Just as content marketing can help brands grow and reach audiences, it can also end up hurting them. When a business shares the wrong content with its audience, at best that content is going to be ignored, but at worst, it can seriously damage the business. There are certain strategies that companies should avoid in order to avoid damaging their brands and alienating their audiences.
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Companies that are constantly promoting themselves and their products or services can quickly bore consumers. After all, the relationship that brands have with their consumers should be focused on the consumers, not the brands. If companies are ignoring the needs of their audiences, those people are going to assume the companies don’t have anything valuable to offer them and switch to purchasing from competitors.
A good rule of thumb in terms of content marketing and promotional content is the 80/20 rule. That means 80% of all content that companies share should be aimed at entertaining or informing the consumers, while only 20% should be focused on promoting the business. Another good rule is the 5/3/2 rule, which means for every 10 posts a business shares, 5 should be curated from content by others, 3 should be original pieces, and 2 should be fun and more personal to the brand.
One thing that’s become popular with the prevalence of social media platform use is called “doomscrolling”, which is what people do when they obsessively keep up with all the bad news that’s shared around the world. However, encouraging doomscrolling is not a strategy that brands should be using, despite the fact that negative pieces of content tend to be shared at higher rates on social platforms compared to positive pieces. That’s mainly because whoever is sharing negative pieces of content isn’t always perceived in a positive light. Yet this doesn’t mean that companies shouldn’t be talking about their consumers’ pain points, which is different from focusing on negativity. As long as the content informs consumers about a solution to their pain points that the company provides, it’s a good marketing effort.
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A lot of companies distribute all marketing and public relations content across every social media platform they use. Although this might be viewed as a technique to save time, it can end up generating negative consequences, largely because every social media platform is not interchangeable. That means every platform has its own optimal content format, tone, style and target demographic. For example, content that’s entertaining and shared on TikTok, which is a platform geared toward younger audiences, isn’t going to work on LinkedIn, a platform that’s more text-heavy, formal, and for working professionals.
Bad Design or Writing
Lastly, if the content a company shares is filled with typos and poor grammar, it won’t be received well by audiences. In the worst case, the audience won’t even be able to even understand the message. The same thing is important in content design, as both good design and writing allow companies to build up their brand personalities, inspire consumers, and tell stories.
Dara Busch is President of 5W Public Relations, a PR Agency.