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Many marketers today seem quick to jump on the latest strategy, approach, or technology, attracted by the promise new and amazing results. It's done with great enthusiasm and the best intentions, but often also with a lack of planning and forethought. And when that happens, the enthusiasm and excitement can quickly turn to a feeling of epic failure.

With all the buzz about and allure of content marketing, jumping in quickly and then not seeing the expected results happens a lot.

Here are three common content marketing mistakes and some ideas for how to avoid them.

Mistake No. 1: Of course I know my audience. Now let's crank out some content.

I recently had the experience of helping my 10-year-old plan a party she was having with some classmates. It was amazing how clear she was with what she wanted. From the games to the food to goody bags, she was detailed and precise. Anything I suggested that deviated from her vision was shot down immediately, but supported by some sound logic.

I relented and let her run the show based on one simple reason: I was pretty sure she knew her audience a whole lot better than I did.

The first big mistake a lot of companies continue to make: they jump right in and create content too focused on their own brand versus what their audience might really be looking for. They skip the critical first step of figuring out or validating what is truly relevant to the customer.

We should all know by now that if your content doesn't entertain, educate, or solve a problem for your customer, you are probably missing the mark. So even if you have a really great brand story, don't make it about you. Make it about your customer.

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image of Jeff Sierra

Jeff Sierra, a marketing strategist and technologist, is president and CMO of Mind Fuel, a provider of marketing strategy and business planning solutions.

LinkedIn: Jeff Sierra