15 Marketing Experts Reveal Their Ultimate Content Marketing Sin.

What is the ultimate content marketing sin? We reached out to some of the world’s biggest content marketing experts to see what their thoughts were on this topic, and they certainly didn’t disappoint. From all corners of the globe, they put their thinking caps on and gave Kubix their words of wisdom. Have a read and see if you agree with what they had to say!

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We all know good copy when we read it. The text that keeps your eyes glued to the page; the writing that feels fresh and gets you all excited even when you’re on the bus or sat in your office chair. But creating relevant and engaging content that people respond to can sometimes be a struggle nowadays. Striving for that careful balance of producing and then promoting content that is original yet accessible, informative but not dry, can make even the most talented of marketers want to hit their head against a wall. And it’s easy to see why. Dozens of articles get churned out each day on how to write great pieces and strike gold, but what about the things we shouldn’t do? Those marketing errors that so many of us could be making time and time again without our knowledge? With this in mind, we thought we should ask the question:

What is the ultimate content marketing sin?

1. Joel Klettke

A self-employed copywriter and digital marketing whizz, Joel spends his days making copy smarter. In 2013 he launched Business Casual Copywriting where he writes high-converting copy for dozens of digital agencies, niche clients and some serious venture-backed SaaS businesses. He's also the founder of Case Study Buddy, a boutique agency that helps B2B companies create and scale customer success stories. (Canada)

"The ultimate content marketing sin is not having a plan. Most companies are winging it with content marketing. They write without direction, publish without intent, have no plan for promotion and don’t even consider repurposing as a strategy. They don’t give proper time and attention to researching what they should be writing or who they should be writing for, and then wonder why they aren’t reaching people with their copycat content.

If you want content to be a serious lead-gen channel, you can’t fly in blind, publish at random and hope for the best. And yet, if you surveyed most companies and asked them the tough questions around their process, goals and audience, you’d learn most haven’t done enough homework on any of the above."

2. Joanna Wiebe

Founder of one of the internet’s most popular copywriting sites Copy Hackers, Joanna has been sharing her expert advice for the last 12 years. Whenever she’s not writing kick-ass copy, Joanna can be found running courses, helping businesses and optimising content for companies across the world. (Canada)

"Sharing information should not be your only goal. Content marketing is part of marketing – and it needs to produce business results or you shouldn’t spend time on it."

3. Luan Wise

Luan discovered social media in 2009, and hasn’t put her smartphone down since! Today she runs her own successful marketing consultancy, providing marketing advice, practical hands-on support, and training.

"It’s a sin to lose focus on what is relevant. Your content should always be relevant to you, and relevant to your customer."

4. Jay Acunzo

Jay is the founder & host of Unthinkable, a highly produced, story-driven show about the “content” part of content marketing. He also spends his time as a speaker, writer, and host for brands..

"The ultimate sin would be ignoring the intuition of the people on your team. In the noisiest world we’ve ever experienced, we all have access to the same tools, data, and experts. But the only truly differentiating factor is your people. If someone on your team is funny, unleash that! If they’re great on camera, try video content! If they have a hunch that writing a story is better than writing yet another list-based article, give them that creative leash. (And if this is YOU talking in your own head: act on your desire.) The way we communicate is THE differentiating factor today, and the only way to stand out is to do what others might see as totally unthinkable: Trust your intuition."

5. Doug Kessler

A self-professed content marketing junkie, Doug is the co-founder and creative director of B2B marketing agency Velocity Partners. He’s a copywriter at heart but has a secret penchant for analytics and Lagavulin.

"In today’s competitive world, it’s an unforgivable sin to start a piece of content with the line, “In today’s competitive world." (Cheers Doug.)

6. Karola Karlson

Karola was the Head of Global Marketing at Estonian mobility company Bolt. She’s all about cool ideas, growth marketing, and taking new marketing approaches on a test drive.

"Missing the ultimate goal. I’d say that only 20% of content marketing activities are based on in-depth analysis and data-driven goals. Publishing content, i.e. blog articles just for the sake of getting out new blog posts that nobody ultimately reads is a waste of time and resources. No matter whether you’re already implementing a content marketing plan of are still in the phase of realizing that you need a content strategy, answer this question: Why? Why are you publishing content? Why would anybody read it? Why is it relevant to anyone? Complement the “Why?” questions with “How?”: How could we serve our audience in the best possible way? How to put out high-quality content? How do we measure the attainment of our content marketing goals? Without a clear content strategy, you’re never going to make it to 10 000+ monthly readers."

7. Ferg Devins

After 30 years in the beverage alcohol and hospitality industry, Ferg gained exposure and experience to communications, public relations, marketing, and all things social media. He is now the Communications Strategist at The Devins Network Inc.

"Not integrating social media, public relations and word of mouth into the core planks of a marketing plan. Today’s world is as much about the dialogue about the message as it is about the message."

8. Ted Rubin

Ted is a leading Social Marketing Strategist, International Keynote Speaker, Business Advisor, and… Author, Connector, Provocateur. In 2009 he started using and evangelizing the term ROR, Return on Relationship, hashtag #RonR. Many people in the marketing world know Ted for his enthusiastic, energetic and undeniably personal connection to people. His books: Return on Relationship 2013, How to Look People in the Eye Digitally 2015, The Age of Influence 2017, and Retail Relevancy 2022.

"The ultimate content marketing sin is not having a content marketing plan, and believing the “experts/gurus” that there is a pre-prescribed “best” way to do things"

9. Richard Lorenzen

Richard is an American entrepreneur, investor and speaker. He is the founder and CEO of the New York public relations firm Fifth Avenue Brands – a firm which focusses on media relations serving the tech, finance and policy spaces. He is regularly cited as one of the most influential millennial entrepreneurs in America and now spends significant time speaking worldwide to audiences ranging from schools to executive conferences about entrepreneurship.

"The ultimate content marketing sin is not writing content for your target audience. This is increasingly important in the digital world we live in. Its easy for content to get lost in an inbox, a blog feed, or twitter, feed, if its not what your reader is looking for.

Write content that not only engages your target audience, but speaks directly to their needs. Bottom line, identify your audience, and create your content directly for them."

10. Rebecca Lieb

Rebecca is a strategic advisor, research analyst, keynote speaker, author, and columnist. She specialises in digital marketing and media, working particularly on content strategy, content marketing and converged media with some of the world’s leading brands such as Facebook, Nestlé and Adobe.

"The ultimate content marketing sin is “committing” content marketing without the underlying framework of a content strategy that outlines goals, measurement and processes. Only by using these can you make your content marketing truly effective."

11. Erika Heald

Erika is a content marketing and social media consultant. She focuses on helping enterprise technology start-ups with their marketing strategies drive lead generation and customer loyalty.

"The ultimate content marketing sin is forgetting who your audience is. So much content that gets produced is focused on a company’s products and services, and getting their messaging out into the world. That may be traditional product marketing but it’s not audience-focused content. If you want your content marketing to resonate with your ideal customer, it has to help them in their job, and be focused 100% on them—not you!"

12. Ian Cleary

After spending 15 years in the technology industry, Ian turned to entrepreneurship and founded his marketing company RazorSocial. Now a globally recognised influencer, Ian regularly gives talks and writes for high end companies all over the world.

"Creating great content but not spending the time promoting it is the ultimate sin. No matter how good your content is, if you don’t promote it then it will not achieve the success it deserves."

13. Pam Didner

Pam is a marketing consultant, author and speaker. She leads a boutique-consulting firm that trains, coaches and provides strategic guidance on audience development, messaging architecture, editorial planning, content creation and media outreach on a global scale. She also regularly shares her insights at www.pamdidner.com.

"Content marketing is all about your target customers. It’s about how you can educate, help, entertain, challenge and facilitate their purchase decisions. Incorporate your products and services as necessary, but you need to start from the mindset of being helpful. With that spirit, you really need to understand them: where do they go to get information? What keywords do they use to search? What format of content do they prefer? What are their challenges and desires?

The sin is to forget your customers. You need to know them well to create relevant content. You need to know them well to serve them."

14. Carla Johnson

Carla Johnson helps marketers unlock, nurture and strengthen their storytelling muscles. Carla has worked with companies that include American Express, Dell, Emerson, Motorola Solutions, VMware, Western Union and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on unveiling new ways to bring their brand stories alive in fun and captivating ways.

"The ultimate content marketing sin is when marketers create ad hoc pieces of content instead of connecting them together to create a bigger, richer experience. Much of this come from a lack of creative thinking “in the moment”…meaning that we’re not trained to think in terms of the overall experience we’re creating. We’re responding to requests or fall into legacy thinking that looks at content as a way to describe the products and services that we sell, rather than looking at content as a valuable asset that’s separate and distinct from what we sell. As we become more creative in our approaches, we’ll become more creative in the content-driven experiences that we create."

14. Shama Hyder

Shama is founder and CEO of the award-winning Zen Media, an integrated web marketing and digital PR firm. She is also a highly acclaimed keynote speaker, bestselling author, and a regular media correspondent. Her latest book, Momentum: How to Propel Your Marketing and Transform Your Brand in the Digital Age is now available on Amazon and across bookstores: https://amzn.to/1sqMmZs

"The ultimate content marketing sin is writing just for the sake of writing. You need to bring value to your readers and provide new insights that haven’t been covered before. Another top 10 list isn’t going to cut it each week.

So what can you do? Research, research, research. It will pay off, and you’ll probably find some astounding statistics that might even spark another content marketing idea. And before writing a piece, ask yourself “If I Google this, will a bunch of similar posts come up in the search results?” If the answer is yes, hone in on your topic more, change your approach, or scrap your idea and come up with a better one.

You want your readers to gain value through your content marketing and want them to keep coming back to you, thinking of you as a leader in your industry. If you’re doing what everyone else is, your readers will find someone else better."

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