Mythbusting: Content Marketing Pt. 1

This was such fun writing that I had to break it up in to two posts. Watch for part two next week.

Content marketing is a big thing these days, with businesses trying to focus more on giving customers value, than trying to force-feed them sales material. Like any marketing term, it’s quite general, so many people wonder what is classed as content marketing and what isn’t.

At its simplest level, content marketing is about using any form or all forms of content to drive traffic to a specific site or platform. In saying that, it still sounds really general, so it’s understandable how many myths there are surrounding content marketing.

If you’re trying to attract traffic to your site, beware of these 8 myths regarding content marketing.

1. It’s only a fad and it will pass

Content marketing has been a marketing tool for over seven years now; it’s not a brand new thing. It has been receiving more attention lately, but that’s because it’s now used in digital marketing. Technology will always be a thing in flux, so the appearance of content marketing may change, but as long as we continue to interact with the internet, content marketing will be there.

2. SEO is the same thing as content marketing

Content marketing is reliant on SEO, but it’s certainly not the same thing. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is focused exclusively on getting your content to rank higher in the search engines. It’s a process, with many steps and practices, and requires an understanding of the analytics involved. Working in tandem, good SEO will help to make your content marketing more successful.

3. Content marketing is just about writing blog posts

It’s important to remember that content marketing isn’t just text-based, it includes audio and video. All of these different mediums combine to create what is content marketing. Blog posts are only one part of it, and adding in a mixture of podcasts, videos, and slideshows can make a huge difference. Even then,
there are many other forms of digital content marketing.

4. It only matters if you’re an online business

Content marketing in print form has been around for some time now; it’s just new on the internet. Printed marketing materials of all kinds are technically pieces of content marketing. The content marketing strategy has gone digital because of what an effective tool it has proven to be offline.

5. It’s totally free to do content marketing

Maybe in days past but certainly not now. In the early days there were many people that were making really good money without even thinking about advertising. Now, you have to be willing to spend money to get noticed. Investing in search engine marketing and social media strategies can cost quite a bit.

6. You can hire the cheapest contractors

This goes without saying but …. Any investment in your business needs to be seriously vetted. There’s no way that you would look at a lineup of lawyers or doctors and choose the one that charged you the least amount of money without considering other factors as well. Bad content can be disastrous and it’s not worth the risk. You must remember that often, you get what you pay for.

7. Outsource it to someone in a foreign country

There are many tasks that can be outsourced to other countries, but producing content really shouldn’t be one of them. Cheaper labor can be very attractive, but it’s important that you have someone who speaks English as their primary language writing for you. Not only will you end up having to read and edit everything they produce, but there may be cultural contexts that they’re unaware of. Some work may be extremely high quality, but you need to vet overseas writers heavily before hiring them.

8. You didn’t get any sales, so your content marketing campaign is a failure

Content marketing isn’t all about sales it’s also a very important step towards brand awareness. There is a great deal of value in brand awareness, especially on social media. You can create a passionate community that will be brand loyal and spread the word for you. Word of mouth has a massive reach. Keep that in
mind when you’re worried about your lack of sales.

Stay tuned for part two where we continue to address more of the misconceptions of content marketing.

Image credit: The Mythbusters by EddieX http://fav.me/dsatk8 | CC BY-SA 3.0
Image credit: The Mythbusters by EddieX | CC BY-SA 3.0

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