Everyone is talking about content marketing these days. It’s a bit like when social media first hit the scene, everyone thought it was the answer; the holy grail of marketing. But the truth is a bit more complex than that. Yes content marketing has many benefits, but there is also quite a lot of mis-information about what content marketing actually is, and why it works. We at Rothko would like to put some of these issues to rest by dispelling five of our favourite content marketing myths.
1: Content marketing is just a Facebook page?
No, this is a common misconception. Content marketing encompasses a wide range of channels from traditional social media, blogs, strategically placed content on 3rd party websites, PR and marketing collateral. Facebook is only one channel used in content marketing, the same as a flyer is only one channel used to advertise.
2: Anyone can do it, even me
Yes, technically you can do it, much like anyone could be a race car driver, but the question needs to be asked, do you want to win a go-cart race or Formula 1?
Content marketing takes a team of expert specialists in multiple disciplines to develop a strategy, develop content that is effective and to distribute content strategically. The skills needed include:
- PR specialists
- Writers and copywriters
- Website developers
Can you afford the time to do all of the above and do you have the skills to perform these roles well?
3: Content marketing is just ‘soft’ marketing and doesn’t generate sales
Wrong. Statistics from leading marketing organisations prove that content marketing generates more sales leads and has a better ROI than traditional advertising.
• The average website conversion for companies with planned content marketing is more than twice that of other companies (Kapost)
• Content marketing can shorten the sales cycle by up to 30% (marketingsherpa)
• Using content marketing tactics can save the average cost per lead by up to 13% (Hubspot)
4: Create content and they will come
Wrong again. Content marketing is about more than just creating content and pasting it into a blog post. Content needs to be cleverly written, designed and then strategically distributed so the right people see the content at the right time.
Content marketers constantly ask themselves questions like:
- Am I using copy terms people are actually looking for online e.g. cold vs sniffles?
- Does the PR article appeal to both the media and the target audience?
- What is the optimal time to send this email so people read it?
- How can I tailor this tweet so it is retweeted?
- What is the key benefit for the target audience reading this article?
- Is the call to action strong enough to get people to actually take action?
The reason why we ask ourselves these questions is because we are not just concerned with creating content, we are concerned with making sure the content is seen and acted upon to achieve marketing objectives.
5: The more content the better
This may have been true five years ago with regard to SEO – but not anymore. These days Google judges content based upon quality and not quantity.
Google ranks original content much higher than rehashed content that someone else wrote. Originality is key to getting any SEO value out of the content created. Google now pays more attention to user intent rather than solely if the searcher has the right keywords in their search. This means the quality and depth of your content needs to be very high, rather than the just a high volume of content.
Beyond SEO, the volume of content will also not make a difference in your marketing efforts, unless the content actually provides value to consumers and value isn’t determined by volume, it’s determined by quality.
The truth is, while content marketing offers an exciting new range of marketing options, the fundamentals of good marketing remain the same. Good content marketing begins with a good strategic approach, knowing your brand, knowing your target audience and creating something unique, relevant and valuable, that connects your band to its target audience. If the fundamentals are not in place, spewing content out is not going to deliver any magical success to your business.