5 minute read
7 Content Marketing Myths, Busted
Most of us have learned over the past decade or so that you really can’t trust everything you read on the internet, especially given the fact that just about anyone can share information – many times about topics they’re not nearly qualified to talk about. The subject of content marketing is no exception.
How can you know what is and isn’t truth when you’re wading neck-deep through a sea of info? Let’s start by revealing 7 of the most common misconceptions being perpetuated on the web so you’ll know not to fall for them.
Myth #1 - Content marketing is one-size-fits-all.
Many otherwise savvy business professionals make the mistake of believing that the content marketing strategy that worked for another firm will also work for them. The truth is, a lot of unique factors go into determining whether your particular strategy will be successful. Posting 2 blog posts a week, updating Twitter and Facebook 3 times a day and sending out a monthly newsletter may have done wonders for Joe Schmoe down the road, but that doesn’t mean squat to your company. You have to work at it to see what formula is right for you.
Myth #2 - Successful content marketing is all about the keywords.
Over the past several years, Google has been moving away from the traditional keyword focused SEO and shifting toward quality (a change that has been a breath of fresh air for most of us). Now, instead of ranking your site based on how many times you use that magic word or phrase, your content will be measured by how relevant and useful it is for your readers. In fact, too many keywords may end up getting you in trouble with the search engine gods.
Focus on metrics like time on site to increase your SEO performance. We've seen a strong correlation between time on site and SERP rankings.
Myth #3 - If you post it, they will come.
Content marketing is by no means a “set it and forget it” kind of concept. To the contrary, you have to put a real, concerted effort into getting your content seen and, more importantly, shared. All the best material in the world won’t do you an ounce of good if nobody is actually looking at it. Be proactive about getting your content out there by sharing it across all of your social media channels and other marketing outreach efforts.
Tools like Buffer can help you post from your own accounts. Tap ambassadors to help you distribute content on your behalf as well.
Myth #4 - “Content” refers to the written word.
Sure, back in the day the term “content” may have referred primarily to writing, such as blog posts and articles. Those days are gone. Now, when people want content, they want variety. This means using images, infographics, memes, videos and anything else that will catch the eye and hold the attention of your audience. Don’t believe us? According to Kissmetrics, social media posts containing images get 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more clickthroughs than plain text.
Myth #5 - Content marketing is complex and time consuming.
Many professionals believe this because creating content can seem like a scary task – especially if you’ve never done it before, or if you have no idea what type of content your audience would like. Actually, if you approach content creation from a standpoint of building relationships and making connections, it’s much less intimidating. You don’t have to create 20 page documents stuffed with facts and figures – trust us, that’s not what will reach your target anyway. Just be yourself. The rest will fall into place. And if you can’t figure out what your audience wants, ask them!
Myth #6 - Content marketing is easy.
At the risk of sounding contradictory to our last point, it’s also important to realize that producing quality content isn’t always easy. There’s both an art and a science to it. The art involves understanding your audience and what type of content would best reach them. The science involves knowing the logistics, such as where to find your target audience (i.e. Pinterest for women vs. Instagram and Facebook for consumers aged 18-34) as well as the best time to post on various platforms for optimum results. Otherwise you’ll be wasting valuable time and resources.
Myth #7 - Content marketing is meant to close the sale.
Marketing and advertising are two entirely different beasts – especially when it comes to content marketing. The fact that Google is now placing more emphasis on quality for SEO purposes should support this truth. Successful content marketing is not meant to close the sale. It’s meant to create a connection with your customers and prospects and foster a relationship between them and your brand. That’s why it’s so important to produce content that is customer-focused. It should never be a sales pitch.
Do you suffer from any of these common content marketing myths? If so, it’s time to re-examine your approach and make some changes. What other myths or untruths about content marketing have you come across? More importantly, how have you overcome these hurdles to make your own content marketing strategy a success? Please share in the comments below.