Part 2: Bad Digital Content Marketing Habits & How to Quit Them

Part 2: Bad Digital Content Marketing Habits & How to Quit Them

By Jessy SmulskiApr 17 /2018

If all your friends jump off a bridge, should you? If the bridge is digital content marketing, then yes. Yes, you should. Ninety-one percent of B2B marketers and 86 percent of B2C marketers are doing it. And 70 percent can demonstrate how content marketing has increased engagement and leads. Don’t believe me? Check out the latest stats from Social Media Today.

I know what you’re thinking. You already made content marketing a priority, but you still aren’t seeing gains. Beyond the fact that digital content marketing is a fast-paced, time consuming, carpal tunnel-inducing strategy—it’s also one riddled with bad habits. After all, it’s still a relatively new strategy! If you missed Part 1 of this conversation, check it out here. Today, we’re covering Part two of some of the worst bad habits stunting your content marketing success, and how to break them for good.


Your Content To-Do List Is Never-Ending

According to Content Marketing Institute, even top content marketers struggle with this bad habit. If your content marketing to-do list looks like an ancient scroll cascading down to the floor and across the room—something clearly needs to change. This isn’t a productive way to meet your goals. Instead, keep a close eye on performance data and search for tasks that aren’t having a sizable impact. Make way for greater focus on what is working or what might work better. If removable items aren’t clear, refer to your documented content marketing strategy. Your to-do list should always align with and prioritize tasks according to this strategy.

You Run The Same Strategy For-ev-er

Editorial calendars are vital components of a successful strategy. They support consistency and help you weave content pieces together as part of a larger plan. Editorial calendars also make it really easy to move thoughtlessly, month-after-month, through the same process. Remaining stagnant in a market that is constantly changing doesn’t make sense. You need to develop fresh ideas and try new things. Experiment with other social media platforms like SnapChat, or new forms of content like surveys, videos or webinars. Find out what the thought leaders in your industry are talking about and use them to inform your strategy, which should always be in a state of iteration.

You Aren’t Talking Like a Human

English 101, you’ve been good to me. But it’s a different world out here. Starting sentences with conjunctions? Fair game. Made up words? Sure, if it makes sense. Oxford comma? Maybe. People are typing less and talking more, and this completely changes the way we wordsmith. According to Search Engine Journal, Google’s English word accuracy rate is at 95 percent! And 39 million Americans own a voice-first smart speaker like Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home. Ergo, the more conversational you are—the more relatable, engaging and searchable.

Since inquiries don’t look (or sound) the same as they did years ago, we need to adjust the way we respond to these inquiries through our content and SEO tactics. For example, you wouldn’t voice search by saying, “Mediterranean restaurant, 43017”. More likely, you’d speak in full sentences. “Hey, Siri. What 5-star Mediterranean restaurants are near me?” The Mediterranean restaurants with long-tail keywords and proper schema markup will be the options Siri serves up first.

Content and SEO Aren’t Integrated

Show of hands…how many of you create content first and plugged in SEO keywords and links later? Kick this bad habit to the curb immediately. Cyberspace is a dumping ground for content. Everyone is producing it, and many are haphazardly tossing words to the wind with little regard for purpose or value. You are competing for attention against hundreds of millions of blogs and websites. If you aren’t making SEO a high-priority part of your digital content marketing strategy, you’re basically trying to hit a homer with a popsicle stick.

Your content should start with user intent and the keywords they type or say to find information. By understanding what they search and how they search it, you can create a content strategy that specifically answers their questions, aligns with the context of their search, and pushes them through the marketing funnel. 

Pro tips:

  • Use tools like SEMrush to conduct keyword research before pounding the keyboard. These SEO tools provide insight into your competitors’ SEO strategies and your audience’s search behavior. You’ll want to avoid putting stock in words that are too competitive or not being searched.
  • Work keywords into the SEO page title, content header, image, image alt text, etc. If search bots can’t index you, your audiences can’t find you.
  • Put extra effort into crafting the perfect title and meta description. It’s easy to leave these details for last, but clickability is half the battle on SERPs. Make your teasers enticing.
  • Make certain your website is secure (HTTPS vs. HTTP).
  • Step up your schema game.

Despite rumors that video and interactive media will eventually run the written word out of business, don’t hold your breath. Digital content marketing isn’t going anywhere. However, new mediums will impact the way we write about and promote our brilliant brands. To stay afloat, work these bad habits out of your routine right away and keep your ear to the ground. The only thing that is certain is change.

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Jessy Smulski
The Author

Jessy Smulski

Jessy turns everyday industry talk into simple, insightful, humanized conversation. Often described as bold, empathetic and charmingly sarcastic; her writing style reflects her personality and reads like a friend telling stories over supper. When she isn’t writing, you can find Jessy backpacking the Midwest, snowboarding the Rockies, or capturing life through the lens of her camera.