23 Oct 16 Biggest Content Marketing Myths You Need to Stop Believing
As much as content marketing is on everyone’s lips these days, this is still a relatively young discipline and it only started taking real steam around 2011. So naturally, there are still a lot of content marketing myths floating around and many of those both in and around content marketing don’t yet fully understand it. Even B2B marketers are not 100 percent sure about what content marketing is or what it can offer them (at least 55% of them weren’t in 2015 according to the Content Marketing Institute).
In this article, I wanted to go into some of the biggest content marketing myths that you or someone in your company might believe in and show you why they are simply not true.
So let’s start busting some content marketing myths:
- “It’s not for us”
Every time a company says this, you can pretty much start counting its last days. Content marketing is in itself so diverse that any business and industry can find something about it that it can use. It is simply not specific to any industry, although different industries and different companies will each have their own unique style of content marketing.
- “Our audience wouldn’t like it”
And based on what, exactly, do you think that? Look, your audience wants to have a dialogue with you and content marketing is a perfect way to do this. You can’t do that with ads, which is basically just shouting to them to buy something for you. If nothing else, no one has yet invented a content marketing blocker, while ad blocking went up 41% between 2014 and 2015 for example, according to The 2015 Ad Blocking Report by Page Fair.
- Other forms of marketing are better
While more traditional forms of marketing still hold some value, people are more and more shutting them off from their lives. Not only can you use adblockers today (see above), but even on TV, where you can’t block an ad, people just tend to switch the channel during commercials. The younger generations, those between 18 and 24 years old, for instance, spend only 22 hours and 27 minutes on average watching TV, compared to those 65 and more, who spend 50 hours and 34 minutes on average each week watching TV, according to Nielsen.
- It’s an independent discipline
Don’t look at content marketing as an isolated discipline, but as an important part of your overall marketing efforts. Today, content marketing has become so important for marketing as a whole, that isolating it can only hurt your efforts. At the same time, content marketing needs to work with your sales efforts as well, as driving sales is one of its ultimate goals. However, that’s not all as you also need to align the goals of content marketing with with that of your entire organization.
- It’s all about the sale
Yes, a sale is more often than not the end goal of content marketing, but it doesn’t have to be the only goal. It can also be useful for informing your audience, converting leads into customers, making your brand more recognizable, driving customer brand loyalty and a lot more.
- It’s too expensive
Does content marketing cost money? It does. Is it cheap? It’s not. Does this make it too expensive? It doesn’t. Look, if you want results from content marketing, you’re going to have to pay for it. B2Cs spend on average 26% of their budgets on content marketing (without the staff) according to Content Marketing Institute’s 2017 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America report.
- It’s cheap
On the other hand, there are those that think they can get away with paying too little (or even nothing at all) for content marketing. Hiring a $5-freelancer on Upwork or other freelance platforms is just not a sound strategy if you want to get quality content. Price shouldn’t be your main concern when hiring here, but quality. Make sure to assess each candidate and see if they have what it takes to create content for your company, regardless of their price.
- It’s just SEO
One of the reasons for this myth is probably because SEO has been around for a little longer. However, saying these two are one and the same is simply not true. Of course, you should optimize your content for search engines, but it is not the same and it shouldn’t take precedence over your readers.
- Quality content can be created by anyone
By this logic, you could say that anyone can be a doctor or that anyone can be a formula 1 driver. Just because you know how to apply a band-aid or drive a stick doesn’t mean you can be a doctor or a F1 driver. It’s the same with content marketing. If no one in your company has any experience writing blog posts that drive engagement or creating other forms of content, it’s better to find a professional who can help you with this. Not only can they probably do this better than you, but they will also be able to produce content on a consistent basis. Plus, professional content creators know much better how to find fresh content ideas that might interest your audience.
- Content is just blog posts
While written content like blog posts and articles is an important part of your content strategy, it’s not the only kind of content you can create. Other types of content like videos, podcasts, ebooks, slides and more can also be an effective form of content, sometimes even more so than blog posts.
- Text is enough
This leads me to another content marketing myth and this one says that text-based content is enough. Look, I understand that creating visuals takes some more effort, but your readers will respond to your content much better if it includes a picture. For example, on LinkedIn, 98% of posts with an image get a higher comment rate (by about 200%, according to Social Pilot).
- Once you create content, that’s it
Content creation is just the start. But no matter how quality your content is, who will know if you don’t promote it? You should spend about 40% of your time on creating and planning your content and 60% on promoting it on different social media and other promotional channels.
- You should promote our content just once
Content promotion is an ongoing effort, so don’t be afraid to share your posts more than once on the same platform to reach more audience. You should also look at how different social media are used. For example, most people retweet something an hour or so after the original tweet, so aim for a higher frequency on Twitter, versus LinkedIn, for instance, where you should reshare a post every second day, according to CoSchedule, which complied 14 studies about sharing on social media.
- Content marketing is all about your business
No, content marketing is there to help your business. It is not about it. It is about your customers, audience, site visitors. Good content marketing is there to help your audience with their problems and make a decision. If that happens to be buying stuff from you, great. But don’t forget that content marketing often means listening to your audience and in doing so finding ways to improve what you have to offer them.
- It’s quick
Content marketing, especially if you just started with it, can take some time before it will show viable results. Sometimes, it can take weeks, sometimes months. This is not a get rich scheme and so don’t expect quick results from content marketing. Give it time, nurture it and it will give back to you eventurally.
- It won’t last
Don’t you go comparing content marketing with Pokemon Go or Angry Birds. Unlike these, it’s not a fad, but here to stay. In fact, the popularity of content marketing is only growing and more and more companies, both B2C and B2B are joining the content marketing vagon. Why? Because it works.
To be able to effectively use content marketing, you need to understand it well. Believing any of these 16 content marketing myths is not the way to do it.
Do you know any other content marketing myths that I haven’t mentioned here? Let me know in the comments below.