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  • Writer's pictureDeJuan Wright

6 Content Marketing Mistakes That'll Cost Your Startup Sales Revenue

Updated: 7 days ago

“What makes content marketing different from simple content is that content marketing must do something for the business. It must inform, engage, or amuse with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” At the risk of sounding too dogmatic, the previous quote from Epic Content Marketing author Joe Pulizzi—is the closest thing to law when it comes to the true purpose of content marketing. 

To the chagrin of many of today’s CEOs, the days of brands only interacting with their target audience solely based on the products or services that they offer are over.

Thanks to the ubiquity of the internet and social media, in order to enthrall their target audience, today’s brands must now provide much more value than that of their products or services. In order to cut through the clutter pulling at the attention of their target audience—brand’s must now also serve as media companies. 

And what is that media companies offer their audience? If your answer is content—that would be correct! But you’re running a business here. Which is why the quote above from Joe Pulizzi is so pertinent. Your startup's content must be devised to drive profitable customer action–which is the ultimate objective of content marketing. 


To accomplish that objective, be sure to avoid making these mistakes in your startup’s content marketing endeavors.   

1. Not having a clear intent for your content 

By far, one of the most awkward questions in the dating lexicon has always consisted of a parent asking a lad, What are your intentions with my daughter? The reason why that dreadful question is so awkward—is because when you truly think about it, there isn’t an honest answer that would suffice them. 

The truth is that when it comes to any action, intent obviously plays a big role in determining a desirable outcome.

A common mistake currently being made by far too many content marketers—is not having a clear intent for their content. Avoid making that mistake with your startup by either having a precise plan for which actions you want your audience to take after consuming it (e.g. becoming a customer/subscriber). Or the way you’d like people to perceive your brand after coming across your content.

2. Not speaking your audience’s language 

The phrase “language barrier” is a funny thing. If you were to ask most people to explain it, they’d probably tell you that language barriers consist of the difficulties people face when trying to communicate with one another due to differences of their native tongue or dialects.

Contrary to popular belief, language barriers could also occur between people who speak the same native tongue; but different lingo. 

Don’t just take my word for it. Try having a face-to-face conversation using nothing but the latest slang with one of your older relatives who may be unfamiliar with “hip talk,” and it probably wouldn’t take very long before they’ll be looking at you like you’re speaking a totally different language. 


Keep in mind that the key to communication is proper interpretation. Your job is to ensure that all content your startup presents to its audience—will be interpreted properly by that audience. That means having an understanding of your audience well enough to know that if they’re unfamiliar with Gen Z jargon—avoid using it in your copy. 

However, if your target audience does communicate with their peers using the latest lingo—your content should contain that lingo as well. In other words, only present content to your audience that speaks in a way that would resonate with them.

3. Focusing on selling instead of helping 

Doesn’t the thought of having to go to a car dealership and purchase a car just give you absolute anxiety? If you’re like most car owners (myself included), one of the downsides of purchasing a vehicle—whether new or used—is the thought of having to interact with a pushy car salesperson trying their best to sell you any vehicle they could in hopes of securing a sales commission. 

Wouldn’t the car buying experience be so much more enjoyable if instead of having a reputation for being pushy to get a sale; car salespersons had a reputation for always putting you—the customer, needs’ first, by always aiming to help you make the best decision for you

Although the ultimate objective of content marketing is for it to help advance your business in some way; at the end of the day, as previously stated, your content marketing endeavors should always be aimed towards helping your audience by either informing, engaging, or amusing them first and foremost. 

4. Not taking chances 

Speaking of selling, in their book, The Content Shift: Why a Search Mindset Is Essential To Your Content Marketing Strategy, authors Mark Hawks and Jonathan Heinl write, “Content marketing targets users who are actively searching for solutions to problems that your brand offers.” 

The duo go on to write, “Instead of “pushing” products out to customers, “pull” people into business-driven content that is relevant, targeted, and aligned with the audience’s interests and needs.”

Mistakenly, the preponderance of content marketing professionals neglect the part that refers to the audience’s interests by only sticking to one subject and not taking any risks.

Every piece of content that your startup produces doesn’t have to be confined to your company’s particular niche. So feel free to take chances with your content by addressing subject matters that may also be of interest to your audience outside of the particular parameters of your products or services. 

As long as the subjects have a logical link to what your brand actually aims to represent—don’t be afraid to take chances that may intrigue your audience. Just think, if Beyoncé can experiment with her style of music and still successfully make history, you should also feel liberated enough to do the same with your content.

5. Inconsistent publishing  

As previously stated, today’s brands must also serve as media companies. And how effective would a media company be if it delivered its content on an inconsistent basis? Hey, I get it. You don’t have to tell me how difficult it is to consistently produce content on a regular basis.

But that is what’s required in order to maximize the return on your content marketing investment.

A great way to avoid inconsistencies in your content delivery is by creating a content calendar for your startup and committing to it. Content calendars are great for establishing a routine as well as a direction for your content. They also help lead fans of your brand to expect to receive new content from your company on a consistent basis. Which is a great thing! 

6. Failing to properly distribute your content 

Take a moment and think back to your favorite advertisement that you’ve ever seen from a brand. Got it? Good! Regardless of how creatively awesome that particular ad may have been—I’d say it’d be safe to say that ad probably wouldn’t have been very impactful for its respective brand if it had only been aired once or only featured on one publication.

The same logic applies towards content marketing. If your startup’s content is only distributed on one platform—like your company’s website—I can assure you that it wouldn’t be as effective as it could be if it were distributed through multiple platforms.

A piece of content doesn’t end once you publish it on your website. In fact, that’s when the distribution process truly begins. 

Maximize the reach and impact of your startup’s content by sharing it on social media platforms like LinkedIn, X, Medium, Instagram, Reddit, and any other platforms that your startup’s ideal audience may frequent. 

Need help creating content for your startup?

We hope that you found this content either informing, engaging, or amusing. If you’d like further help with your content marketing endeavors—like having a our marketing firm create content for your company—don't hesitate to contact us today to discuss just how your company could become the next Decryption client.

We'd love the opportunity to create content for your startup that will help drive profitable action for your business. 


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