7 Costly Technology Mistakes Made by Content Marketers

7 Costly Technology Mistakes Made by Content Marketers

content marketers technologyIf 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.


Content Shock
Mark invented the term ‘content shock’


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:  Read this post about optimizing your articles for SEO 

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.

slideshare social sharing
The presentation is displayed within the Twitter stream


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”

“twitter:site” value=”@slideshare”
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:  Read this article about Twitter cards

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.


Mobile Rendering
Does your website work well on a mobile site?


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.  Read this article on Ontraport.


 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.


What’s next?

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.

Thank you,


21 Responses to 7 Costly Technology Mistakes Made by Content Marketers

  1. Thank you for reasonable points on content marketing! As a founder of startup I think that some part of work in sales and marketing should be outsourced. You can make a smaller investment to building your marketing plan until your growth provides the cash flow needed to hire more permanent staffing. Also, you often need the expertise of more knowledgeable professionals providing strategic growth plans and your budget doesn’t not allow for that level of investment for the long term. I was working Ignite http://ignitecloudware.com It seems to be reliable and competent company.

  2. The mobile note is huge Ian. In this day and age we can’t afford to ignore it. Readers of my gifting blog implored me to use a responsive design for years. I smartened up last October 😉 People are using their mobile devices more than ever. I see this wherever I’m traveling, from the jungles of Bali, to the beaches of Phuket, to the mountains of Laos. I actually I saw a woman working the rice fields in Vietnam on her Smartphone! LOL! Power advice, thanks for sharing.

    • Love it Ryan, on your mobile in the rice fields!!! It’s funny that businesses see people on their mobile phone constantly but don’t put two and two together, thanks for your feedback, always appreciated! Ian

  3. Thank you Ian for your excellent advice. You lost me when you became technical: where can I learn to embed a slideshare presentation in a tweet.. step by step … or is that something I really need a developer for (I have none at hand)?

  4. Hey Ian,

    My biggest mistake as a content marketer is not using social media to its full potential. Yes I can use my blog to build relationships, but also I don’t want to talk about marketing strategies all the time. Marketing has changed a lot from 10 years ago. It’s a lot more “human” meaning you want to be a bit more engaging through comments, pictures, videos, etc… You can say that you want to be your own “reality TV show” as far as social media.

    Also making sure that your content is “mobile ready” is vital now days if you want to build more traffic. I just changed my theme this past weekend to a more mobile compatible site and I’m definitely loving the look! Thanks for sharing and I hope you have a great weekend!

    • Hi Sherman, thanks for your feedback. I use a range of tools to help with social media but that really does free up time for me to chat with as many people as possible. I love chatting and getting to know someone and delighted that you commented.
      You’re right about mobile, we see everyone browsing the web on our mobile but continue to think of desktop only!
      Thank so you much and have a great week-end also!

  5. Nice Ian, Content marketing is not a bolt-on to other marketing efforts. Content
    marketing is a practice that integrates all of your content-driven initiative into a consistent and holistic experience for your target markets.Thanks for sharing…

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