The past few years in SEO, content marketing has certainly become a key buzz phrase flung around by digital marketers. However, to the typical small business owner, the term content marketing could be fairly foreign.
Content marketing covers a wide range of areas. When developing a content marketing strategy you must develop methods for your business that take into account all the varying areas. Areas such as social media will need to be taken into account when developing your content marketing strategy.
Content is certainly king and this is one of the key areas digital marketers are investing their dollars, because they know it will more than likely pay off. Slowly, more and more businesses and professionals are seeing the benefits of content marketing and they are investing their money into it.
One of the key reasons why more people are getting on board with content marketing is due to the cost. Moz explains that content marketing costs less than the other traditional methods of marketing. Not only it is more cost effective, but content marketing is also said to generate 3 times as many leads as traditional marketing.
So why wouldn’t you give content marketing a try?
The fact that there has been a rush towards businesses starting content marketing without doing proper research has caused many misconceptions. Businesses usually misconstrue what content marketing actually is and they aren’t able to implement it properly. These misconceptions can be particularly harmful to your strategy.
You should always try to avoid these 5 common misconceptions:
1. Outsourcing is a great idea
Whenever you are thinking about outsourcing any function of your business to another company you have to be very careful, this is especially true of content marketing. Unless you can find the perfect company that fully understands your business and its needs, it is probably best to do it yourself (yes, even if you aren’t an expert!).
Most companies that don’t have the resources to drive their content online usually turn to outsourcing. There are a lot of companies that specialise in this type of work. However, they are representing your business and if they don’t do a good enough job this will directly impact your own business and not theirs.
If you truly feel as though you have no other choice than to outsource your content marketing here are a few things that are recommended:
- Take your time when doing your research, do not jump on board with the first business you see
- Quality companies will have proven track records with past results that they should make available to you
- Do not go with a company that offers bargain prices, if it seems too good to be true it probably is
- Content marketing takes a lot of work so the high quality businesses will not be offering their services for a cheap price
- Do not choose a company that is based in a different country to you, a local company will better understand the market and your needs as a business
It’s understandable that some people don’t know the first thing about content marketing, which is why they choose to pan it off to someone else. However, the basics of content marketing aren’t really that hard to learn and implement yourself.
So if you have the time to learn something new, you should definitely give it a try! You can start slow; only putting limited funds into it, and then expand once you think you are on the right track.
2. The more content the better
Like most things related to SEO, quantity is NOT better than quality. Therefore, the more content you produce and market to your consumers doesn’t necessarily make it better or mean your campaign will be more successful.
However, this does go both ways. You cannot create just a couple of pieces full of high quality content and expect to have a successful campaign. It is all about finding the perfect balance. When implementing your content marketing campaign, it is important that you do not rely on producing the most amount of content physically possible.
Poorly written content with some keyword stuffing (or even too much content) is not appealing to the users. They will disengage quickly and probably leave your website without exploring it. All your content needs to fulfil a purpose. Think about the type of content your users are demanding to read about. It is important to create fresh and new content on topics that excite and engage with all your desired target market users.
Publishing poor pieces of content as much as possible is certainly not the key to a successful content marketing campaign. You must think about how your content is answering a question that your audience has. Do not bombard them with useless or unnecessary facts that don’t add value to your content.
Even if you are only producing high quality content you still have to be careful if you are posting too often. So for example, if you are posting content too often on your blog or your social media platforms you may be completely annoying your audience with your constant content.
It is important to find your middle ground when it comes to quality vs. quantity. Too much of one and not enough of the other could potentially lead to disaster.
There is no perfect percentage or number of the type of quality or quantity because every business is different. This ratio will depend on your goals as well as your budget!
3. You will see instant results
Unfortunately with content marketing you will not get instant gratification. Results do take a little while to reveal themselves, so it is important to be patient with your content marketing campaign.
A lot of businesses give up on their content campaign because they don’t see the desired results fast enough. Your campaign will take time to show results and giving up half way through is just a total waste of your resources.
If you are just starting out with content marketing you should expect the results to be even slower. Content marketing is a snow ball effect as it takes time to build up the momentum, but once it has got going you will be seeing results left, right and centre.
Content marketing is a lot like relationship marketing, especially at the beginning as you are focused on your connections with users and consumers, etc. and building them. By building a solid foundation for a lasting connection and relationships, your content marketing becomes easier.
Your consumers will become more engaged because they feel that they know you more than just a business. They will become excited every time you produce and share more content so you should try to be authentic when building your relationships with consumers.
Relationships take a while to build and prosper so don’t give up if you can’t see the results you are looking for. Those who have had successful content marketing campaigns in the past can tell you just how powerful content marketing truly is. In order to see the best results possible you will need to ensure your content is posted at the right time, on the right platform and to the right audience.
You will never see the results if you aren’t 100% committed to content marketing. Sitting on the fence will never get you anywhere! So get going and start by building some lasting relationships with your consumers!
4. It’s cheap and easy
Sorry to burst your bubble, but content marketing is neither cheap nor easy! Even though content marketing is cheaper than other traditional forms of marketing, it still is quite costly for the typical small business owner. A lot of businesses actually think that content marketing is easy because all you have to do is upload the content and voila it’s done (this is certainly not the case)!
Producing content is not the same as marketing that content!
That sounds oblivious right?! But still a lot of people think that once they have uploaded the content all the work is done.
On the contrary, the work has only just begun. A lot of businesses tend to underestimate the time and effort it really takes to market their content.
It is because of this significant amount of time and effort that content marketing services don’t come for cheap! As said in the first point, there are lot of businesses that specialise in content marketing. If you are going to choose to outsource this marketing, you shouldn’t go with a business that is offering ridiculously low prices.
If you want good results and a high quality content marketing campaign, you will have to be willing to spend a little extra dough.
Content marketing isn’t easy, it takes a lot of research and you really have to know your business and what you are trying to achieve. You will need to have a good grasp on how you want others to perceive your brand, your digital landscape (as well as your competitors and the industry in general) and your target audience.
Finding out all the above information is certainly no easy task. There are so many variables that come into play for content marketing. The more research you do, the more you will understand these variables and the better you will be able to change and adapt to any issues that present themselves.
Make sure you keep this all in mind when starting your content marketing campaign. Will you have the proper amount of time and resources to dedicate solely to the campaign? It’s recommended that you do the campaign yourself (because no one knows your business better than you) but if you feel you don’t have the resources, it could be beneficial to enlist the assistance of a professional.
5. It’s only for SEO
SEO covers a wide range of topics and this does include content marketing. However, this doesn’t mean that you only create your content to fulfil the main purpose of SEO; to increase your search engine ranking.
Think about it. Yes, various search engine crawlers will be sifting through your content and basing their results on the ranking factors. But who is actually going to be reading it? The consumers!
Many businesses these days create content only with the search engines in mind. They target their content towards these search engines at the expense of the users. While ensuring your content is search engine friendly is important, it doesn’t mean you can throw your users out the window!
If your content isn’t user friendly then the high search engine ranking isn’t worth it because no one will actually stick around to read what you are saying. User experience is very important to search engines and therefore it is in your best interest to create content that the user will love.
Content marketing is a huge section of SEO! Having a quality content marketing campaign is very important to ensure what your business is saying actually gets heard. There are certainly a lot of misconceptions about content marketing and many people are at least a little confused when it comes to this type of marketing.
Hopefully, after reading this blog you are better equipped to tackle the challenges of content marketing! You will need to do your research before you start a campaign to ensure you get the most out of it.
Try not to outsource your content marketing if you can, it is a lot better to have someone in-house who completely understands the business and its goals! It is important for you to find a happy medium between quality and quantity, not focusing too much on one or the other.
When it comes to your campaign it is important to be patient as results will be slow. But if you have taken the time to produce a high quality campaign, the results will come.
Content marketing isn’t easy so make sure you take your time to fully grasp the concept. Also, you must never create content with only the search engines in mind. Humans are the ones who will actually be reading your content so make sure you think of them as well!
Kieran is the Social Media Manager and SEO Expert at SEO Shark. He is an expert in Social Media, link building, PPC and of course SEO. In his time off work Kieran enjoys reading and playing rugby, as well as following all kinds of sports! You can read some more of his articles here.