Following a content strategy is the only way your business will find long-term success. Unfortunately, many businesses approach it the wrong way.
Are any of of the common content strategy myths holding you and your company back? Don’t worry: we’re here to bust those myths and tell you the hidden truths about content marketing.
1. You Should Focus Primarily On Production
Growing up, we learn a lesson really quickly: “more isn’t always better.” It’s a bad idea for fatty foods, it’s a bad idea for medicine, and so on.
Ironically, though, many of us forget that lesson when it comes to content marketing. The thinking behind this is that by relentlessly cranking out content, your site can jump to the top of the Google search results right away.
However, all this quantity usually comes at the expense of quality. And changes to Google’s algorithm could end up turning those low-value articles into a stone around your business, making it sink to the ground.
If you concentrate on higher quality work, you’ll generate more reader attention and organic growth in the search results. You’ll also boost your reader’s trust and customer conversions at the same time!
2. Automation Is a Bad Thing
Many business owners have an instinctive fear of automation. And because content is rooted in high quality creativity, many people think that automation is the opposite of such an organic approach.
The truth is that good content and automated marketing go hand in hand. Do you still need the best writers and artists to generate the absolute best content? Certainly. But automation helps ensure that this content finds its way to the right people.
Automation can allow the easy drip marketing of an e-mail campaign, or allow you to meticulously schedule a series of social media posts ahead of time. When done right, you can have it both ways: organic and meaningful content that readers discover through relentless applied automation.
3. Content Marketing Only Benefits Certain Companies
The most persistent myth about content marketing is also the simplest myth. What is it? The belief that this will work for other companies and not your own.
Such an attitude usually comes from the idea that content marketing is like some new fad—a passing idea that may work well for certain businesses or industries but not for your own.
The truth is that modern content marketing is the logical extension of traditional marketing. Is it much more digitized and larger in scale than in years before? Of course! But the core principles of attracting new customers are still the same, and good content marketing is just a matter of applying those principles towards the biggest possible audience, even for SMBs!
4. Social Media Can Be an Afterthought
Speaking of things that people think are fads: a large number of managers and business owners neglect the importance of social media. They end up making the rookie mistake of thinking great content will magically attract more customers simply because of how good it is.
However, social media remains one of the best ways for you to share your solid content with more potential customers than ever before. And the very nature of these platforms offers you content marketing opportunities you cannot find anywhere else.
First, social media platforms are designed to create conversations and communities. By directly engaging the people most interested in your product, you help them feel as if they have a special bond of loyalty to your company.
And social media is designed to share content. So, those loyal customers will go on to share the very best of your content with their friends. And such marketing is absolutely invaluable because many demographics (Millennials in particular) are skeptical of company marketing but likely to listen to the opinions of their friends.
5. Content Must Be All Business
Even for true believers in content marketing, there is a lot of debate about the best way to go about it. And that leads to a major myth that is also a major mistake: focusing all of your content on your business.
At first, this may seem very logical. The point of the content is to advertise your business. So, why shouldn’t your content prominently feature your business?
Like we said earlier, many demographics are skeptical of traditional forms of advertisement. If they feel like your content is just a commercial, they’ll do the same thing they do with commercials on TV: change the channel!
Instead, focus on content that offers value and relevant info to potential customers. Maybe this is an instructional guide, or a beautiful photo gallery, or an impromptu “ask me anything” online session. Eventually, customers will come to your site of their own accord because you are a trusted source of info and entertainment.
At that point, you already have their loyalty. The rest is quite easy!
6. Long Form Is King
Many of us study content marketing in an attempt to maximize its value. For instance, certain studies have found that content that is at least 1,800 words performs better in search engine results.
Some people take that information and run in the wrong direction: they think that all of the content they produce must be at least that long.
However, not every topic needs to be written about with that much detail. And not every customer wants to read 2,000 words at a time—you’ll notice most blog entries, for instance, are far shorter than this.
Ultimately, customer loyalty and returning customers is one of the biggest ways to boost your SEO. Worry about delivering the kind of content they want rather than artificially inflating every single article.
Now you know the truth behind content marketing. But as GI Joe might tell you, knowing is only half the battle! Remember that good content marketing strategies take time to develop. You can start your marketing journey today, but make sure you don’t start until you’ve transformed all of your marketing into your vision for the future.
Chris S is a professor of English at a small college in Northwest Florida. He has over ten years of experience in teaching others how to write and uses his knowledge to provide clients with well-researched answers and explanations. He has answered over 1500 questions for Ask.com and written hundreds of articles for other sites ranging from entertainment-centric “Top 10 lists” to detailed breakdowns of how to enter new career fields. From blogs to lists to any custom content, he is here to impress you.