Content Marketing Myths Debunked
With content marketing dominating the digital landscape and being embraced by organisations large and small, it pays to take a step back and consider precisely what content marketing constitutes.
For many, investing in content has been part of a marketing strategy for many years, and it's high-time that it was embraced wholesale. For others, it's a steep learning curve, with those accustomed to utilising more Machiavellian SEO techniques experiencing Google penalties leading to search engine rankings somewhere in the hundreds. But that's not to say that content marketing in the cure-all for ineffectual marketing. In fact, with more and more providers entering the market in an effort to capture lucrative budgets, how can you be sure that the content investment you’re making is worth the money? Sure, all those pitches sound convincing and seem logical, but can you sort the fact from the fiction?
Myth-busting and moustaches
There's a reason that Mythbusters has amassed nearly 250 episodes. And, while you may be forgiven for thinking that it's because of Jamie Hyneman's exquisite moustache, it's far more complex. Put simply, people like seeing theories debunked. Whether it's a penchant for schadenfreude or simply the need to feel superior, proving others wrong is something that we, as human beings, get a kick out of. And, when it comes to making money, being able to debunk unconscionable schemes is doubly rewarding.
(Image Credit: http://www.futuresack.com/uploads/images/Q4%202012/Jamie%20Hyneman.jpg)
Not pictured: the adoration of hipsters everywhere
So, in true internet fashion, we decided to steal the myth-busting manifesto and put some of the common misconceptions about content marketing to the sword. While we cannot provide explosions or slow-motion replays, our own attempts at myth-busting may well save your company thousands in the long run.
Myth 1: Content marketing is simply SEO re-branded
No. Just no. For a long time, SEO professionals had been dictating the game plan to content executives, designers, and copywriters, promoting the fact that the creation of content is for chasing rankings, keyword densities, long-tail keywords, and much more. For creative departments, however, the focus has always been on generating something great for the end user. Finally, as search engines have become smarter, the two disciplines have converged, leading to a shift in focus among these SEO professionals, and greater freedom being assigned to creatives in order to achieve their goals. But it remains fact that the they are completely separate disciplines and require different skill sets; that said, the two will always be intrinsically linked and hugely reliant on one another as an effective digital strategy.
Myth 2: Content marketing is easy
If I had a pound for every time I'd heard a variation on the 'content creation is simple' theme, I would be relaxing on a sun-soaked beach drinking cocktails. (I know my better half would like that very much!) Sure, anybody can create content, but not everyone should. The difference between hiring a $2-per-500-words writer from the likes of Elance and a professional copywriting agency is significant, with the returns from hiring a professional enhanced exponentially. Good content is not easy; it takes time and dedication, a structured plan, the bravery to try something different, customer research, and the willingness to take a risk.
(Image Credit: http://market-inc.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/If-you-think-its-expensive-to-hire-a-professional-wait-until.jpg)
Fool me once, shame on you…
Myth 3: Content marketing is expensive with little ROI
Developing quality content takes time and yes, at times, it can be expensive. But the potential returns from investing in content marketing are significant. What many fail to see is the impact content plays in the overall strategy of your company's success; many look to trace the efficacy of a single point of content to a particular sale or transaction when, in reality, measuring the impact it has on a broad scale can be neglected. The great thing about content marketing is that its impact can be felt at any stage of a customer journey; from awareness through to post-purchase and customer retention, the role it plays should not be judged on sales performance alone.
Myth 4: Content marketing is just a fad
I'll admit it – this myth has the ability to strike fear into professional copywriters the world over. For the first time in what seems like forever, content specialists are being held up as the saviours of digital marketing. And, without wanting to sound too smug, basking in the adulation makes writers one and all feel a sense of justice. But how long it will last, no-one really knows. All that we can say for certain is that content is everywhere, and everyone will always need content. Whether it's carefully crafted copy, compelling videos, interactive websites, or awe-inspiring graphics, without content, the online world would be pretty dull. Just try and picture the web without lolcats – it's barely worth contemplating! While content marketers may well return to the shadows in coming years, the need for content will never disappear, so it pays to invest in professionals that offer enduring quality.
(Image Credit: http://www.sociallyvisual.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/meme-content-strategy.jpg)
Myth 5: Content marketing is nothing more than blogging
Once again, the misconceptions over what constitutes content marketing are rooted in education. While blogging plays a major role in a successful content marketing strategy, it is just part of a bigger picture. Like website copy, off-site SEO, public relations, brand awareness, social media, and much more, blogging in just a single facet. It should, however, continue to adhere to the branding principles established for your company, working as part of a campaign to support your goals. Content marketing is no more just blogging than it is simply copywriting; it’s much, much, much more.
Marketing is an industry that evolves at an extraordinary rate. With content marketing the hot topic for those companies looking to develop their digital presence, it makes sense to stay educated the facts and fiction surrounding the discipline. We’ll be looking into each of these myths in greater details over the coming weeks, so keep checking back to stay fully abreast of industry developments.
Our summarised thoughts and recommendations:
1 – Nurture your professional content copywriters to work WITH your SEO team, collaboratively… not against them
2 – Dedicate time for your content marketing strategy. Cheaper is definitely not always best. Look to devise a proper structured Content Plan with your content professionals
3 – Don’t track content marketing ROI in the same way you would for other sources. Forget attribution modelling which looks to monetize the value of each medium. Your Content marketing is a holistic glue to support all your marketing mediums such as PPC, SEO, Social etc. It’s value cannot be measured by the same yardstick.
4 – Content marketing is here to stay… you need to adapt to these industry changes.
5 – Content marketing is everything to do with the written word promoting your business. It is not just a blog!
Contact Whitefish Marketing for your Content
Whitefish Marketing offer a full content programme for businesses running blogs, or wishing to expand their core website content. Our team of professional copywriters will create a comprehensive content plan, and deliver high quality copy in your corporate tone of voice - geared to attract audiences to your site during the research stage of their buying cycle, with the aim of up-selling your business services. We know what works and why, and have a successful track history of achieving uplift for our clients.
Call us today on 0845 862 2698, or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how we can help.