7 Misunderstandings You Have About Content Marketing
You are doing it all wrong!
Yep, you read that right!
We know you might not like hearing that, but there is a very good chance you’ve got your content marketing and its priorities all wrong, especially if you’ve just recently made it a part of your online marketing mix.
At TalenAlexander, we don’t claim to be the final authority on content marketing, but we believe in our experience and the false starts and pitfalls we’ve encountered has given us a better grip than most about the ins and outs of content marketing.
Content marketing has been taking place for thousands of years. A funny yet thought provoking infographic on content marketing created by the Content Marketing Institute claims that it began as early as the Stone Age!
We wholeheartedly agree with them because every carving you see on a cave wall was made by people with a clear purpose: to convey a message to other people who came across these drawings. Isn’t that what content marketing is all about?
One of the biggest misconceptions that businesses/marketers/creative personnel have about content marketing is that the term ‘content’ only refers to text. Well, we’re here to tell you it doesn’t. The term content refers to everything from text, images, video, gifs, and the newly evolved 6 second vines.
Useful targeted content wields enormous influence, but that’s only possible if you get rid of any misunderstanding you have about content and its distribution.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the process of building a relationship with the audience and paving a path for two-way communication by offering valuable information in a wide variety of mediums.
What if Content Marketing is Done Wrong?
When you create great content, but have poor execution in distributing it, you are essentially missing out on making an impression on potential customers and losing out to your competitors.
You have been doing it wrong if…
1.You are Using Content Marketing as a Money Making Opportunity
The quality of the content being created and the focus on your audience is lost the instant you start using it as a way to earn money. As a matter of fact, it’s an investment wasting the time, energy, and ideas you put into strengthening your brand.
Content must be used to improve brand credibility and authority, but it needs to inform, educate, enlighten, or inspire your audience–use content marketing to converge your personal and business brand– with subjects you are knowledgeable on.
Do this over a period of time and the reputation of your brand will trigger improved sales figures by creating thought leadership. If you are planning on getting instant returns on your investment, content marketing is not for you. Think of it as a long term investment to build a loyal audience which over time helps deliver ROI.
Forget everything else and focus on making your valuable content invaluable. That’s the way to climb the success ladder.
2.You Assumed Great Content Will Market Itself
Great content is powerful and has the potential to make an impact on its audience, but you need to market this content– get it in front of your intended audience– as its appeal alone won’t guarantee eyeballs. Just because you have created something amazing doesn’t mean content will promote itself.
There are rare instances where a piece of content becomes viral without you putting too much effort into the results, but that’s a one in a hundred-million chance. Aggressive and targeted content promotion is imperative for effective content marketing performance.
Creating engaging content is just the beginning. Promoting it in the right manner is the next and most important step, irrespective of whether you are working with a huge budget or a shoestring budget. There are plenty of promotional opportunities available in order to distribute your content in a realm where your target audience gather.
Try submitting to press outlets like your local newspaper, online blogs, or academic journals.
3.You Assume that Content Marketing is Blogging and Vice Versa
Did you know that YouTube videos, infographics, and webinars are all content marketing formats? If you don’t, it is time to redefine the basics because content marketing was never about guest/onsite blogging. Blogging is just another platform for text or media content– it’s not your bread and butter for every day campaigning.
Here are a few great replacements for blogging…
- Colorful and Informative Infographics
- YouTube Videos
- Images with Text Embedded Within
Mix up content formats to develop a campaign that caters to the needs and requirements of a diverse audience.
4.You are Creating Content for Google Rankings and Rot Real People
Answer this question: Are you creating content purely to drive SERP’s? If your answer is YES, you are committing a blunder. Google will never appreciate this content and while it may offer you some short-term benefits, they are fleeting.
SEO content is never treated as real content because actual writing and visual representations are targeted towards people. Your readers should have the opportunity to connect and learn, therefore they must feel the need to reciprocate the value of your content. When you are catering to search bots, you are not adding value to your brand which in turn destroys the purpose of your content marketing campaign.
The strict terms and conditions set by Google among other search engines have consistently changed in the past. Instead of incorporating keywords, meta tags, and descriptions purposefully, content creators are expected to integrate them naturally and only when necessary.
The age of scammers swapping original content with a couple of keywords and spun articles is long gone. It’s all about originality, ease of access, and adding value to the readers with SEO sprinkled all over it.
5.You Assumed Content Marketing Results are Not Measurable
Every marketing campaign needs a measurement scale and a wide range of tools to help you decipher where the holes lie in distributing your content. Unfortunately, there are no precise tools to find whether or not a reader has converted into a customer, but you can easily discover the success rate of an article or video you’ve created by monitoring any of these metrics.
- Newsletter signups
- Website/ Blog Analytics
- Number of Social Shares/ Likes/ Tweets
- Number of Clicks on Links
6.You Think Creating a Large Body of Content Will Get You There
The more, the merrier, right? Wrong. Just because you post five blog posts a day doesn’t mean you will have thousands of visitors reading your deliverables in a month’s time. When the quantity increases, it might reduce the quality and content focus–This should never happen.
The objective must be to create brand value through the painstaking process of developing fantastic content. Yes, you can churn out lots of content, but only if you know its quality won’t go for a toss.
7.You Think Content Marketing is Too Much Work
A piece of content with great data incorporated into it has more life than any other form of marketing. While advertisements last as long as you pour money into them, a viral piece of content could stay on the web for years and passively promote your products or services. So, it’s worth spending time to research and come up with absolutely brilliant content that you know has a very long shelf life.
Clear up these misunderstandings to ensure you make the most of your content marketing campaign. Get it right and you will enjoy the fruits of your labor for some time to come. While content marketing results don’t come in a hurry, they do last if done effectively and can become a hallmark for your brand. That in itself should prompt you to put the right amount of thinking, resources, energy, and capital into your content marketing.