally, you need a managed hosting service where the hosting providers will protect you with software like Sucuri, and if you ever are hacked they’ll get you back up and running as quickly as possible.
Who do we host with? WPEngine – Fast performance and fully protected against hacking.
Action: Prepare for growth. Evaluate your hosting provider and make sure you have solid foundations for the growth that’s coming.
7. Not using the best Social Media management tools
There are thousands of tools available for you to choose from, but how do you make a decision?
If you haven’t done an evaluation of your requirements, and of the range of tools available, then you are probably using the wrong ones. Some tools are more suited to some organizations than others, so doing an evaluation will really help. You want to remove any inefficiencies and tools can certainly help with that.
For example, if you manage several Pages on Facebook you’ll want a tool that will help you reduce the amount of time you spend on there, while still getting the best results. Postplanner would save you a ton of time. If you did an evaluation of the tools for managing your Facebook Pages, this is one you might end up picking.
Action: Do a full evaluation of the tools that are available and ensure you are using the best tools possible.
You can’t avoid technology if you’re involved in online marketing, and having technology skills is essential. And because technology by itself does not lead to success, you do need a good strategy first.
But if you have a strategy and avoid the technology mistakes listed above, you’ll have a bit of an advantage over other digital marketers.
Why not take some action?
1. Do an evaluation of your hosting provider, tools, analytics etc to see if you can make any improvements.
2. Share this article with your marketing friends!
3. Comment below. Tell me I’m wrong, tell me I’m right, tell me I’m missing something or just agree with me! We just love hearing from you.