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Content Marketing VampiresOctober is a frightening month – from ending on Halloween, to marking the beginning of Q4, it’s 31 days of pure terror.  Not only are you hectically hurrying to close out the year on a good note, you’re also pressured to produce your budgeted marketing plan for the year to come. It can often feel like the month itself is draining your very life force… but maybe it’s not just the month. Maybe, you have something stalking you from the shadows… Maybe something is steering you down dark paths you’d normally avoid… Maybe… you have a vampire in your midst, and nowhere would it be more apparent, than in your content.

Your content, you see, is a reflection of the lifeblood of your organization. It carries all the qualities, characteristics, and attributes that make your organization unique and valuable to your target audience. Certain dark forces, however, can eat away and this energy in your content. These marketing vampires can manifest themselves in multiple forms, so to swiftly slay these evil spirits, here are 5 of the most common vampire varieties along with their most effective weaknesses.

Content Marketing VampiresThe Count of Content Counting:

Are you afraid of never having enough content? Are you tirelessly turning out asset after asset as if you’re compelled to feed the beast of content marketing? You could be falling victim to the Count of Content Counting. This vampire plays off the tendency to produce high quantities of content verses focusing on high quality content. As content marketing research shows, 92% of marketers report that producing high quality content is either valuable or very valuable to their organizations, but only 54% report being effective or very effective at producing it. This execution gap often arises when demands for volume drain the effectiveness of delivering value. If you feel like the content you’re creating is just another brick in the wall, or another asset on the list, that content won’t carry the necessary life or excitement to be compelling to your audience. To combat the Count of Content Counting establish your own personal stake in the content you create – things that make you proud or excited about creating it. If your content isn’t just another number to you, it won’t be just another number to your audience either, and the Count of Content Counting loses all its power.

The Trend Temptress Content VampireThe Trend Temptress:

Certain forms of content are best suited to serve certain functions. You wouldn’t normally want to use an infographic, for example, as the final push to compel a purchase decision, just as you wouldn’t want to try to gain top-funnel attention through a 30 page product implementation eBook. However, when trends in content marketing lure you away from aligning the right content to serve the right objective, you can easily lose faith in content marketing as a whole. Research shows aligning content to specific stages of the buyer’s journey yields 73% higher average conversion rates, as opposed to not doing so, and the Trend Temptress is exactly the kind of monster that would trick you into being on the wrong side of that differential.  To take out the Trend Temptress, be sure the content you’re creating is aligned to a specific goal, and if it follows a popular trend, great, but if it doesn’t, have confidence that it’s still the right decision.

Mission Statement Mist Content VampireThe Mission Statement Mist:

Whether you find it cliché or critical, it’s still important to remember we’re not just business-to-business marketers or business-to-consumer marketers; we’re marketers marketing to people. When you feel pressured to produce content in corporate speak, or meticulously aligned to your mission statement, however, it’s pretty hard to feel like you’re communicating with other human beings. Of course, maintaining brand consistency and compliance is important, but allowing these things to undermine the effective voice in your content is exactly where the Mission Statement Mist vampire seeps its way in. To get rid of this ghastly creature, it’s best to orient your voice around the voice of your customer. Think of how your buyers talk, what interests them, where they like to engage, etc. Customer experience research does show that customer analytics do provide compelling competitive advantages, but more importantly, where customer needs and content objectives cross, the Mission Statement Mist can’t rear its ugly head.

Sales Creature of the Night Content VampireThe Sales Creature of the Night:

Even when your content marketing efforts are chugging along at full steam, everything can easily get derailed if a seller complains about your content. Whether a rep is in the dark about where to find assets, or unconvinced about the utility of your content, the feeling almost always bites. In research on marketing and sales alignment, however, the Best-in-Class actively combat this Sales Creature of the Night by establishing centralized libraries of marketing-approved assets with templates that apply to different selling situations. The majority of Best-in-Class firms (73%) report this capability, as compared to only 45% of Average firms, and 48% of Laggards. To keep Sales Creatures of the Night from draining your content marketing activities, it’s best to cure them with easy to find content as the Best-in-Class do, and empower them to be active contributors within your content marketing efforts.

The Reflectionless Copy Corpse:guy sitting on floor in bathroom

Of course, content vampires don’t just hinder the content creation process, creatures like the Relfectionless Copy Corpse can also attack after your content is out in the wild. Naturally, some content pickup is good for coverage, added exposure, or widened distribution, but the Reflectionless Copy Corpse strait up steals your work without any proper citation or link credit, and exploits it for its own gain. To use the Reflectionless Copy Corpse’s own evil intents against it, however, you can align your SEO strategy to your content strategy, so that all content carries with it multiple backlinks to either other content assets, or other valuable web properties. In this way, should your content be stolen and repurposed, it still feeds your existing marketing efforts in some way.

These are just a few examples of creatures that suck the life out of content, but do you have any harrowing experiences or horror stories of your own about other kinds of content marketing worst practices? Tell your tale in the comments below…

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