Common Myths and Misconceptions About Content Marketing
Content marketing is firmly established as a potent weapon in the armoury of many marketing teams.
The debate about whether it’s ‘new’ is largely irrelevant, because ‘content’ has always been created in some way or other since the first cave paintings thousands of years ago.
What’s changed is the media marketers have access to the myriad forms of content, that can now be created with significantly greater ease than 20 years ago.
Content marketing expert Joe Pulizzi says content marketing can be used:
“…to attract and retain customers, positioning a brand as a credible expert and ultimately motivating a change in behaviour.”
Content underpins many – if not all – marketing activities. But what kind of content works best? Is it useful for all types of organisation? What questions should companies be asking themselves about their content? How should content marketing be used by organisations wanting to “attract, engage, convert and retain customers”? And should content be produced in-house or outsourced to a marketing agency?
In this short article, we explore some of the common myths and misconceptions surrounding content marketing.
1. “People want to hear from us”
You are interested in your products. You’re passionate about them. Your target market should be interested in them too, right?
A common mistake with content marketing is to push product and service messages at potential buyers before they’ve bought into hearing from you.
Reality is still that even though they may be seeking to make a purchase, they don’t want to be sold to. Much as people might not appreciate an “all about me” telesales approach, the same is true with content.
2. “People will be interested in our content”
No, they will not. At least not yet.
And certainly not before you have given them a firm reason to be interested in you, your products or services and your business.
The trick is not to try and interest them in your business and products, but instead to engage them in your knowledge and expertise.
Any content you produce must have a benefit or intrinsic value for your target market i.e. it must educate, inform, entertain or provoke. The formatting of blog titles and social media posts is key for this because they must instantly tell potential readers what the “value” of engaging will be.
To offer your target buyers value, show off your knowledge and expertise to build “trust” in your brand.
3. “We know the content our audience wants”
Be honest. Do you have an audience? Really?
Most marketers aren’t blessed with an ‘audience’ eager to be entertained by them. It’s a battle just to get some attention, especially when there is so much other brand noise about.
What most businesses have is a target market made up of potential buyers. The job of the content marketer is to create content that is sufficiently compelling to attract and engage these target buyers.
Profiling your buyers is vital in defining who you need to target your content at. Once you have a clear understanding, you can produce content to meet needs.
4. “Content marketing means writing a blog“
Convince and Convert’s blog identifies 105 types of content.
Not all types of content are suitable for all target buyers, so matching the right content with the right target buyer profile requires careful thought.
Whatever content your produce, ensure your brand voice personality is authentic and empathetic. And when it comes to your channels, think beyond blogs to alternative channels such as webinars, podcasts, video, eBooks and webinars.
For maximum impact, focus on the media types that are most relevant to your target market, and what sort of content will persuade them to engage and share. Competitions, polls and surveys are good for this.
5. “Content marketing is a route to quick sales”
If your approach is to generate quick sales from content marketing, think again.
Sales opportunities will almost certainly come, if your do your content marketing right. But first, your target buyers need one key thing.
With so many options, buyers can afford to take their time in making a purchase decision. Leading to that critical buying decision, they need to feel confident that they are making the right choice.
Trust must be built up and earned. The key is to make the correct content, media and channel choices, starting with tangible and useful topics your audience will engage with.
The answer to these common misconceptions is varied types of quality content which support product purchase decisions, customer service and customer engagement.
Here at C4B, we help a lot of clients with their content creation strategies. We begin with researching target markets and analysing the right channels for them.
If you would like to talk through what you are doing at the moment to see if we can help or are looking to start afresh, reach out to our team who would be more than happy to help.