Give your brand an emotional facelift by avoiding these content marketing traps.

1. Your product, service, or technology plays the starring role, not your audience.

2. You stick to generalities, neglecting to mention details of time, place, character description, or emotion. Instead of “consumers” try naming her Zoe and making her 27 years old, living in San Antonio because it’s the #1 destination for Millenials. You get my drift.

3. Your imagery stars things not people. Worse, your images convey abstract virtual spaces with frenetically pixelated neon shapes.

4. You use the word leverage. More than once. (Trust me, when it comes to B2B marketing, sometimes I’m guilty of this, too.)

5. You don’t reference or mention a living being (dogs work, too). For real soul, add dialog. But not for the dog. Unless you sell pet products.

6. You, or your readers, read the same sentence more than once to understand what it means. Or to remember what they are reading about.

7. You tell people what to do, what their peers are doing, what they should do if they are good at their jobs, what their mothers wish they would do, without giving an example of a person who has done it, how she did it, and why it’s a good idea to follow her lead.

8. You wrote it based on marketing copy or data and have never spoken to a customer or client who uses the product, service, or technology. You get a pass if you can imagine using it and tap into the customer within yourself. But you have to go there.

9. You published the same article with a different headline a year ago.

10. Nobody Likes it. That is, nobody beyond your marketing department and social media managers.

In summary, beware of the content Kool-Aid you’ve allowed yourselves to drink and try switching to a different beverage, one that pushes you out of your comfort zone. Taking content risks gives your brand soul. Go on, live a little. Your audiences will not only Like your posts, they’ll love your brand for it.

Learn the method for creating engaging B2B content in my new book: Brand, Meet Story

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