Building your strategies around content marketing myths can devalue your efforts.
Content Marketing Myths Are Far from Dead
Regardless of the countless articles written and seminars given to kill strategy misconceptions, content marketing myths are still alive and well. Many marketers and their decision-making superiors make content-related choices based on fallacies or delusions. They then pump out inefficient content and pray some of it sticks. This is a poor strategy.
In order to right the content marketing ship, try to identify prevalent myths in order to avoid their pitfalls.
Myth 1: Results Happen Fast
Whether success is seen as social media reach or a direct money in/money out of correlation, it’s common for management to voice frustration when a piece of content or a multi-faceted content marketing strategy isn’t performing instantly. The myth: Results should manifest quickly.
Truth: Content marketing is an investment that may not pay off big immediately…or ever. In most cases, content marketing strategies are aimed at long game returns and staying power over time. Evergreen content (content that is always relevant) is meant to provide continuous insights that marketers and consumers find valuable. You may write a blog article or create an infographic that doesn’t garner viral success or big money ROI, but this kind of evergreen content continues to provide value long after it’s been created. Once you have a website or blog full of always-valuable content, you become an authority people trust. That’s more important than quick results.
Myth 2: Quantity Over Quality
Hiring handfuls of contract writers at a steal of a price means you won’t have to spend that much on content marketing strategies.
Truth: Low quality, high frequency content is never as powerful as well-planned, goal-oriented content. It’s common for companies to “nickel and dime” when it comes to content creation, hiring writers at a bargain to write poor/acceptable content regularly. Quality over quantity should be your marketing mantra. If you’re posting content daily, but none of it provides value or industry insight to readers, you’re doing it wrong. Instead, try publishing once a week and really dig into what your audience wants and needs from your content.
Creating content of value goes further to building confidence and credibility with your audience. Image from The Economist Group.
Myth 3: Social Media Attention Equals Success
With the rise of various social media services, shares and likes are just as valuable as monetary ROI figures, right? Wrong.
Truth: Regardless of the number of likes and shares your content garners, consumers who aren’t following through to your website and converting aren’t customers. You’d be surprised how infrequently likes and shares convert to actual sales. That’s not to say social media “success” isn’t rewarding to a degree, but it’s a fallacy to equate likes and shares to business success. Guiding consumers through a sales funnel or creating a buyer’s journey with your content is a must. Online reputation and reach can be huge, but if your content is shared the world over and doesn’t drive a single person to your website, that social media success can be seen as a failure.
Myth 4: Content is King
Good content will create business opportunities and drive sales. Period. Content is and always will be king.
Truth: Today, the audience is king. Within markets that continue to segment and specialize, successful web content strategy is fueled by audience appeal and perceived value. It may be tough to put the “content is king” mantra to bed, or at least on the back burner, but it’s essential in today’s audience-driven online arena. What does your audience want? Why? How can you give it to them through your content while still driving conversions? Preemptive web content analysis and a successful inbound marketing strategy always consider the audience before content is created.
Content Marketing Strategies Can and Should Adapt
There’s no one-size-fits-all shoe that content marketers can walk in to meet the needs of their audience(s) and guarantee strong ROI. The most successful content marketers understand that strategies need to include a variety of high-quality, goal-oriented content, and those same marketers realize that success is measured differently. Breaking content marketing myths to adapt content to audience needs is crucial, and it’s up to you to gauge audience interaction, monitor content impact, and adjust content strategies accordingly.