Creating content, especially content that people want to absorb, share and act-on, can be tough. Knowing in advance the factors that lead to content carnage can help you to avoid slipping up…

Number 1 – A lack of time

Never be tempted to rush a piece of content just because you feel you have to be creating something. It’s always best to deliver a quality blog post, video etc that has had the benefit of your calm, unflustered brain versus something that you constructed while munching your sandwich and slurping your coffee on your lunch break (remember those?). The best way to do this is fairly simple – ensure that writing etc is built in to your weekly schedule, that way you know that you can give your content the time it deserves without distractions.

Number 2 – Being unwilling to lose a little bit of control

I’ve come across a number of business owners/senior team members that are completely unwilling to bring other people from within the business into their content circle. This is a really negative view to take. Involving others will not only lighten the load, but in many cases will lead to the creation of better content. Spread the love a little (not literally) and content success is more likely to occur. You can still oversee and check quality, just don’t hog the creativity!

Number 3 – Not having a plan

I love it when a plan comes together. You should too. While you have to be in a position to be reactive, you should also have a proactive content plan in place. You need to be be able to look at the coming weeks and months and see a clear picture of what needs created and when. Without this, you’ll stumble, fall and most likely look stupid. Read more about writing a content plan here.

Number 4 – ‘We don’t have anything to talk about syndrome’

W.D.H.A.T.A.B – okay, I need to work on the acronym, however, this is a syndrome that is prevalent in many people and businesses and unfortunately, is often reeled out as an excuse and rarely actually true. A great basis for solid content is knowledge. You do have knowledge of your business and field right? Share that very knowledge with the people that you want to reach out to and you’ll find that you do actually have plenty to talk about. Need further help? Read ‘How to Find Content from Within Your Business

Number 5 – Writing the wrong content for the wrong people

Firing out content is all good and well, but do you know if it is actually appealing to your key audiences? Once you get into the flow of writing etc, it can be easy to carry on regardless, feeling happy that you are at least actively publishing. What happens when the boss man (or woman!) knocks the door and says ‘Yo, Herman, what’s the been the most popular subject on our blog this month?’ Are you able to easily access that kind of data? You need to be armed with the kind of insight that pleases the boss. However, data is not only for pleasing the powers that be! Data collected from tools like Google Analytics will help you to determine the content that is having the best effect. Basics like how many views a blog post has had are all fair and well, but you need to know what content is driving people to take an action, whether that be clicking to view a relevant part of your site or making an enquiry. That data should determine the future path of your content activity – separating the wheat from the chaff if you will.

Bonus barrierThe powers that be slowing things down

Try to agree with the powers that be in your business what topics etc you can and cannot create content around. This gives you the freedom to publish when you see fit without those in charge having to sign-off on everything first. Without that freedom, you’ll struggle to be truly re-active.

There you go, five barriers that you need to break down in order to be successful when it comes to content creation and marketing. Are you coming up against any others? Please do share yours in the comments section below. Read more of our content marketing posts here.

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Mike McGrail

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Image used under creative commons and courtesy of twak on Flickr.

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