Content marketing is kind of a big deal – and with good reason.
When done right, content marketing is effective. It builds brand awareness. It can generate leads, drive website traffic, and convert spectators into customers.
A decade ago, most marketers had never heard of the term “content marketing.” Today, it’s an effective strategy used by 93% of digital marketers. Unfortunately, many businesses get tripped up on content marketing myths that prevent them from executing a successful strategy.
Before we uncover these content marketing myths, it’s important to understand what content marketing actually is and its purpose. Used by brands of all sizes, content marketing is centered on creating and distributing valuable and relevant content to:
- attract a clearly defined audience
- raise brand awareness
- nurture relationships
- build customer loyalty
- drive website traffic
- generate leads
- ultimately convert followers into action
To do this, content marketing should offer something of value to a target audience. Let’s reach that goal faster by clearing up these content marketing myths.
Myth #1: My business doesn’t need/won’t benefit from content marketing.
Truth: It works for just about any type of brand, business or organization.
Content ranks in Google search, drives website traffic, and positions brands as industry leaders. Website conversions are six times higher for brands that leverage content marketing than for business that don’t. Despite this, 70 percent of brands still struggle to develop a consistent content marketing strategy.
The key is in knowing how to integrate it with your marketing campaign. For content to achieve conversion, it must communicate a clear and consistent message while providing exceptional value to your audience. According to Tara Alvey, PR/Marketing Manager at FORTHGEAR, Inc., consistent messaging across channels is critical. “Without it,” she says, “your message will fail to make an impact.”
Myth #2: Anyone can write content.
Reality: Anyone can write content but not everyone can tell your story.
A good content writer goes above and beyond knowing how to write. They know what to write because they understand your brand and your niche, and can convey that authentically to your target audience.
Great content shares three important features:
- It must be relevant to the audience
- It should be engaging and compelling
- It will trigger an action
Finding someone to write is easy. The success lies in finding someone who understands your brand and can create a content marketing strategy that communicates all the right things to your audience.
Myth #3: Content should be cheap or even free
Reality: You get what you pay for.
Without quality content, you won’t reach your target audience. The good news is that content marketing gets more bang for your buck, costing about 62% less than traditional marketing, and typically generating three times more leads.
The idea that content marketing is too expensive or isn’t worth spending money on simply isn’t true. If you still think that content isn’t worth paying for, re-read myth #2.
Myth #4: What’s the point of content marketing? Nobody reads anymore.
Reality: People still read – but they won’t waste time reading junk.
Content has to serve a purpose, solve a problem, inform, or offer something of value. Overly promotional or inaccurate content will never achieve that goal.
Myth #5: Content is just blogging.
Reality: Content reaches beyond words on a page.
In today’s digital landscape, content includes rich media such as infographics, video, podcasts and other audio-visual storytelling tools. Although it’s true that text ranks better in search results than other forms of content, video is one of the most effective tools for retaining a potential customer’s attention.
- 90% of the information that is transmitted to the brain is visual
- Video information is processed by the brain 60,000x faster than text
- Website visitors are 85% more likely to buy after watching a product video
Myth #6: You can’t prove content marketing’s ROI
Reality: You can prove return on investment AND value
At it’s most basic level, the purpose of content marketing is to drive website traffic and convert leads into sales. For marketers determined to capture quantitative data, conversions are an excellent benchmark for tracking ROI.
Content marketing also adds long-term value that traditional marketing methods can’t, relying on organic traffic from evergreen content such as infographics, articles, blogs and video to continue growing over time.
Myth #7: Instant gratification
Content marketing takes time. In fact, Neil Patel says it can take up to two years to see the full benefits of content marketing. Wait, what?
Simply put, it takes time to reap the full benefits of having your content online. Sure, the occasional post can go viral, and you may even see a boost in search engine rankings and traffic to your website, but the truth is that most content just needs time to rank. Google factors in things like the quality and relevance of your content, the amount of social shares and the number and quality of backlinks. As content gets older, these types of things happen organically. Evergreen content maintains relevance, provide SEO value, and continues to attract a targeted audience. The bottom line: the longer your content is online, the better your rankings will be.
Content marketing’s strategic approach relies on evergreen content to attract a targeted audience, establish industry expertise and, ultimately, drive conversions. It maintains relevance and works seamlessly with the rest of your integrated marketing strategy, providing SEO value, increasing domain authority, and enhancing website value – making it a perfect long-term marketing investment.
But remember – the authentic story at the heart of your brand is the story you need to tell. That’s the one that will resonate with, and ultimately convince your audience to take action.
By Noelle Graf
Noelle Graf is a professional content marketer with 10 years of experience in copywriting, editing and social media management. She is the Lead Content Writer at FORTHGEAR, Inc., where she helps small and medium-sized businesses create relationships with their audience through engaging web content, blog posts and social media.