The Worst Content Marketing Mistake You Can Make

The Worst Content Marketing Mistake You Can Make

By Brianne Carlon RushJun 21 /2012

content marketing mistakeWhile in the grocery store last night, I walked by an entire shelf of Skinnygirl Cocktails: bottles of vodka, cosmo, margarita, pina colada, sangria and now wine. Impressively, the brand has really grown over the past few years. But what really interested me, is that it grew so rapidly in an industry that already existed. By no means are vodka and margaritas new products, so why were these ones so successful?

The answer is simply genius: Creator Bethany Frankel knew her audience. She really knew what women wanted—to remain skinny while drinking alcoholic beverages (duh)—hence the name Skinnygirl Margaritas. To me, that is marketing at its finest.

Know Your Audience

A few weeks ago I discussed seven content marketing mistakes to look for, but not taking the time to research and understand your audience is the worst possible mistake you could make in both content marketing and marketing in general. When it comes to content, you must constantly compete for customer attention. Blogs and videos require consumers to dedicate about five minutes while white papers, e-books and webinars require an hour or maybe even longer. In a world where attention spans last as long as a sneeze (in 2006 it was reported that online shoppers have a four-second attention span, I would assume it is even shorter six years later), content MUST be relevant and targeted. Otherwise, it will be ignored and become a waste of your time, effort and budget. 

How to Do It

Before you even write one word, build a blog persona. Study your audience and understand its wants and needs, then write it all down. Points of interest should include:

  • Age range
  • Financial status
  • Education level
  • Hobbies
  • Needs
  • Pain Points
  • Keywords
  • Voice/tone
  • Example topics
  • Online resources
  • Other relevant information

And don’t forget to share this document with everyone on the team.

Know Your Product, Too

Once you know your audience, it is important to know your product or service, as well. If your company sells a tangible product, it is imperative to test it out internally before going public. I often wonder how many companies skip this step. For example, I make a smoothie every morning for breakfast. The first mini blender I bought seemed perfect: individual containers used to blend and then, by simply switching the top, I could take it with me to drink out of. I would argue that no one tried the “drink out of” part before the item hit the market, though. The mouthpiece was horrible! It was difficult to drink out of and the closure didn’t stay put so it constantly fell slapping me in the nose. I quickly switched to a GNC version. The lesson here is that if you don’t want to use your product, your customers won’t either.  

Marketing Takeaway

Chances are you are not the first ever to provide your product or service. In order to stand out and succeed like Skinnygirl, you must find your niche and appeal directly to that target market with relevant, quality content. Do your research; talk to people and find out what they want and need. Take that information and make a bold statement with your content. Your audience will appreciate it. 

Photo: chilebeans

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The Author

Brianne Carlon Rush

Brianne works with Fortune 500 clients to strategize digital marketing efforts that help sales teams close deals faster. Additionally, she focuses on Kuno’s sales and marketing alignment and employee empowerment. Prior to Kuno, Brianne helped market OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools, and was the youngest person to be promoted to managing editor position at MacFadden Performing Arts Media in NYC.