Marketing has its own monsters, goblins and ghosts, and they‘re not the ones that inhabit closets, reside under beds, or live in attics and basements. These monsters and goblins insidiously creep in without so much as a “trick or treat!” to make their presence known, and gleefully wreak havoc with your bottom line.

Marketing Profs has helpfully identified eight such marketing Halloween goblins that would scare any CMO. Combating them doesn’t involve stakes through the heart, silver bullets or magic incantations. A content marketing strategy can save the day, your company’s bottom line, and maybe even your job.

We’ll face each terror one-by-one and demonstrate how a disciplined, focused content marketing strategy can take the Halloween fright right out of marketing.

Prepare to face your fears and embrace content marketing!

Just-once Customers

Truly know your target audience to avoid the “just-once” nightmare. Marketing to the whole world will generate some sales, but not necessarily reach those groups who share your interests and values and will ultimately become your committed customers. Survey your existing customer base and identify your repeat and long-term customers and focus your content marketing on those types of people. Define/profile your audiences and then create relevant and useful content to be posted where those groups hang out online and you’ll never have to worry about them flying away to a competitor.

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Frankenspeak

Be honest and genuine; speak clear English. Don’t use fancy buzzwords and industry-speak that your users won’t understand. Avoid the temptation to wow your readers with your grasp of marketing terminologies and complex concepts; keep your message to the point, providing rich value to your audience. Old Frank was a man of few words but his intent was always obvious. Say what you have to say as concise as possible, your audience will love you for it.

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Lean (& Mean) Budgets

Don’t get caught with a great marketing plan and a bare-bones budget to implement it. Any marketing is an investment and needs to be funded to succeed. A content marketing strategy requires budget, people and resources to be effective. Before implementing a strategy, you need company-wide buy-in from the C-suite on down, with all contributing departments involved in the initial planning and strategizing. Teamwork and commitment are crucial to the success of content marketing. Business goals should be determined and fully agreed upon before moving forward with content marketing.

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Neglected Website

Shame upon shame! Your website is central to all your marketing activities and as the saying goes, “You only get one chance to make a good first impression.” Your website is where people find you and get that first impression–and it better be a good one or they’ll be gone in a click. A blog should be part of your website and the key to connecting with your target market. Your blog should be updated regularly with informative, interactive content that engages audiences. Your entire website should be user-friendly, navigationally easy and chock-full of helpful information. No cobwebs in the corners allowed.

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Ghosts of Failed Marketing Campaigns

If it’s not working, change it. If it didn’t work before, don’t do it again! Reviving the dead only worked for Dr. Frankenstein; dragging out a failed sales campaign and trying to breathe life into it won’t work for your business. Before you launch a “let’s try this again” campaign, consider content marketing with its lifecycle of Goals, Strategy, Calendar, Produce, Publish, Engage and Measure. This structured, repeatable process will keep you out of ghostly territory with targeted, fresh and relevant content for your readers to consume.

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Vampire of Life-draining Projects

This vampire is a cousin to the ghosts of failed campaigns, and quietly sucks out money, time and resources so that you hardly notice. But little-by-little, day-by-day, a pet project that might look good on paper begins to take more and more to implement, wiping out any return on investment (ROI). This is why an important part of a content marketing strategy is to have measurement tools in place to track progress toward your goals so you can expose those resource-sucking vampires and eliminate them.

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Stale, Mummified Content

One of the beauties of content marketing is that there is almost no end to the variety of content that you can create. Not only is everything about your company raw material for content creation, you have numerous social media platforms where you can publish your content in a variety of media styles. You can create videos, images, podcasts, Tweets, Pinterest pins, SlideShares, and blogs, to name just a few. Publishing fresh and varied types of content around the needs, interests and values of your customers will prevent mummification of your brand from stale content.

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Great Pumpkins of unanalyzed data

Setting goals and measurements in place is critical to realizing the effectiveness of your content marketing. While the allure of “big data” can make you to want to track everything just because you can, you really need to measure only those metrics that are important to your business goals. Otherwise, you may end up with tons of worthless, meaningless data that you’re trying to use to discover what is working and what isn’t. By setting appropriate KPIs (key performance indicators) in place, you will be able to track the impact of every piece of content you publish and know for certain how well your content marketing is doing or where changes need to be made.

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And here’s one additional marketing terror that may be the scariest of all:

“If you’re not participating in content marketing in your space, your competitor is.” –Russell Sparkman

Join the Conversation:

  • Which of these Halloween goblins most plagues your marketing efforts? 
  • In what ways could a content marketing initiative bring structure and focus to your existing marketing activities? 
  • What measurement tools or tactics do you use to determine the effectiveness of your marketing efforts? 

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