Whether you’re a local bank or a national metal manufacturer, you’re probably familiar with content marketing. Content marketing is big today. Everybody’s doing it. And, what’s more, everybody’s telling you that your company needs to get on board. Before you do, however, wait one minute! Here are five of the most common misconceptions about content marketing. Before you go launching a content strategy, make sure you know what not to fall for.
Misconception #1: Content Marketing is Easy
Brands that take a "slow cooker" approach to content marketing (i.e., “Set it and forget it!") just don’t understand how it works. Part of the mission of content marketing is building trust and that just doesn’t happen on autopilot. If you’re going to use content effectively, it’s going to take effort, time, and strategy, and there’s no way around that.
Misconception #2: Content Marketing = Blogging
If you think you’ve got content marketing under control because you’ve started a blog, think again. Blogging is only one tactic within a good content marketing strategy. A broad content plan should encompass everything from website content, to blog posts, and eBooks, infographics, to newsletters, brochures, videos and more. Any form of communication with your customers and prospects without selling (what some call “non-interruption marketing”) is content marketing, right down to content curation. So while content marketing includes blogging, it's also much more than that.
Misconception #3: Good Content Markets Itself
Like a lot of the most commonly held misconceptions, this idea is half right and half wrong. Truth: Creating good content is the first step in any good content marketing program. But content marketing shouldn’t stop there. Creating good content gets you nowhere if people aren’t reading it, and that’s where the other crucial aspects of content marketing, such as promotion, distribution and sharing in your networks, come into play. Plus, your content needs a remarkable content experience to reach its full potential.
Misconception #4: Content Marketing is About SEO
Many businesses today are familiar with the concept that content benefits search results. When you build a wide body of content around a specific topic, you increase your site’s authority and search rankings. But content marketing is always about your audience, first and foremost. You only want to appear in search engines in order to reach your audience. What’s more, content marketing is about more than your online audience; it’s also about your offline one.
Misconception #5: Content Marketing Isn't for B2B Brands
Too many companies make the mistake of thinking content marketing applies only to consumer brands and markets rather than the so-called boring B2B ones. The truth is B2B businesses also have much to gain from effective content marketing approaches. Every business has an audience, and that audience is the one to which you write. Toilets might seem boring, but they’re compelling to someone in the middle of a renovation, or shopping for a new one and unsure of what to buy.
Have you bought into any of the above misconceptions about content marketing? What other myths have you heard? What do you think are the most commonly held errors regarding this concept? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
About the Author
Shanna Mallon is a writer for Straight North, a Chicago Web design firm providing specialized SEO, Web development, and other online marketing services. Follow Straight North on Twitter and Facebook.More Content by Shanna Mallon