If you aren’t allocating ample time to the tech side of content marketing, you’re probably wasting a lot of time.
It’s easy to become consumed with creating content, but smart content creation requires a lot of thought and planning.
Here are seven costly technology mistakes content marketers make. Do any resonate with you?
1. Not optimizing content for Google
It would be nice to just write articles and ignore how Google will rank them, but you can’t ignore the librarian indexing your book.
Find out what people are searching for that is relevant to your business, and write content about those topics. If people aren’t searching for your topics on Google, you’ll have a hard time getting search engine traffic.
My friend Mark Schaefer invented a term about the overload of content called “content shock.” 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 create demand for a keyword. Schaefer’s website ranking went up, and he gets ongoing traffic.
If you are not going to create demand for search phrases, stick to the ones you know people are already looking for.
2. Not optimizing for social media
Lee Odden recently created a Slideshare presentation to promote the Social Media Marketing World conference in San Diego. He tweeted a link to the presentation, and when you view the tweet on Twitter, you can also see the full Slideshare presentation. Slideshare is optimizing its content for social-media sharing.
Let’s get a little technical. 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 Slideshare configured to give Twitter enough information to embed presentations within its platform. It is known as a Twitter card.
It’s important to consider social media optimization techniques such as this for all social media channels. If you’re not doing so, you’re making a mistake.
3. Not ensuring your website is mobile compatible
If the links you share on Facebook take viewers to a non-mobile compatible website, you’re in dangerous territory.
Having a mobile version of your website is just as important as having a desktop version.
If you’re website is not mobile compatible, you have two choices:
- Build a mobile version of your website. This is inexpensive, but there are some great options available. For example, if you are on WordPress you can use WPTouch.
- Build a responsive design. This allows you to have the same website, but it’s adjusted to fit with the relevant device.
4. Not having enough automation
Some people see automation as a bad thing, but there is bad automation and there is good automation.
You can’t automate relationship building; when you share content, you have to interact with anyone who responds. Yet some aspects of automation are essential. With so many platforms, you probably have an audience 24/7—but you also have a life.
It’s appropriate to automate when you want to:
- Resend old content: Why not republish evergreen articles and videos? New people are constantly joining your audience.
- Distribute your blog content: When you publish a blog post, you distribute it to your social media channels every time. Why not automate this distribution?
- Automate emails: You can’t automate all emails, but you can use automation systems that determine whether people opened your email and clicked 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 an automated system that takes people through a process to get them ready to buy. You can’t do that manually.
5. Too much focus on traffic and not enough on conversion
Why do people always ask how much traffic your website gets? That’s like asking you whether you’re busy. It’s easy to be busy, and it’s easy to generate traffic.
It is not easy to generate traffic from people who want to buy from you.
A conversion could start off as an email subscriber, someone signing up for a demo or even buying your product and service.
To convert people into customers, build:
- High-converting landing pages.
- Subscription/sign-up boxes that are prominent on the site and have the elements for conversion (clear calls to action, social proof, powerful words, etc.).
- A/B tests to see whether your conversion process is working.
- A process that nurtures leads. When you get a subscriber, walk them through the buying process.
6. Your website is 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?
Your website must be on a reliable platform that’s hosted by a reliable provider. When you review hosting providers, don’t look only for the cheapest solution.
Things to consider when choosing a Web host include:
- Will it help your website perform well? Evaluate what bandwidth, memory, caching mechanisms and so on are in place.
- Is there a content distribution network (CDN)? A CDN means your data are served to the Web browser from the closest data center. So, an Irish person viewing your website might access a data center in the U.K., but a U.S. user would access your site from a U.S.-based data center. The closer a viewer is to the data, the faster your website will be. If your hosting provider doesn’t support this, you’ll need to set up an account with another provider such as MaxCDN.
- Does it provide protection against hacking? Site security is a complex issue, and your WordPress developer will not be able to cover all the bases. You need someone to be available 24/7 in case your site gets hacked. Ideally, you need a managed hosting service where the hosting providers will protect you with software like Sucuri. If you ever get hacked, the hosting service will get you back up and running as quickly as possible.
I host with WPEngine. It provides fast performance and full protection against hacking.
7. Not using the best social media management tools
There are thousands of tools available, but how do you make a decision?
If you haven’t evaluated your requirements and the range of tools available, then you are probably using the wrong ones. Some tools are better suited to some organizations than to others, so doing an evaluation will help. You want to remove any inefficiencies, and tools can certainly help.
For example, if you manage several Facebook pages, you want a tool that will help you reduce the amount of time you spend on them, while still getting the best results. Postplanner is a great tool for this.
Online marketers can’t avoid technology. If you have a strategy and avoid the technology mistakes listed above, you’ll have an advantage over other digital marketers.