Common Content Mistakes That Companies Make

Common Content Mistakes by Companies

In the process of auditing content at different companies, I’ve seen some common mistakes that companies make. Here are a few that frequently repeat:

They Create Islands vs Ecosystems

If search is an important channel, then companies should think about Ecosystems vs Islands. 

Ecosystems mean content that is built in thematic clusters and hubs and spokes, based on a content plan. Often, content seems to be created with no thematic or actual connections (interlinking) to other content. Harshida Acharya has a great Linkedin post explaining content clusters and SEO.

Search engines are not in interested in swimming out to individual content islands.

They Neither Aim for the Moon, nor Land Among the Stars

There can be some debate about this one, and some judgment is required, but companies should make some efforts to be going after high-intent search terms in their space, even if they are difficult to rank for.

The expectation shouldn’t necessarily be that they will rank for them outright in the short term–but it can be considered as the foundation of a longer-term project, involving diligent interlinking and updates, potentially ranking for some longer-tail terms with intent in the shorter term.

Sometimes you need to f around to find out–but in a good way, with the kind of chutzpah that Calendly has in ranking for “Best Scheduling Software” and putting themselves in the first position.

They Get High on Their Own Supply. 

Tony didn’t respect Frank in Scarface, but he should have listened to this sound piece of advice that could have led to greater longevity in business. 

Companies that are looking inward vs outward often have the same problem. Their language and content topic selection often reflects what they think is important vs what is actually important to potential customers. Look outward vs inward, customer first.

Identifying Customer Problems is a Problem

Lots of companies don’t fully understand what customer problems they are solving, or at least have not taken the time to define them properly. The result can be landing pages that are a feature-listing cluster bomb, a plate of feature spaghetti that they hope sticks to the wall and convinces a customer to buy.

The nuance of customer problems is complex but worth examining. I’ve posted about it before. Customer problems have three levels, according to the Storybrand Framework . The external, the internal and the philosophical. Understanding all three levels of your customer’s problems unlocks great content opportunities and informs execution.

Lights, Camera, Inaction

Companies often are not fully embracing the power of video–reserving it for product demos only. The showing vs telling aspect of video makes it a powerful tool and allows potential customers to gain familiarity with how to use a  product and understand how it solves their problems. On social platforms, short-form video is the default format, and potential customers consume videos not just to understand products, but often also to know more about the company, its mission and its founders.

Scroll to Top