Content Marketing is among the most important strategies of digital marketing to drive organic traffic.
Today, customers want more than just discounts and urgency-led ads. They want value. They want to see a touch of humanization. They want solutions. With such changing habits of consumers, content marketing became popular. It became a modern solution to modern problems.
The more problems you solve for your customers, the more loyal they stay to you.
This marketing strategy has been a part of the digital marketing world for years now. From guest posting to social media marketing, we have seen content marketing strategies evolve.
Yet, even after gaining all the popularity, there are several misconceptions circling content marketing. These need to be busted as you won’t know where you’re going wrong.
Content marketing is vast. There’s so much to explore and analyze. It’s time-consuming and requires effort. You simply need to know the right direction to take.
Here is a list of a few of the common misconceptions that many make – both businesses and individuals that need to be resolved.
Content marketing is only for the SEO purposes
Many are under the impression that their content is to be written to only keep the algorithms happy. The role SEO plays in content marketing is perhaps the most misunderstood aspect of the entire strategy.
For several businesses and individuals, content marketing only circles the search engine. All they want to do is rank better on the SERPs. They try to search for agencies that offer SEO services and can magically make them appear at the top.
Indeed, content is the best organic strategy to rank better. But if you think stuffing random keywords anywhere in the blog can help you stabilize your position on the SERPs, you’re wrong.
Google is watching. You might see a sudden spike in traffic. However, it won’t last long. The algorithms are set in a way that if your content is not valuable enough for your customers, you won’t be able to enjoy that increased traffic for long.
Your content should focus on providing value and solving problems for your customers along with being SEO-friendly.
Content is only for the people
While many believe that content marketing is focused on just SEO, there is another group of people that believe in the opposite and make the mistake of thinking they are right.
I’ve come across so many people talking about how content should only focus on the audience. It’s great to keep your focus on the audience, no doubt. But does that mean you should completely cut off your SEO efforts? Definitely not.
You must understand that content marketing is a mix of valuable content for the audience and the elements like keywords and alt texts for your search engines.
Why? Because you might have written the most valuable piece of content ever. Yet, it will be a waste of effort if it’s not reaching the right people.
Try to incorporate your keywords naturally in your research blogs. You can also take a few more steps like adding your keywords to the titles, to the meta descriptions, meta tags, and more.
Content marketing is a cakewalk
“Content Marketing is just writing blogs and publishing them.”
Many have repeatedly demeaned this form of marketing. This is mainly a consequence of easy and free access to website service providers as well as social media accounts (I’m not complaining, just putting it out there).
It makes them believe that creating content is a walk in the park. After all, there is no special degree or training required.
This mindset often leads brands to underestimate the power of words and colors. The skills that are required to find the right form of content and make it work for you are often overlooked. There’s a lot that goes behind publishing that one blog or uploading that one post.
You need deep knowledge about the brand, the product, the audience, and the trends to actually create content that will work. You need empathy to be able to make your content relatable.
You need to analyze and identify your brand’s strengths. There are a lot of tests and optimizations that take place to craft an effective content marketing strategy for a brand.
Content creation and content marketing are the same
Reading the word ‘content’ in content marketing often makes one believe that content marketing and content creation are interchangeable.
That is a misconception.
Yes, high-quality content creation is a major part of content marketing strategy, but the strategy in itself is pretty vast. There’s a lot that goes into planning a content marketing strategy.
Content marketing includes identifying the brand’s audience, its needs, challenges, and problems. Then, it’s followed by finding the right form of communication to help them become aware of your product and how it is the right solution.
Strategies are created that circle engaging and interacting with the customers, adding value to their lives, planning the frequency and calendars.
Once it all goes out, comes the time to measure the results and insights. This planning is then done all over again. There are other aspects like email marketing and guest posting that are a completely different segment of this marketing form.
So, content creation might be the most crucial part of content marketing, but content marketing goes beyond that.
Only B2C brands should do content marketing
It is often believed that content marketing is just for the ‘fun’ brands.
It’s not. Content marketing is for every brand that is looking to truly add value to the lives of its consumers. It is for both B2C and B2B.
The approach, the tone, and the forms of content might differ for both. But it is a strategy that has worked for both and continues to do so.
B2C brands often showcase the benefits of their products and how they can solve the problems of their audiences. For B2B, the content marketing strategy often circles everything about their industry. Something that other brands can find helpful.
It could be videos on industry trends, any updates in the guidelines, pain points of the consumers, or even the consumption habits and patterns of the audience. These can also help brands establish themselves as the authority.
The value of content marketing is immeasurable
Content marketing is often believed to be immeasurable. Businesses and individuals believe they cannot witness the results of their efforts or if they are going in the right direction or not. I beg to differ.
One mistake that marketers make is not documenting their strategy. This lack of tangible strategy often leads to a lack of noticeable results. Consequently, such misconceptions are birthed.
Today, you have a plethora of digital tools that can help you analyze your efforts and results. They can track the impact your content has on others. Google Analytics is among the best tools out there that can help measure your efforts.
You can extract data from your social media or website, understand how your audience interacted with specific posts or blogs, and more.
You should always outsource content marketing
For those brands that wish to drive results with organic strategies but lack in-house resources, outsourcing content is a savior. There’s no doubt about that. You can also find several agencies and independent professionals that can cater to your outsourcing needs.
Yet, is it always a good idea?
You must understand you need a wise outsourcing strategy.
Companies that can actually do the work for you often have a portfolio or a proven track record. They have social proof that can add to their credibility.
You need to be careful when you are outsourcing your content. There are too many organizations today offering the same service. You need to find the best out of the lot.
It’s probably better to steer clear of agencies that offer ultra-bargain deals. You wouldn’t know the real reason behind this practice and this might just hamper your reputation with poor quality content.
Even if you are planning to opt for a company that has just started, ask for their portfolio. Such companies or independent professionals often have speculative portfolios. Go through the kind of work they can do for you.
Invest time in researching and go ahead only if you are satisfied.
Content marketing is only for the awareness stage
Brand awareness is the first step of every marketing strategy, indeed. It is also the easiest to implement but the hardest to measure. But is brand awareness the same as content marketing? Nope. Not at all.
Content marketing is a strategy that works for every stage of the funnel. After awareness, you will need content marketing to keep your audience engaged, give them reasons to purchase your product and convert into a customer, and lastly, offer delight by nurturing your customers.
Every stage in the funnel requires content marketing.
You need to create content and optimize it as per the different stages. Your strategies, messaging, and interaction should change according to the stage your potential audience is in during its customer journey.
For instance, if the customer has visited your website and added items to the cart but didn’t make the purchase, you can retarget them using digital tools. You can also use the method of follow-up emails if you managed to secure their email address.
Anyone can do it
Content marketing is often considered a piece of cake, we have already established that.
Now, that misconception gives birth to another misconception that anyone can create content. What they miss out on is the knowledge, skill, and creativity it needs to create content or effective strategies.
Not everyone has that mindset that can help a brand stand out. Creating content that resonates, is empathetic, appealing, and even valuable can often get difficult.
You need years of practice to be able to come up with content and strategies that will work for you the way you want them to.
So, no. Not everyone can do it.
You can witness instant results with content marketing
Patience is the key, we all have heard. But many seem to lose it when it comes to marketing their products. They are so eager to sell their items and want instant results. That’s understandable to some extent. They’ve put their efforts into it.
You must understand content marketing is crafted patiently. Identifying, planning, and testing take time. The core of content marketing is to build relationships with the consumers. It is needed to induce trust and be valuable for those in need.
When someone comes across your content, they are not going to just purchase it then and there. They want to be able to trust you before they can make that decision.
How do you do that? By following a set process. Acquire the email id from your consumers. Once you have that, you will have your foot in the door at least.
You can start working towards building that relationship. But remember that your customers are in the driver’s seat. You need to prove that you are valuable to them and that your solution is the best they can get. It can sometimes take months.
You should have your benchmarks and expectations set accordingly.
Content is the only thing you need
Many are under the impression that content marketing is only publishing keyword-stuffed blogs and sitting back. What they overlook is the fact that SEO in itself cannot drive traffic. You need to put in additional effort.
Once you have your content published, it’s time to start promoting it. You can use newsletters, email campaigns, or social media platforms to spread the word about your content pieces.
Create a comprehensive promotional strategy to make sure your efforts are driving results.
It is also crucial for you to understand that these promotional tactics will not drive instant results. Your customers need a good recall value of your brand to actually make the purchase.
Thus, you need to keep showing up and promoting your content. It makes you discoverable and works on engraving your brand in the minds of potential customers.
Content marketing lacks longevity
If you believe that the content piece you wrote back in the day has no value today, you are wrong. No piece of content loses its worth or dies. (Provided it was valuable)
You don’t have to discard your content. You can repurpose it instead. You can also rework and update it according to the latest trends.
Convert your blog piece into an infographic, a carousel post, or maybe elaborate it and turn it into an e-book. No piece of content is wasted if you just keep working on making it better year after year.
We can see there are some massive misconceptions regarding content marketing.
It’s always better to have a basic understanding of what content marketing is. Understand your audience, your brand, and the product. Identify if content marketing is for you or not. If it is, make sure that you are working towards it without any of the above-mentioned misconceptions in mind.
Set your expectations right. Do not aim for instant results or instant sales. Content marketing is a beautiful and patient strategy. Its focal point is building relationships and inducing trust among the audience. Keep this in mind when you plan to invest months into it.
It is slow but it is effective.