Common pitfalls in content strategy & relationship marketing

Having a solid content strategy and a customer-centric approach to your marketing is vital to growing your business. Avoiding the three pitfalls below can help you stay on track to building long-term, profitable customer relationships and put you on the path to enhanced ROI.

Pitfall 1: Losing your focus on content

Does your content engage customers, build trust and strengthen your brand’s credibility? An effective content strategy can do it all, increasing retention, showing that your customer-focused and ultimately boosting your bottom line. But if your content isn’t in tune with your customers’ needs and interests you could be losing out to the competition. Read on for common problems than can derail your content plan — along with strategic tips for staying on track.

Problem: Not having a documented content strategy

Strategy: Clearly identify your content marketing objectives and audiences. Develop a content plan, including an omni-channel editorial calendar, that supports your business goals.

Problem: Failing to understand your audience

Strategy: Take a pulse on key points. How well do you know your customers? Delve into your data to understand your clients, so you can tailor content to their interests.

Problem: Focusing on quantity over quality

Strategy: Evaluate your content. Does it provide value and position your brand as a credible resource? Create relevant, useful content that informs, entertains, builds trust and keeps customers engaged. Repurposing content can help you keep the content pipeline flowing.

Problem:Not distributing and promoting your content

Strategy: Keep in mind that your customers are more likely to interact with your brand and share content with others when they can find what they’re looking for. Use multiple channels and tactics to make customers aware of the content you’re offering.

Problem: Not measuring your ROI

Strategy: Look at what customers are responding to and what they’re not. Identify metrics and evaluate the performance of your content so you can make tweaks to your plan as needed.

If you deliver what your customers want and need, you’ll keep building relationships, increasing engagement and boosting revenue. 

Pitfall 2: Not targeting content to your customers

Part of your content strategy needs to focus on getting relevant content to the right people. We all know the benefit of this kind of targeting: Increased relevance equals increased response and revenue. So, why are many companies not targeting as much as they should? A few reasons:

  • Increased competitive pressure and difficulty meeting sales goals leads senior managers to ask their content marketing teams to expand the audience, not decrease size. The logic behind this being the more, the better.

  • Back in the old days, direct marketing was expensive because it was predominantly done via direct mail or telemarketing. Email is just … so …cheap! Or so it seems. But blasting everyone in your email database has serious drawbacks in terms of lower open rates and unsubscribes.

  • Time and resources. Let’s face it, we live in a fast-paced world, and managing a marketing effort that strategically targets requires the staff and time to do it.

How to overcome the obstacles

  • Get senior management on your side. Show them the financial impact of lower open rates and unsubscribes.

  • Create a target-only test group and show senior management the positive impact on response rates, open rates and revenue.

  • Choose your bets. Spend time understanding the different segments that make up your best customer group and narrow down your targeting efforts to those customers who represent the greatest possible potential. Conversely, support the promotion of your highest margin products with a targeted marketing strategy.

With these steps in place, you can move from spray and pray to hitting the target with your content marketing initiatives. 

Pitfall 3: Limiting your content’s omnichannel scope

In today’s marketing reality, omnichannel isn’t a nice-to-have. It’s a must-have. Unfortunately, some retailers misunderstood the concept. For many retailers, omnichannel means ensuring that customers can make purchases from every available channel. For others, it means making sure the company has a digital presence, such as an e-commerce site. 

Both views of omnichannel are limited. Focusing on just one channel, or focusing solely on the shopping experience, can mean you’ll soon be lagging in the customer satisfaction, loyalty and revenue wars.

Why? Because omnichannel is about ensuring a smooth, seamless experience across every channel, from the customer’s point of view. No matter when they interact with you, on what device or for what reason, your customers should feel they’re having one cohesive experience. That includes not only shopping experiences, but interaction with all of your content, too, whether they’re receiving your emails, reading your blogs or contributing a product review.

For starters, that means …

  • If your customer peruses your product or content on her smartphone during the commute to work, your system should know what she’s been looking at when she logs on to her laptop — or her social media site — hours later.

  • If she’s showrooming, you’re finding ways to integrate the online experience with the in-person experience. For instance, make it simple for her to get the informational content she needs to decide. Then make it a breeze for her to purchase from you, whether she opts for online at your website or in line at your store.

  • If she purchases a product online, she has the option of how to receive it — delivered to her door or picked up at your store. And she gets confirmation and follow-up communications in the way she prefers, such as a text message or an email.

  • You know whether and where she’s talking about you on her social sites. You know in what way she’s using her influence. And you know how all of this might affect your content strategy.

These are just a few examples of why it’s important for your omnichannel approach to stretch beyond a focus on purchasing or a channel-specific approach and into a customer-centric, content-based, enterprise-wide mentality.

Get ahead of the game

Avoiding these three common pitfalls can help you build a well-structured and customer-centric content marketing plan - and put you miles ahead of the competition. It all comes back to the eternal goal of one-to-one marketing: sending the right messages to the right people through the right channels. 

What does your customer outreach strategy look like? Do you have any suggestions that haven’t been included here? Please share!

Interested in hearing leading global brands discuss subjects like this in person?

Find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America, and Singapore.  

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