Like any coach in any sport, each content marketer's playbook is going to look a little different. Instead of making recommendations for what should be included (which we've done before), we're going to lay out 4 surefire ways to bomb your content marketing strategy, waste your marketing budget, and ruin your business.
If that sounds like the opposite of what you want, avoid these 'plays' at all costs. It's time for Bizarro Playbook (e.g. 'throw the ball to the guys on the other team'). Here are the Hail Marys of wrecking your content marketing strategy:
1. Don't Optimize Your Content
YOU spent the time and resources building this content and now OTHER people want to read it? Where do they get off? Make sure that no one can find your content by avoiding SEO. It's for your eyes only. To keep it that way, remove any and all longtail keywords that might help your post appear on the first few pages of search results. To be extra safe, don't do any keyword research at all. And - this is important - leave all meta data alone. You can't risk search engines showing your work any favor. Avoid including any links. If anyone does find your content on accident and *gasp* links to it, kindly write them and request that they take that link down. That will only serve to get eyeballs on your content. You don't want that. Also, no images. Search engines (and people) love those.
2. Only Post on February 29th
Why February 29th? Leap Day is the ideal day to post content. Any more than that and you're going to stress yourself out. Besides, it's important to throw your website visitors and potential customers off the trail. You don't want them to get used to you producing content. You don't need that pressure. By blogging infrequently, most people who visit your site will assume that you're closed, out of business, or that the person who writes your content was let go. Perfect! Remember - blog only on February 29th. If you absolutely must blog more often, be sure to post erratically. Blog. Wait three weeks. Blog. Wait four months. Blog three times. Wait a year. You'll get the hang of it. Just make sure you avoid a schedule or calendar. Any sort of regularity or coherency and you risk building an audience. Blegh!
3. Don't Share or Promote
Building a social media strategy and staying consistent is hard work (and a TOTAL drag). Don't let the power of social media interfere with your Ruin The Business strategy. On those rare occasions when you've created content, keep it to yourself! Do NOT share it on Facebook, keep it off of Twitter, and don't you go near LinkedIn. Social media can be an effective way to share and promote your content. Please avoid it altogether. Ditto for any sort of e-mail marketing. That can encourage clicks and readership and that is the last thing you need. Instead, suffocate your content by hiding it on your site in a poorly labeled and confusing section. If you are overcome by the strange urge to share, make sure that you do so without any kind of engaging text and stick to the same advice for posting: keep it irregular. You want your social media channels to be as stale as possible, so visitors wonder whether or not you still exist.
4. Make Starting a Conversation Difficult
Content marketing is a fantastic way to start an organic conversation with a prospective customer. Terrible! Helpful, engaging content can even make a reader want to learn more about your business and products. Horrendous! To avoid this, ensure that each piece of content you create is a dead end. You can do this by making sure that you have absolutely no calls-to-action in your post. That might encourage an interested reader to download more useful content, as they move closer to a sale. That would be the worst. If you have to have content, make it nearly impossible for anyone who found it helpful to contact you. Your website is another danger zone for being contacted. Keep your contact information as challenging to find as possible. Remember: you want the conversation to stop before it starts.
There you have it: 4 ways out of the Bizarro Content Marketing Playbook guaranteed to ruin your marketing and sink your business. If you're - by chance - looking to succeed, turn this playbook on its head and do the opposite. You'll get amazing ROI out of your contennt marketing and your business will climb to new heights (if that's your thing).