Content Marketing is one of the buzzwords in the digital marketing industry these days, and this is because many industry leaders are talking about it. There are brands that implement content marketing and have seen tremendous growth. But there are a number of other businesses who consider content marketing as nothing but a waste of time and money.
One of the reasons why they reject content marketing is because it didn’t work out for them the way they thought it should. I recently got a chance to work with few a companies, and I found out that the reason why people are failing with content marketing is because they have misjudged it.
Most of them are following myths instead of educating themselves on content marketing’s reality. They are considering content marketing as a simple idea that can easily be measured and calculated.
Is Content Marketing Tangible?
This is a difficult question, but for most small businesses who cannot manage to invest in powerful tools like Kissmetrics, Crazy Egg, and Heatmaps along with common tools like Moz.com, Google Analytics, HootSuite and more, the answer is no!
There is a possibility to tracking the users who are entering your website and converting, but it requires high end tracking. Content marketing is not a straight forward process. In content marketing, users enter a website, but they might not convert immediately. It may take several visits for your user to convert, especially if they’ve been reading your content for a few days.
The common myth about content marketing is that businesses will create content, share it on social media (organic/paid), and their target audience will see it, ideally resulting in a conversion rate of around 2% in both leads and paying customers.
Unfortunately, content marketing does not exactly work that way. You create content, you share it on social media platforms, and your target audience will come and see your piece of content. This part is correct. Conversions just don’t come that easy.
In order to convert that audience, you have to keep creating quality content and keep sharing on social media and every other channel from where you can expect your targeted audience to read your content.
Once the audience continuously likes your content and remembers you and the services you offer, some of them will give your services/product a try.This is where the conversions come in.
There are several other myths about content marketing that people believe are true. In the rest of the post, I am going to bust few and provide real-time solutions for them.
1. Content Marketing is Easy
I am purposely discussing here so that anyone who thinks that content marketing is easy can translate thoughts onto paper. So let me tell you: content marketing is not easy.
I am not saying it’s difficult, but in order to create great content you should have business guidelines, audience familiarity, topic grip, what your audience wants to hear from you, their problems, and what possible solutions you have to offer.
If you do not have this knowledge, you will never be able to come up with content that your audience loves and remembers you for.
Remember, content marketing is neither easy nor cheap, but the return in the long run is an increase in your conversions and brand value. You will literally see brand advocates promote you almost every time you come up with anything new.
The finest example in this case is Moz.com; there are so many tools out there who offer similar functionalities, but Moz is different because of their content marketing tactics – see this archive of SEO guides.
2. Content Marketing is Not for Me
If you think that you are boring or that your industry is not social or your target audience might not read the content you creating, then it’s time for you to think again because content marketing does work.Saying that it’s not for you is simply allowing your competitors to win.
According to a study,72% of the American adults who are online use social networking sites.While I agree that some of your audience might not be social media users, they are attached to the internet and social media in some capacity.
If you answer your audience’s question and provide them with solutions, they will stick with you. They will read you content and will possibly convert in your favor. Workplace Depot’s blog is the finest example of creating creative and audience ordinated content that leads to brand value and conversions in the long run.
3. Sales Pitch Content Marketing
This is a giant mistake. Sales pitchesare not content marketing. If you keep hawking your services and products over and over again, your audience will leave you, and you will lose your brand value over a period of time.
Content Marketing does not work like sales pitch. Its main job is to influence people and make them remember you. This activity leads to conversion almost naturally.Sales pitches act like TV commercials—people look at it, most people ignore it, and a small amount of people become leads.
Content Marketing is a long term strategy. I still get leads from the article I wrote on Moz.com back in 2012. But compared with that, sales pitches are usually ignored by most people who receive them. The average life of a sales pitch is few hours to few days whereas life of a content marketing piece can be evergreen.
Remember, if you are considering sales pitches as part of your content marketing strategy, you might end up losing your brand reputation.
4. Content Marketing and Social Media are Separate
Remember the graphics at the earlier in this article? They clearly explain why social media and content marketing go hand in hand. If you think one is not important, you will probably lose potential customers who can convert into paying customers—or even better, become your brand advocates.
Imagine having created an amazing piece of content that can change the way people pack their bags before traveling. Who is going to read it? You know your target audience, but because your reach is very limited, it will only be read by your existing customers or the people who already subscribe to your content.
What if you include a social element to the emails you send out to your customers? Not only will they like it, but they probably also share it with their audience. You can also share your content with your social accounts.This is how your reach can grow to a maximum level and allow your content to reach the maximum amount of people.
SEMRush.com is yet another tool in the market, but because of an amazing content marketing strategy and a quality product, they are one of the best in the market today.
5. Content Marketing… Infographics?
This might sound far-fetched, but there are businesses out there who believe that all content marketing does is provide an infographic, an ebook, or a whitepaper and nothing else. While I do think that these are the mediums of content generation and on paper they might work, I also think that, trying to justify this as content marketing is misguided.
Content marketing is not about the medium. It’s about finding the gap within your niche, understanding the need of your audience, and providing the possible solutions to it accordingly. If your solutions are real world and actionable, you will end up with the affirmative support from your audience.
If you want to create a visual medium to enhance your content, there is no problem with that, but if you see the data by Moz.com, very little of the top content created is based on text instead of graphics. In my opinion, it’s more about the content than how you deliver it.
There are few more myths, but the five above are the myths that I have seen many businesses suffer from. If you want to invest in content marketing, bust these myths and follow the voice of your audience to see how content marketing do magic for you and your business.
Some takeways from SEOteky:
1. Track your content marketing campaign by setting up custom URL tags on your content. Setup a custom URL tag by using this URL builder from Google and see how you content deliver traffic and conversions to your site through Google analytics.
Checkout this helpful guide from Kevin Bekker
2. Infographics can be done in so many ways – remember my presentation in Peepcon? Building links the visual way. If you want to use visualizations in your content marketing, you need to identify first your content consumers and the link equity (if you are building links), otherwise it will just become a waste of time and money investing on these type of contents.
3. If you are doing newsletter to promote your product or content, always A/B test. Below are some of the best guide that you can use on making your newsletter a success:
About the Author:
This post was written by Moosa Hemani, all thoughts and opinions expressed by the guest contributor doesn’t necessarily reflects SEOteky’s views in online marketing. If you want to learn more about content marketing and SEO, check out Moosa Hemani on his blog SEtalks.com. You can also follow him on twitter @mmhemani
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