Let’s cut to the chase—there’s a lot of misinformation out there about content marketing. Not everyone understands what content marketing really means, what it’s for, or why it works.
The reality is that content marketing—which is a marketing approach based on creating and distributing valuable content—is essential in 2020. This concept is too important to let misconceptions dominate the conversation, so we took on the challenge of busting five of the most common content marketing myths.
Check out the myths below, and keep reading for an explanation of why each myth is false and what the truth really is. Let’s get started!
Myth #1: Your job is done once your content is posted.
Because of the effort that goes into developing content, many people assume that once it goes live, the process is complete. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. If you’re aiming for a bare minimum content strategy, then yes, you might be able to get away with hitting “publish” and never giving your piece a second thought. But if you want to improve over time, looking back at how past content performed can give you invaluable insight into what resonates with your audience.
Let’s say you publish three blog posts in a given week and one performs much better than the other two. Why is that? When you dive into the analytics and compare the three, you might realize that you shared one blog post on social media and didn’t share the other two. Or, you might realize that the more successful post was 50% longer or that it covered a topic more directly relevant to your brand. Without taking the time to measure these results and think through what they mean, you might be investing precious resources into content that’s underperforming.
The truth? Once you post your content, make a plan to review the results at regular intervals moving forward. Note any anomalies in traffic or engagement, and then find out why those anomalies might have happened. Use these learnings to optimize your posts in the future.
Myth #2: Content marketing is only necessary for some industries.
To be honest, we’re not even quite sure where this myth came from. It seems to have come from people assuming that information-based industries, where it’s common for audiences to engage with brands to learn something new, are the only ones that benefit from content marketing.
This has been proven false time and time again. Every industry offers opportunities for content marketing, and it’s safe to say that every single brand should be thinking about how a content strategy could work for them.
The truth? Content marketing is valuable for virtually every brand in every industry. Putting out content is just another way to reach your audience, and it’s a more authentic touchpoint than a sales push or other forms of marketing outreach.
Myth #3: You can directly measure your content’s impact on revenue.
While there are many useful metrics you should be tracking for your content (see myth #1), for most businesses, it’s almost impossible to directly attribute a sale or closed deal to a particular piece of content. However, this doesn’t mean that your content isn’t supporting your bottom line.
Content marketing influences revenue in a variety of ways: it boosts brand awareness with audiences that aren’t familiar with your brand, it gives purchase-ready audiences more information to guide their purchase decisions, and it’s a great way to stay in touch with existing customers to keep your brand top-of-mind. Regardless of whether you can tie each dollar back to a piece of content, your content strategy has real value.
The truth? Even if you can’t directly match each revenue dollar to a piece of content, content marketing creates critical touchpoints that push prospective customers to purchase.
Myth #4: To be successful, you should publish as much content as possible.
Many brands that are just launching a content strategy get caught up in this myth. There’s an assumption that more content is always better than less content, but that just isn’t true. Often, increasing content frequency means sacrificing content quality. This especially happens to smaller teams, and for good reason—if you have limited capacity to produce content but you’re aiming for as many pieces as possible, the quality of your work is going to suffer.
The one caveat to this myth is that frequent good content is better than infrequent good content. If you can manage to keep your standards the same and still increase your frequency, that’s a great choice to make. However, if you just want to put out more content for the sake of putting out more content, stop to think about how that will affect the value of the output.
The truth? Start by focusing on putting out your best content, and only increase your frequency when you’re confident that you can maintain your quality standards. If you can’t, posting less often is a better solution than throwing out mediocre content just for the sake of posting.
Myth #5: Video content isn’t worth the effort—you don’t need it.
We hear this all the time from teams that are skeptical about video content. While you can absolutely have a successful content marketing strategy that doesn’t include video, almost all brands would benefit from adding video to the mix. In essence, with video, you can take a successful strategy and make it even more successful.
The problem here is that people have misconceptions about what it takes to make a video. (We covered 5 video marketing myths here if you want to see more rumors get debunked.) Not all video content is expensive or time-consuming or too advanced for the average person to produce. You can start small and sprinkle videos throughout your strategy, and then up the production value when you’re convinced it’s working.
Plus, video outperforms all other types of content by a landslide on just about every platform that exists. If you’re looking at the statistics and modeling your strategy on what has been proven to work, video is your best bet.
The truth? It takes less effort and resources than you might think to make a decent video. If it’s not feasible to make video your primary form of content, at least consider incorporating video into your overall strategy on occasion.
There you have it! Five of the most common content marketing myths, all busted. We hope you’re convinced that content marketing has value and that it’s worth putting time, thought, and effort into getting it right and following the five truths we’ve outlined here. You’ll find much more success with that approach than you will by believing these myths—we promise.
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