Content marketing has become a valuable tool for most marketers. They have realized that with an effective strategy, they can drive awareness and increase sales leads.
Consumers also seek out content, with 90% of them expecting content from brands. Additionally, 53% of consumers conduct research before buying a product or service to make sure they’ve made the best choice. Another 70.2% of consumers only contact a salesperson after they have fully defined their needs.
This has led many organizations to leverage content marketing to grow themselves. However, only 56% of organizations have a documented content management strategy. 76% of them, on the other hand, take a strategic approach to content management.
Image via the Content Marketing Institute
They want to ensure the content they offer helps customers find their products and services. It should also help them build relationships.
But how do you know what strategies work and which ones are just myths?
Well, to help you out, I have with me, Michael Brenner. He is the CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group, a company that helps businesses handle their content marketing strategies.
He will debunk some of the content marketing myths that could be hurting your ROI.
Content Marketing Myths to Avoid in Your Marketing Strategy
Even though content marketing continues to be an essential asset for most companies, there are still many myths surrounding it. If you're implementing your strategy based on them, you might end up hurting your brand image.
So, which content marketing myths should you look out for? Let's find out.
Content Marketing Myth #1: Content and Content Marketing Are the Same
According to Michael, marketing with content is not the same thing as content marketing.
An ebook is not content marketing. A podcast episode, YouTube video, Facebook post, or Facebook ad aren’t examples of content marketing. However, a podcast series or a blog series that you regularly publish, on a platform you own, is content marketing.
The consistency of publishing and ownership of the content are key parts of content marketing that marketers need to understand.
Just because you use content does not make it content marketing.
Content marketing attracts an audience to a destination that can help you grow your brand and also provides value to them. It offers a strategic solution to a problem.
It also involves creating content aimed at reaching, engaging, and converting customers. When you do content marketing, you become more than a creator of content. You become a publisher.
The destination should contain freshly updated information, ideas, stories, images, and videos. It should also provide information that addresses various stages of the buyer's journey.
Content marketing is also consistent. You should answer questions every day or provide access to these answers. According to Michael, doing this regularly can exponentially increase your traffic, reach, engagement, social shares, and leads.
Content Marketing Myth #2 Content Marketing Involves Constantly Promoting Your Product
Imagine this scenario:
I sell shoes. I find you in the park on Monday and tell you all about the shoes I sell. On Tuesday, I am walking my dog, and when we meet, I tell you how I am selling cool shoes. On Wednesday, I find you at the supermarket and tell you about the amazing shoes I am selling.
Trust me; you will not want to see me on Thursday. You will hide from me so that you don’t have to hear about the shoes I’m selling again.
It’s the same situation with content marketing. You cannot be promotional all the time.
I know that 87% of customers begin their product and service hunts on digital channels, and you want to make sure they find your product. But you must not go overboard promoting it. Doing so might push your intended customers away instead of driving them to your brand.
Instead, focus on offering value to the consumer.
How do you do that?
Start by identifying your goals. What do you want to achieve with your product or service? What can it do for the consumer? What problem does it help the consumer solve?
Then, provide them with educational, informational, interactive, and entertaining content. Occasionally, you can use discreet promotional content to make people aware of products or services.
For example, if you’re selling shoes, publish tutorials that show consumers how to polish your type of shoe, how to handle any minor tears, or how to wash them.
This kind of educational content offers answers, shows off your shoe quality, and establishes you as an expert in the shoe industry too.
You should also offer testimonials of people wearing your shoes to give social proof.
For example, if they are sports shoes:
Show images and videos of people running marathons, working out, or playing while wearing them. Doing this can encourage current customers to share their experiences while wearing your shoes.
To promote your products, you can also collaborate with an influencer. They can help you build trust around your brand, and through them, you can reach a wider audience and sell to their loyal fans too.
You can also run contests, promotions, or giveaways. Then, work on converting the participants, through timely content, into paying customers. You can have them sign up for the competition using their emails and utilize that information to create an email list.
Another way to do this without being promotional is by using videos. Did you know that watching branded videos has convinced 84% of consumers to buy products? 96% of them also watch explainer videos to learn more about services and products.
Film tutorials or product reviews that offer a better understanding of how they can use your product and the benefits they gain from using them. This can improve your chances of driving sales.
Content Marketing Myth #3 Content Marketing is Easy and Offers Quick Results
If it were easy, then everyone would be doing it.
But if you want to offer quality, then you must put in more effort. You need to have a content strategy that ensures that the content you produce provides solutions to your customers at every stage of the funnel.
Content marketing also takes time for you to see your return on investment (ROI), but eventually, you do. However, you can measure how successful your strategies are using content marketing KPIs.
These include retention rates, page views, conversions, time spent on the website, or downloads over time. You can also measure leads gained within a specific time, subscriptions, social likes, and earnings.
Content marketing can help you develop long-term relationships with your audience. It may take some time, but with an effective strategy, you can nurture and convert prospects into loyal customers.
Ready to Get Started with Content Marketing?
Content marketing requires a strategy, but you must make sure you are not basing it on content marketing myths. Be mindful of the tactics you use, and conduct thorough research before implementing any new strategies.
Content marketing requires commitment. You must be consistent, offer your target audience value and, eventually, realize a return on investment from your content.
What content marketing myths have you come across in your content marketing research? Do you have any questions about or need any help planning your content marketing strategy? Let us know in the comment section below. We’re always happy to help.
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in influencer marketing, product launches, sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.