Content marketing can provide one of the most remarkable transformations for any business when done correctly. As a strategic approach for creating and distributing valuable and relevant content to an intended audience, companies worldwide have seen the benefits of proper content marketing implementation.
According to Content Marketing Institute, 79% of B2B marketers have a content marketing strategy, with 87% of survey respondents indicating that content marketing has helped them achieve more brand awareness, build credibility and generate more leads.
However, content marketing can be challenging if you lack the right resources or if you’re not following the right strategy. To that end, many businesses that have tried and failed with content marketing may have found themselves believing content marketing myths that shifted their focus. We spoke to marketing leaders to uncover 6 of the primary myths holding businesses back and what you should do instead.
Myth #1: More Is Better
Many businesses are under the impression that more is better when it comes to content marketing. Whether that means just producing more content no matter what it takes or trying to present on every available channel. However, the reality is that the amount of content you post isn’t all that important, nor are the channels you choose to post on.
Andrew Sumitant, Senior Director of Marketing at Seattle, WA.-based TINYpulse, explains that consistency should be the main focus for any marketing strategy. Whether you’re focusing on a social media campaign, posting articles to a blog or starting a regular newsletter, consistency is the key ingredient. “When you publish consistently, your viewers/readers/listeners will start to anticipate your content. Just like a weekly TV program. If there’s no pattern of consistency, your stuff will just get lost.”
This consistency applies to choosing which channels to distribute your content on also. It’s better to be consistent on 1 or 2 channels than be inconsistent on 5 or 6.
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Myth #2: You Have To Be a Creative Person
Given the creative elements involved in content creation, many people are of the belief that only a select group of people can create content. They need to be entertaining and wow everyone who sees their content and stand out among everyone else. However, the great thing about content creation is that anyone can learn how to do it if they do their research and follow the steps. Also, content marketing requires companies to adjust their plans and shift on the go, meaning that even the most experienced marketers are still learning.
Kirsten Allegri Williams, CMO at San Francisco, CA.-based Optimizely points out just how important having the right data to inform your decisions plays a bigger role. “It used to be that you started with the product, created a marketing strategy, and then created content to support it,” she says. However, with access to the right data, marketers can use the data they gather to help inform their strategy and focus on the areas they know will matter to their customers. “With the speed of change and the proliferation of channels today, companies need the ability to learn as they go and have every piece of content also become a source of data. When data is chosen carefully, it eliminates paths towards wasted effort.”
Myth #3: You Should Use the Same Strategy as Others
Just because something worked for one brand in another industry or even another brand in your industry, that doesn’t mean it will work for you. “Not only are each set of customers unique, but the way they are unique changes over time,” added Williams.
Every brand and industry is different, as is their target audience. Figuring out what works best for your brand may take some time, but you can identify what strategy fits with proper research. Researching the websites your target audience visits and creating an ideal customer profile can help to mitigate the challenges of getting it right. Also, even if you get it wrong the first time, your strategy can continue growing and evolving.
Myth #4: Social Media Isn’t Important
There are several different ways to implement a content marketing strategy. Organic traffic from Google and other search engines paid traffic from ads, and social media are among the most popular ways to drive traffic and increase brand awareness. However, brands that find success in those areas may believe that they can ignore social media as an important piece of the marketing puzzle.
Whether it is the niche B2B brand that believes their customers are part of a demographic that doesn’t frequently use social media or the company simply doesn’t have a dedicated social media team in place, neglecting one’s social media presence can be detrimental to any brand. The solution is to slowly and consistently begin crafting a social media presence starting with one platform and then gradually expanding.
Myth #5: Google Search Matters the Most
Optimizing for organic search and search engine rankings is a tactic that many organizations have fallen victim to in the past. From keyword stuffing to simply reusing the same context as competitors, trying to build your marketing strategy based solely on the Google algorithm is a mistake.
According to Michaela Atkinson, Head of Content at New York, NY.-based Dash Hudson, “focus on creating content that adds unique insights into a conversation. Content marketers that do so are more likely to stand out, not only because Google’s algorithm now considers the quality of content, but also because their work won’t risk getting lost in immense search volumes.”
Creating quality content that showcases something new can stand the test of time and help you improve your ranking and better appeal to your audience.
Myth #6: You Only Need One Type of Content
Whether the debate is between needing long-form versus short-form pieces of content, or using text-only content and ignoring other media types such as video or image-based content, the myth that only one type of content is necessary is crucial must be ignored.
Different types of content will resonate with various members of your target audience. Your research must identify which fits your audience best. Also by layering your content and varying the types of content you present to your audience and on which channels you can ensure that you’re covering all of your bases.