Using content marketing to attract visitors to your website? Don’t buy into these 16 myths.
Still trying to wrap your head around content marketing? Simply, it’s using content in all forms to drive people to your website or other destination you choose. As with anything that’s a bit of a general term, there are a lot of myths surrounding it. Here are some of our favorite myths and the real truth surrounding them.
1. Content marketing is free
When blogging was new, people were making an impressive amount of money without making any investment in advertising. Those days are gone. To get noticed, you’ll need money to invest in social media and search engine marketing. Sometimes a lot of money.
2. It’s only an online thing
Content marketing isn’t new — it’s just new to the Internet. Print marketing pieces are a form of content marketing just as whitepapers and quick reference charts are. Digital content marketing is the newest innovation to a well-tested and money-producing strategy.
3. Find the lowest-priced creators
Would you look for the lowest-paid doctor, lawyer, architect, or hairdresser? You get what you pay for. Bad content can spell doom for your business. Don’t take the chance.
4. Get it done overseas
Workers in foreign countries are perfect for some jobs, but for most forms of content marketing, steer clear. A person who doesn’t speak English as their primary language and doesn’t know the cultural contexts used in the language may be cheaper but you will spend a lot of time editing the content. Of course, some foreign workers will deliver a quality product, but be careful.
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5. Content marketing won’t last
Most people are referring to digital content marketing when making this claim, but after seven years of being a well-established digital marketing tool, it’s hard to say it won’t last. It already has lasted. Of course, it will change with technology, but as long people continue to read, watch, and listen as forms of entertainment, content marketing won’t die.
6. Content marketing is the same as SEO
SEO, or search engine optimization, is a collection of practices to make your created content rank higher in search engines. Content Marketing relies on SEO to get the word out. They work together, but they aren’t the same.
7. If you don’t get sales, your content marketing campaign was unsuccessful
Wrong. Sometimes, brand awareness is more important than sales. Brand awareness creates passionate customers that will keep coming back. Often content marketing, especially when it takes place on social media, is attempting to build the brand instead of selling products. Both have a lot of value.
8. It’s nothing more than blog posts
Blog posts are only one type of tool used in content marketing. Videos, audio, podcasts, text-based content, and a mixture of each are just a few examples of content marketing at work.
9. All you have to do is create something that will go viral
Good luck with that. When something goes viral, it’s because of some unknown mix of factors with a heavy dose of luck thrown in. Have you noticed that a lot of viral content comes from somebody’s camera phone? It’s not about spending the most money. It’s about… actually, people don’t really know what it’s about.
Big brands spend millions of dollars trying to produce viral content, but most of the time it doesn’t work. Just create quality content. If it goes viral, count yourself lucky.
10. The more the better
In the early days of content marketing, it was all about quantity. The more articles you published, the more the search engines could find you. Today, it’s about quality. High-quality content has the best chance of doing well over time. “Quality” is a subjective term, but don’t play the numbers game. Represent your brand with excellence.
11. You can use automated tools
Some day, somebody will figure out how to automate the creation of quality content, but so far, it hasn’t happened. Don’t use automatic article rewriters or anything else that takes the human touch out of the content. Search engines judge quality, in part, by how human it sounds.
12. Everybody should have a blog
No, they shouldn’t. First, if you don’t have time to maintain a blog, don’t do it. If you don’t have money to invest in it, don’t do it. If your business just doesn’t lend itself very well to a blog, don’t do it. Just because everybody else has a blog doesn’t mean you should.
Only do things that you can do with excellence.
13. Everybody should have a social media presence
Also, no, they shouldn’t. Social media sites are crowded. Unless you have a lot of time and money for community building, you probably aren’t going to get much out of it. Instead of having an ongoing presence, invest a small amount of money into marketing your content using Facebook or Twitter. It’s probably a better use of your time and money.
14. You should always republish your work on all networks
You might have something set up on your website that sends automatic copies of your content to the social networks. People are wise to this practice. They don’t like automated posts. If you’re going to automate, at least create some conversation in the comments section to show that a human is monitoring the activity.
15. Longer is better
In general, people who find your content on the web aren’t looking to stay long. Stick with 500-1,000 words for your text content and no more than a couple of minutes on your video. Above all, test your content. Not all audiences are the same. Use these as general guidelines.
16. Stuff it with keywords
The phrase “keyword ratio” used to run around the blogging circles. Simply, you were supposed to stuff your content with a certain amount of keywords. For every 100 words you wrote, you would include a keyword once, for example.
In those days, writing was mechanical to the point that it didn’t start well. The search engines became wise to the practice, and now keyword stuffing is no longer used.
Today, it’s all about natural writing. Write how you would talk or write for real.
Don’t listen to everything you hear. Content marketing is evolving so fast that information develops and changes rapidly. Take time to read the newest articles each day or you risk being behind.
Disclaimer: The content on this page is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.