5 Things to Avoid in Your Marketing Content

Obnoxious sales talk, typos, and bees. All three of these things have one thing in common.

The commonality: they are all things that business owners who write marketing content should avoid.

Ok, so bees might be a little bit out of the ordinary for writers to have to worry about…but believe me, one good sting to the finger can take you out of the copywriting game for days!

While the example of bees is definitely a little “over the top,”I use it to make a point.

That point is that there are a lot of little things that you can overlook while creating marketing copy because they seem silly or unimportant. When you overlook those things, you end up tainting your marketing content, and it costs you sales.

And a lost sale (or numerous sales), is definitely more painful than a sting to the hand.

Ahh, we’ve come full circle.

So, what exactly are these “things” we should avoid while creating marketing content? I’ll be happy to give you the inside scoop.

Keep reading to discover more about the 5 biggest things to avoid while writing marketing content.

Avoid Overly Salesy Marketing Content

Nobody likes a greasy, weaselly car salesman.

Even one of the best writers in our history, Roald Dahl, knew that! Why else would he have created the character Harry Wormwood in the enchanting tale of Matilda?

The intent of Harry’s profession as an untruthful, sneaky, pushy salesmen was written with the specific purpose of making us hate him as a person.

If you write overly salesy, deceiving, and pushy content, there’s a good chance people will turn and run.

My point…don’t be a Harry Wormwood.

Your marketing content should not be about you and what you want. It should be about your prospective customers and what they need/want.

Here are a few things you can do to avoid writing overly salesy content…

Tip #1: Focus on product benefits – Write copy that clearly shows how a prospect will benefit from using your product or service.

Here’s a great example of how this was done to promote The Original CrockPET Diet.

Notice how the copy isn’t buy, buy, buy! Instead, the focus is on how this product will help your pet and provide a better life for the cat or dog you love. Follow this example and you’ll be good to go.

Tip #2:  Provide value – It’s your job to establish a relationship founded on trust with your prospects. Establish this trust by providing value up-front before you ask for the sale.

Provide value by giving your prospects:

  • How-to guides
  • Tips sheets
  • White papers
  • eBooks
  • Templates
  • Swipe files

Tip #3: Prove you’re human –  In a world of order now, shop now and save, and buy, buy, buy, it’s important to find a way to connect with your audience and show that there is a human being behind the business. People want to know there is someone who understands and cares about what prospective and current clients care about.

One way to avoid prospective clients feeling like a commodity is to establish  a connection with your prospects through storytelling in your marketing content.

Talk about your life, what inspired you to create your product/service, your passions, etc. Not only does this method allow you to connect to your audience, but it also allows you to talk about your product in a captivating, non-salesy  way.

Avoid Creating Irrelevant Marketing Content

Unless your pizza place was the first establishment to serve food to astronauts on the moon, you probably shouldn’t be writing about the NASA space program.

I know, this one seems completely obvious. But the truth is that many business owners produce obscure and irrelevant content that does nothing to help them make a sale.

One big reason this happens is that content writers run out of stuff to write about.

How many different ways can you write a piece of content about making a pizza? Well, surprisingly, a lot…that is, if you know where to find  content marketing inspiration.

Here are a few ideas of how you can keep your content relevant while changing up what you write about.

  • Ask a customer story who has used your product/service for his or her story. Create a piece using that story.
  • Put together a piece of content focused on customer testimonials.
  • Write about specialty materials used in your product. Think about where they come from, why you use them, and why they make your product the best.
  • If your products or services are eco-friendly, write about that.
  • Write about what differentiates you from your competitors.
  • Create a question/answer piece of content and answer your prospects’ questions.

There are so many ways you can stay relevant while writing marketing content for your business. All it takes is a little thought and creativity!

The problem of writing irrelevant content also occurs when business owners jump on bandwagons in an effort to be trendy and fun.

You may remember the story of Pizza Hut’s failed PR stunt during the 2012 election between Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama.

Pizza Hut created a stunt to convince attendees at the Town Hall presidential debate at Hofstra University, to ask President Obama and Mitt Romney if they preferred sausage or pepperoni on their pizza.

The prize: free pizza for life.

This information collected was to be used as social media content on Pizza Hut’s Twitter and Facebook page. The campaign  backfired when blogs and media outlets immediately took the pizza delivery chain to task for trying to capitalize on the election buzz by injecting itself into the process.

And why should we be surprised? Pizza Hut’s specialty is making pizza, not politics.

Read the full story here.

The bottom line is to stick to what you  know you so you don’t make a fool out of yourself.

Avoid Creating Spammy Marketing Content

There’s nothing worse than spam– both the digital content and the meat kind. Gross!

If you hate getting spammed, I can guarantee the same is true for your prospects.

The good news is that it’s easy to avoid crafting spammy content. Just follow these 3 rules:

Rule 1: Don’t Send Your Prospects to Spammy Websites

I don’t care if Bob, the sketchy salesman, promised to promote your products to all of his clients in exchange for your to sending them to his junky website filled with spammy links.

Don’t do it!

When you send your prospects to a spammy site, the one shown above, all you’re going to do is cause frustration and lose your client’s trust.

This doesn’t mean you can never partner with someone who is mutually beneficial to you.

For instance, if you sell dog houses, it might make sense to partner with someone who sells dog beds–as long as you both equally promote each other’s products. Both products make sense and are beneficial to people who own dogs.

As long as the person who owns the dog bed store has a clean and professional website, you’ll have nothing to worry about.

That being said, your main focus should always be on your website, products, or services.

Rule 2: Don’t Overwhelm People with Your Content

Content becomes spammy when you overwhelm your prospects with too much of it.

For example, 6 emails a day from your business is overkill.

It’s important to limit the amount of content, specifically email and newsletter content,  you send to your prospects.

If you decide to send multiple emails a day for a specific campaign, it better make sense, and they must contain value.

There are many different opinions on how frequently you should send or not send marketing content.

Our rule is to simply use common sense. If 20 emails in one week seem like too many, don’t do it!

Rule 3: Ensure Your Content Is Relevant

Here we go with relevancy again, but it is so important.

People associate spam with salesy content that promotes products or services they are not interested in.

For example, if I email you because you own a bike store and I signed up for your email list to get more information on mountain bikes, what sense would it make for you to send me an email on mattresses?

The second that email from you hits my inbox, I’m making it spam.

Always keep your content relevant and focused on your products or services.

Avoid Neglecting Your Target Audience

It’s easy to get caught up brainstorming clever, exciting, and unique content ideas.

There’s nothing wrong with that, but a problem does occur when you get so caught up in the storyline of your marketing content that you forget whom you are writing to.

Always keep your target audience at the core of your content.

In order to do this, we suggest creating a customer avatar before you even write one word of content.

This customer avatar clearly defines who your target audience is, what pain they have or are trying to avoid, what solutions they are seeking, and why they might need your product or service.

Discover how we put together customer avatars here.

Adding this step into your writing process will help you ensure that your content always speaks to your prospects.

Avoid Glaring Grammar and Spelling Errors

The idea of perfecting your content before it’s presented to the masses is something we talk about quite often–and with good reason.

We know how annoying it is to constantly have to spell check your copy, reread your content to scan for errors, or ship your work out to an editor for review. But adding this step into your writing process is important.

Without it, you leave the door open to permanently publishing unpolished content that can make you look uneducated, unprofessional, and downright silly.

After all, who wants to visit a doctor for a knee replacement when that doctor doesn’t even know how to use the correct version of “their”?


Don’t become the victim of an improperly used semicolon.

Proof your work, check your use of spelling and grammar, hire an editor, or let your friend who sleeps with a dictionary read over your work.

It’s that simple and will save you a lot of hassle in the long run.

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