018: 3 BAD CONTENT MARKETING HABITS THAT YOUR AUDIENCE HATES
The topic for today’s episode comes from Jessica, who wants to know more about creating content, topic management, and recycling old content. So I thought it would be really good to start off with the things not to do first.
What Is Content Marketing?
When I talk about content marketing in this sense, I’m talking about creating content for our own audience. It doesn’t necessarily have to be on your website but it needs to be for your audience. Maybe you have a podcast, or you create consistent videos or you blog consistently for your audience. I’m talking about that concept of content marketing - not social media, I’m talking about creating pieces of content that you deliver to your audience.
Now I know I’ve truly made some of these mistakes so let’s get into them.
Bad Content Marketing Habit #1: Inconsistency
This is when you’re creating content and you’re being inconsistent when you’re creating it. Think about it this way - how often are you creating content for your audience? Because ultimately, it should be at least once a week and at the same time every single week as well.
From an unconscious standpoint, you know that a new episode of this podcast comes out every Friday at 7am UK time because I tell you that’s when it comes out and I’m consistent with it. If I was coming out with a new episode at different times or even different days each week, it would be very difficult for you, from an unconscious stand point, to build this in as a habit. I know a lot of people who listen into this episode know what day it comes out. Even if they don’t consciously think about it, they know unconsciously that it’s impacting them.
This is something a lot of people struggle with and I get it. Especially when you don’t have a batching schedule, which I’m so happy I switched to. I can now create podcast episodes in a 7-day stint and all the supporting elements too, there are no excuses to be inconsistent anymore.
How long do you think you have to be consistent for in order to get an impact with your content?
Around 12 months is the answer, because by then you’d be rocking and rolling with it and have some momentum with it. You’d have an audience around it, you’d have figured out the kinks, you’d have figured out a system, you’d know how to promote your content. 12 months sounds like a long time but it’s really not.
A lot of studies have shown that it takes 67 days to form a new habit. Essentially what you’re doing with creating content on a consistent basis is forming unconscious or subconscious habits for your audience. So it takes 2 months worth of content for someone to consume before they can feel comfortable enough to know like and trust you, and to become a subscriber or customer or client of yours in the future. That means it makes perfect sense that it would take about a year for you to build up a significant amount of audience and traction, becasuse those people need to HEAR you.
As far as an online interaction goes, someone needs to interact with you at least 8-12 times. So what if you’re consistent for 4 weeks and then you get really inconsistent after that? Well, you’re not giving people enough of a chance for you to engage with them on a consistent basis. You’re not giving them enough of a chance for them to actually care enough about you, to want to listen to you more often or read your content, and then finally go on to become a subscriber/client/customer of yours too.
It can be frustrating because you think you’re being consistent, you’re doing all this work, and then you get frustrated because it’s not happening as fast as you thought. 6 months go by and you think, “I just don’t feel like anyone is even listening to me.” When I was in my first year of blogging, I had the moment where I wondered if anyone was actually reading my content and engaging with it - but how do we tell?
Then I had a break from blogging and I stopped this consistent way of connecting with my audience and it did become problematic for me. It’s so funny to look back on that because 90% of people know me for blogging and find me through my blog. Even when I had a break from posting YouTube videos, I had someone email me and say, “oh I thought you’d have a new YouTube video out today but I can’t see it”, and that made me realise people ARE listening. So having that consistency over time, even if you feel like it’s not actually impacting your brand or business, I guarantee you it is.
BAD CONTENT MARKETING HABIT #2: CREATING CONTENT FOR YOU AND NOT YOUR AUDIENCE
I made this mistake early on which I’m glad about because I fixed it! Content marketing is not the same as writing in your journal. It’s not a place for you to spill your deep dark secrets. Some people may resonate with some of those things that you talk about. But if all you’re doing is talking about your problems, people don’t really care.
You have to think about your audience and their needs, and if somehow you do have something that happened to you that you know is going to relate to their needs, of course that’s fine. But if you just think, “oh I”m just gonna come out with some random idea off the top of my head, a random thought” that you think your audience will find interesting, chances are you’re the only one who finds it interesting.
There’s a great way to figure this out so you never have to worry about if you’re creating the wrong kind of content.
Ask people in your space or ask your audience
Here are a few ideas:
Have a Facebook group? Throw down a poll.
Got an email list? Send out an email.
Have an Instagram audience? DM people and ask on there.
All you need to do is get people to reply back. I love seeing people do this through polls in their Instagram Story: “would you rather me talk about this or this, this or this, this or this?” It’s so smart.
If you don’t have an audience and you’re looking to start building one, I would start looking at what other people in your space are talking about, because they’re talking about it for a reason. This is especially if you start spotting those common themes or start joining a lot of relevant groups and ask people in there. Think about when you’re listening to your favourite podcast or you’re watching your favourite YouTuber or reading your favourite blog - what content or what topics do you like seeing? You could also start searching or reading through a lot of people’s posts around what they’re complaining about so that you can create really actionable, high-impact, free content that will help them solve that.
Here’s another strategy. If you have a lot of connections with other people in your space who might have a podcast or create content, and you know you can find out how successful their individual topics are, then you can look at what’s working well for them and create similar topics for yourself. Think of Jenna Kutcher, a piece of content that she created went viral because it was really vulnerable and she’s a pro at doing that. She did a podcast episode called “10 Things I’m Afraid To Tell To You” - people love that stuff.
Take a look at what your competitors are doing but don’t copy them. Don’t come out with the same episode or blog post but look and use it as inspiration to also do similar things yourself. Chances are if your top competitors are doing really well right now, then you need to look at what they’re doing and model what they’re doing for yourself.
BAD CONTENT MARKETING HABIT #3: BEING MUNDANE & BORING
The easiest way to not be mundane and boring is to stop focusing on the content only. Stop focusing on wanting to be as informational or informative as possible. Nobody cares about half the information you’re saying, and the reality is you can’t be the same now. You can’t be the same, especially in podcasting for example, you can’t just come out with a podcast that talks about the same topic.
Let’s say you want to start a personal finance podcast and you come out with the same type of boring mundane podcast that already exists on the market. Nobody is going to care about you and nobody is going to want to listen to you. You need to ask yourself:
How can I be different?
What can I talk about that is different to what everyone else is talking about?
Because if you just show up, do the same thing and just repeat what everyone else is saying, you’re being mundane, you’re being boring and nobody is going to care. Ever.
A perfect example of this is Joe Rogan. The reason why Joe Rogan is so successful is because he was really early on, his was one of the first big podcasts. And he did have an audience initially when he started it up. If you listen to his podcast, he’s super real and now there are a lot of other podcasts where people are getting on and being real. But he was one of the first to get on and do that, so he’s kind of got an advantage because he was the first in. But at the same time, if you listen to every episode he does it’s always something unique and different. So the moral of the story is stop being so boring in your content.
YOUR BLOG IT BOSS IT ACTION STEP
A great tip to finish off with is a quote from Sally Hogshead. This quote has really stuck out for me, it’s still something I think about today, and I think it’s super important for anyone who’s looking to create content right now: “different is better than better.”
So if you’re trying to create content that’s just better than other people’s content, you’re better to be different. You’re better to create something different that’s maybe not even as good but it’s different which means it’s unique, than you are to go out and spend tones and tones of time trying to create better content that already exists in the marketplace.
So when you’re doing content marketing for yourself and your blog, brand or business, keep that in mind and just keep asking yourself: how can I be different? Because we’re going to get better results if we’re different and it’s going to be easier as well. Don’t be afraid to be polarising and don’t be afraid to ruffle a few feathers. Internet haters exist pretty much everywhere so I always feel like it’s better to ruffle a few feathers than it is to have people think “that was a mediocre episode”, because no one remembers mediocre. You’re looking for the haters because that means that you’re onto something pretty good.
LET’S START TAKING ACTION
Resources Mentioned In This Episode:
Blog It Boss It Tool Recommendation: Evernote
Blog It Boss It Academy: Register your interest here!
Want access to a library full of online marketing resources plus weekly bitesize breakthroughs to help you boss your online presence? Find it here.
What did you think of the show? Leave a review on iTunes and become the Breakthrough Blogger of the week!
Subscribe to the show and get notified when a new episode goes live.
Come join my free FB group.
Find out more about working with me here.