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Content marketing: What are the top misconceptions?
November 23, 2021
So, content marketing, huh? A quick Google of the term will net you a whopping 10.4 billion hits in just a few seconds showing us – if any proof were needed – that this is still the go-to strategy for marketers.
Despite this, a large number of brands are still working under some common misconceptions about this incredibly effective form of marketing, largely due to the assumption that content marketing is ‘easy’ and can be done without the help of a professional content marketing agency.
In this article, I’ll walk you through just some of these content catastrophes and how to fix them.
There are those who believe that content marketing is only useful for the so-called ‘creative’ industries, and that it has no place in more formal sectors. This couldn’t be further from the truth, as content marketing is, essentially, about the sharing of information and the solving of problems.
This means that every industry and sector can - and should - be tapping into content marketing as a way of reaching and engaging with their target audiences and setting themselves up as a thought leader within that industry.
For example, marketers within the finance sector can use a content marketing strategy to advise and inform their audience of the benefits of certain kinds of savings and investments.
Quantity over quality
Too many marketers firmly believe that the key to a successful content marketing strategy is to pump out as much content as possible, as often as possible. I get the thinking behind this, as the assumption is that the more content you put out there, the more people you are likely to reach.
However, let me stop you there.
First of all, this kind of strategy will almost certainly compromise the quality of the content - which will impact the interest and trust received from your readers and followers.
Secondly, never ever forget that the gods of Google are watching. Google uses a method known as E.A.T to measure each piece of content that you publish online. This stands for:
- Expertise: The work demonstrates expertise on the subject, backed up by proper facts and figures.
- Authoritativeness: The work is supported by accreditations of authority such as customer reviews, backlinks, awards and affiliations.
- Trustworthiness: The work is supported by positive reviews, good website security and other factors which engender trust.
This means that, if you’re just churning out content without quality control, this will actually cause your brand harm both in terms of customer trust and Google ranking. When producing content, quality will always trump quantity.
Keeping them posted
Here’s one that you may already be guilty of. You’ve written some cracking content and you’ve published it - then you assume it’s ‘job done’. Any reputable content marketing agency will tell you that this is, quite literally, only half the job done.
Assuming that people are just going to find, read and react to your content is one of the biggest cardinal sins of content marketing in 2021. The key here is that it’s ‘content marketing’, not just ‘content’.
This means that, if you want your content to be successful, you need to follow up with proper engagement with your followers on social media and other platforms.
You also need to be consistently checking your analytics and performing A/B testing to see what works and what doesn’t in terms of your published content, as well as gathering feedback from your readers and followers.
This allows you to make amendments and updates to your work and to produce follow-on pieces for your winning articles.
Keeping it reel
This one is a particular bugbear for me - marketers who insist that video content doesn’t really offer any value to a brand. I’ll let you into a secret: it absolutely does.
In 2021, a huge number of social media and internet users are consuming content while commuting, sitting in a waiting room, and even when queuing for coffee. For this reason, bite-sized content is still incredibly valuable, and video lends itself perfectly to this.
Video allows you to get your message across in a way that is fast, visually engaging and human-centric. Your audience can snap up this kind of content quickly and easily, and figures show that around 55% of internet users access and watch a video every day.
Topping up the bottom line
Yep, we’ve all heard this one - content marketing doesn’t have any impact on revenue or the bottom line.
The truth here is that all of your marketing efforts come together to impact your revenue and, while you may not be able to attribute an actual cash value to each piece of your content, the impact is there.
When you release great value content, the knock-on effect is that it drives people to your website as well as inspires them to share the content with others. As a result, increased website traffic leads to increased sales which leads to increased revenue.
Game but no game plan
There are plenty of marketers out there who tick all the right boxes but still fail for one reason: - they don’t put together a proper content strategy. It’s not enough to just put out great content; you need to plan ahead as well as react to current events.
A good content marketing agency will create a schedule for your content that is designed to keep your readers engaged every step of the way through high value, thought leadership, topical content.
Content marketing should be thought of as a long term strategy, rather than something which is used to gain results fast.
In reality, most brands simply don’t have the time or expertise to really make this work for them, in which case, the hiring of a great content marketing agency is probably one of the most important investments that they can make as we approach the finishing line of 2021 and power into 2022.