The Truth About Some Common Content Marketing Myths
In 2013, we saw content marketing progress from a buzzword to a legitimate and highly valued mainstream marketing strategy. In 2014, this validation is expected to persist and for businesses, this makes content a key component of marketing. With the increased rave about content marketing that’s got marketers all over the web on their toes, everyone has something to say about it; every one has opinions to share. Dozens if not hundreds of articles are written about content marketing everyday, about tips and tricks and, often, conflicting advice. It’s got to the point where you can hardly trust things people write about content marketing anymore. There are so many myths and as a business, you obviously don’t want to get tangled in misconceptions.
So let’s talk about some of the most common myths that cloud the concept of content marketing. We should probably start with really understanding what content marketing is all about.
By definition, content marketing is, obviously, a marketing strategy that revolves around producing and publishing information with the aim to build trust and authority among your customers. It is, perhaps, the most remarkable and effective way to build relationships with your target audience and a community, so people feel loyal towards you and your brand. To that end though, you need to structure and manage your content marketing efforts. The key to a successful content marketing strategy is to decide what you want to accomplish before you jump into content production and writing.
3 Things you Need to Know about Content Marketing
1. Long-form Content v/s Short Posts
Up until the Google Hummingbird update happened, there was a general misconception among website owners and marketers that web visitors, because they are time strapped, tend to scan first a page before deciding whether or not they want to actually go through the content. This led to marketers deducing that shorter pages and posts are better than long-form content.
Then Hummingbird came along and made us all re-think about the way we write content. Google figured that short pages and posts lack substance and genuine value. A good content marketing strategy should be designed to be comprehensive and answer the needs of people.
So at the end of the day, you want to create content that resonates with your audience. Forget about length. Every website is different and use a content marketing strategy that you have found to appeal to your audience.
2. Frequency of Posting
Some bloggers publish content every day. Others publish once a week or once a month. Definitely, there is a correlation between frequency of posting and volume of leads generated. But there are other factors that come into play. For example, most marketers lack the time or resources to create fresh and top-notch content daily, let alone, multiple times a day. What you need to remember is that half-baked content is worse than no content. You would be better off publishing one good blog post a week than pushing 10 sub par pieces of content.
So select a frequency for posting content that works for you. Keep a regular schedule. You may also want to think about how much time you want to allow between publishing different types of content, for example:
- Blog posts, that relate to your core message
- Video; you can create a YouTube channel or use Vimeo
- Podcasts, often published on iTunes
- Webinars, where you can present information to a live audience
- Powerpoint presentations, uploaded to Slideshare
- Tutorials and infographics
- Newsletters, to send content to people’s inbox
3. Content Marketing and Lead Generation
Content marketing can help brands and businesses generate more leads but this should not be your sole reason to publish content. Content marketing should be about becoming recognized as a thought leader in your industry. It’s about driving sales without resorting to traditional “hard sell” tactics. You want to create content holistically to help your audience with whatever they need and any questions or issues they may be having.
The key is to build a community around your brand or business and convincing your audience that you are the right solution to their problems. Once this trust and authority is established, conversion will follow. But trust first then lead generation.
As a content marketer, you need to keep a finger on the pulse of your audience. You need to create content that people will be eager to read and you need to plan, ahead of time, what your strategy will be, for example, the type of content you will be pushing and at what frequency.