Quick! Think about your business’ brand. You probably have a very clear picture of what you want people to think when they reflect on your business. But does that picture match reality? Is your brand really saying what it’s supposed to?
The reason I ask is because, lots of brands aren’t!
Unfortunately, there are plenty of innocent mistakes you can make that wind up costing you major brand brownie points. If you own a web-based company, building a brand is more complicated because you can’t talk face-to-face with your target audience. Instead, you have to let your online content (i.e., content marketing) do the talking for you.
And that is where so many small business owners go wrong.
Content Marketing Mistakes
You probably know just how important it is to have a strong online presence these days. And, you probably know how vital great content is to establishing that presence. But did you know that it doesn’t take much for your web content to turn on you?
If you see any of these three things staring back at you when you take a look at your online content, your brand isn’t saying what it should.
Spelling and Grammar Issues
You’re probably thinking, “What is this? The grammar police? So what if there’s a tiny error or two?” Unfortunately, there’s nothing “tiny” about spelling and grammar mistakes in your web content. That’s because they have such a big impact on what people think of you.
If your sales copy uses “affect” instead of “effect” or “to” instead of “too”, readers can immediately tell that you didn’t proofread your content before you published it. And, if you’re not willing to take the time to proofread something as important as your website’s sales copy, where else do you cut corners? Are your products and services as good as they should be? Are they really worth the price you’re charging? See how quickly that “tiny” mistake can spiral out of control?!
Giant Vocabulary Words and Jargon
This is the world wide web — not the SATs. You’re here to convince people to do business with you, not to show off your fancy vocabulary. If you think you’re making your brand look smart and sophisticated by using giant vocabulary words, think again! Web content is supposed to make readers feel like they’re having a one-on-one conversation with the author.
After all, people search around the web because they’re looking for an answer to a question or an answer to a problem. If they can visit your website and “talk” to someone who offers legitimate information and advice, they’re going to be much more likely to spend their hard-earned money on your products and services.
But when you use giant vocabulary words, your content is anything but conversational. Instead of feeling like they’re having a heart-to-heart, your readers will feel like you’re talking down to them. What’s worse, they may not even know what some of your big words mean! As a result, reading your content makes them feel dumb, instead of empowered with information. Do you really think someone is going to spend money with a business that makes them feel dumb?!
If you’ve done any research on succeeding online, you’ve seen a near-endless array of people talking about how important fresh content is. But if you’re publishing stuff just for the sake of having something new, your brand may be saying all the wrong things!
Go take a look at your company blog. How many of your blog posts were published simply because you were trying to keep up with a set content schedule? You may not have had the best idea for a topic, or you might not have spent a lot of time trying to be creative, because you felt like you had to get something published right then and there. Unfortunately, if you’re not all that interested in what you’re writing about, no one’s going to be interested in reading it!
So, instead of forcing content to fit into some “magical” content marketing schedule, take some extra time to make sure everything you publish meets your brand’s standards. It’s much better to wait a day on a blog post than it is to publish something that’s not high-quality. Your target audience deserves — and expects! — your best effort every single time!
Nicole Beckett spent more than a decade telling stories and digging into issues as a TV news anchor/reporter. Today, she uses those same skills to create powerful content marketing strategies for her clients. As the President of Premier Content Source, Inc., Nicole has helped countless small business owners create online success.
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