You give us a holiday, and we can find a way it relates to content marketing. For this newsletter, we’re going to taco ‘bout Cinco de Mayo. The holiday celebrates Mexico’s unlikely victory in a battle against France in the Franco-Mexican War. Unlike what many think, it is not actually Mexico’s Independence Day.

While it is typically celebrated in the U.S. with tequila, tacos, a raised glass for the wonderful things Mexican culture holds, we can all appreciate an unexpected win. This is why we’re going to take this opportunity to check out some marketing mishaps and how, with some content marketing magic, you can come out on top.

Mexican flag

Image via Flickr by livangm

1. Going Crazy Over Quantity

“Quality over quantity” is advice as old as time, but in business, that advice is seldom taken. When it comes to your content marketing campaigns, trying to get the most number of blog posts or the highest word count or the most writers possible working on your campaign can be a recipe for disaster.

It may seem like the more content you have out there, the more eyes will be on it, and therefore, there are more mice to click on the links to your site. Please take it from us: Three quality pieces of content are better than 10 subpar pieces of content. Poor quality content can scare away potential consumers, as they may think you’re not taking your business seriously or you simply aren’t aware of any errors in your copy. Don’t be that business.

The quick fix is to give your consumers content to look forward to. Schedule one blog post a week that was given love and attention and is filled with accurate, relevant information. You will be rewarded with a reputation of authority and with loyal readers who may just share your content.

2. Writing to Everyone

As a business, you want to have as far of a reach as possible. You want everyone to be interested in what you have to say, feel like they can relate to you and your business, and ultimately purchase what you’re selling. The logical step is to use broad, sweeping strokes when targeting your audience. Just like in the section above, you want your content in front of as many eyes as possible.

As limiting as this may seem, it may actually hurt your efforts. By writing to a big ‘ol audience, you’re not being specific enough for the people who have at least a base industry knowledge (and definitely not enough for hardcore fans), just to attempt to catch the attention of people who don’t care at all about what you’re trying to do.

The fix? Target a more specific audience. If you’re targeting the people who are genuinely interested in your niche and your products, those are the people who are going to come through for you. They’re going to read your content and buy your products. You could even earn a devout fan following.

3. Selling Way Too Hard

You’re a business, your purpose is to sell, yada, yada, yada. You want to take advantage of your content by throwing in some enticing sales pitches and clearly placed links to compel your audience to buy your product. The problem with this is that people simply don’t like it. Selling too hard can come across as condescending. More and more these days, people are performing thorough research when it comes to purchasing decisions. A heavy-handed, salesy article reads as biased and spammy.

For the most part, consider your audience smart enough to see through an article full of links to your product pages. Your audience wants to trust you. Give them a reason to and you’ll likely see more conversions.

You can easily do this by creating content that is authoritative, relative, truly informative, and not salesy. If you add credibility to your arsenal and take out all the clutter (spammy links and sales pitches), your content marketing efforts will improve. We’re not saying you can’t promote yourself, we’re saying to be tactful in doing so.

4. Misleading Your Readers

You know flashy, popping headlines get clicked on. That’s why they call it clickbait. You’re thinking if you can get them to just click on this article and get on to your site or read your article, you’ll have them. They won’t be able to leave. That’s why you see so much clickbait floating around the internet.

If you’re guilty of this, take a second to think how it feels to click on an enticing headline, only to be fully underwhelmed. It’s a small emotional rollercoaster, but it is one nonetheless. You don’t want to do that to your readers. They’ll stop following you. They’ll stop subscribing to you. They’ll stop buying from you.

The easiest way to fix this is obvious, be honest. Let your readers know what to expect from what they’re about to read. That’s not to say you can’t use exciting headlines, you just have to figure out what’s most exciting about what you have to say, and create a meaningful headline using that.

5. Forgetting the Data

It’s easy to take what you know, or what you think you know, and apply it to your content marketing. You write what you think is important. You reach out to whom you think you should reach out. You format the way you like to format. You get comfortable doing what you’ve been doing. When your sales or your readership plateaus, you may wonder what went wrong. It’s been working for so long.

The answer to that is you aren’t using your available data. Data is everywhere. You can pay for it and you can get it for free. You need to use all the data available to you so you better understand your audience and what influences them to make purchases from you. If you want to go the free route, ask your sales team about who purchases what, how, and when. Check out Google Analytics. Set up A/B testing. If you want to pay, there are plenty of services that offer behavioral analysis to help you.

Whatever you do, choose at least one option. Information is power, and data is information. There is so much untapped potential sitting at your fingertips. Unleash it to find what works best for whom, and you’ll know where to focus your energy and your budget.

Everyone makes marketing mistakes. As long as we learn from them, we’re better for it. If you’ve made any of the above mistakes, it’s easy to make a comeback. Follow our simple fixes and you’re on your way to content marketing success. Enjoy your Cinco de Mayo! Viva México!