Just say no to these content marketing mistakes
It’s that time again – when everyone and their mother is posting think pieces about coming trends that will shape the new year. Because we are ever contrarians here at Clockwork Media, we’ve decided to offer something a little different and write up a list of anti-trends in communication. These are things that need to die in 2015 – are you doing your part?
I have a smartphone, you have a smartphone and just about everyone you know has a smartphone. Unless your target audience consists of Bushmen in the middle of the Kalahari (who, let’s face it, probably also have smartphones), don’t design your content solely around large-form desktops and laptops. Focus on responsive design to ensure all of your digital platforms are streamlined for mobile devices.
Yes, content is definitely king, emperor, Grand Poobah and every other fancy title out there, but that doesn’t mean presentation is unimportant. Your content could be the most engaging, relevant stuff out there, but if it’s hosted on a platform that looks like something out of 1995, your potential readers may click X on in horror before they read a single word.
Substance over style
Then we get the opposite problems – throwing on so many bells, whistles and cool visual flourishes on a piece of media that has no good reason to exist. Is your content relevant? What is it trying to achieve? These are some of the questions you need to ask before determining how you’re going to present it. Design should only strengthen what your content is trying to say, not replace it.
Social media does not exist so that you can punt product 24/7. No-one wants to read 13 posts in a row on Twitter trying to sell them something. Nor do they want to get bombarded by thinly-veiled advertorials on their favourite news sites. Treat self-promotional content like you would a strong spice in cooking, sprinkling it here and there so that it doesn’t overwhelm the flavour of your communications strategy.
Lack of transparency
Have you ever unknowingly inputted your name and email onto some site, only to get spammed with their newsletter which goes out five times a day? If you’re soliciting personal information about your customers for any reason, be honest about what kind of communication they can expect from you and give them the option to opt out. Under no circumstances should you compromise their data. There is a special place in hell reserved for companies that sell personal information to the highest bidder.
By oversharing, we don’t mean posting your drunken holiday snaps online (although you should avoid that, too) – we mean sharing nothing but other people’s content. Unless you are literally running an aggregator site, your social media should consist of a healthy mix of complementary third party content and your own compelling content that delivers value to your audience.