6 myths that most content marketers have fallen for

October 22nd, 2018

About two­-and-­a-­half years ago, I was sitting in an interview for a writing position at a content marketing agency.

“Tell us about a really strong piece of content marketing you’ve seen recently…” I was asked.

Hmmm… My mind went completely blank…

So I took a deep breath, had a moment to think, and said the first and only thing that came into my head.

“I saw a great advert at the train station platform this morning…” I replied, cringing at my dry, and very boring response.

Once I was done, one of the panel members sat back in her chair and said: “I’d say that’s more advertising as opposed to content marketing…”

I was lucky, To The End hired me despite my misunderstanding.

Since then, I’ve come to realise plenty more exist as well. So we’ve put our heads together and have come up with our 6 Common Content Marketing Myths.

Myth Number 1: Content marketing is advertising

Well, it is and it isn’t… Now I understand why I was confused in my interview.

When people ask me for clarification, I tend to say content marketing is ‘very subtle’ form of advertising. Here’s the CMA’s definition

“Content marketing is the discipline of creating quality branded content across media channels and platforms to deliver engaging relationships, consumer value and measurable success for brands.”

When you look at a good piece of content marketing, you’re not necessarily being sold a particular product. But looking at it, you will know it has been developed by a brand.

Whether the content is a magazine or a blog post, a video or a podcast ­ it might have a flash of the logo somewhere, or a mention of the brand. But it’s the quality of the content that takes centre stage: the storytelling, the guests, the topics covered.

Offering strong content is powerful in terms of brand awareness. And when the customer needs a particular product, a brand with a strong content marketing strategy is one they’re likely to consider.

Myth Number 2. Just get something published -­ it doesn’t matter if it’s any good or not…

The majority of content marketers would argue that it’s better to spend time and effort making sure the content produced is as good as it can be.

Obviously, things like time and budget need to be considered. JBH explain that some sites churn out blog posts every single day, and this isn’t always the best strategy.

In fact, we’d say poorly written and rushed content that’s littered with inaccuracies can actually turn your audience away.

It can also harm a brand’s reputation, so definitely spend time making sure the content is in good shape.

Myth Number 3. Create loads of content and publish it all, something’s bound to get a bite.

“Throw everything at the wall and see if it sticks…”

This saying isn’t necessarily the right approach when it comes to developing and publishing successful content.

It doesn’t matter if you’re launching a large content project or a small blog post, the piece that’s ready to go live should have some form of launch plan in place.

The internet and publishing worlds are crowded places, and you want your content to stand out and be noticed by your target audience.

If you can, take each piece and think about how you’re going to release it. Rather than putting everything live in one day, roll it out.

Look at what’s working, measure what’s going on, and learn from it ­ this approach will certainly be worthwhile over time.

Myth Number 4. Once the content is published, leave it and move on to the next thing.

Whether your content has been successful or not, all content that’s published is full of learnings.

As an example, let’s take a blog post that was published two years ago.

If it has done well, why did it do well? Can you write more posts related to that topic? Would some small tweaks and updates boost the SEO, helping the post perform even better?

If the post hasn’t done as great as some of the others, why is that? Compare it with some of the better performing posts ­ can any improvements be made?

Also, is the post newsworthy? One of our clients is an insurance company, so we have weather­related advice ready to post on social media for all conditions, whether it’s heavy snow or glorious sunshine.

Myth Number 5. It doesn’t take long to rustle up a good piece of content.

Of course, anyone can get something published in next to no time. It depends on how good you want your content to look, perform and deliver on its objectives.

We appreciate that everyone is under time constraints. But it is worthwhile developing a piece of content that’s going to work as effectively as it can given the budget available.

A few extra minutes spent adding some photos to a blog post, strengthening the SEO, audience testing or even proofreading can go a long way.

Myth Number 6. Video is the only content that’s worthwhile focusing on.

Video, when done well, is engaging and can be particularly successful for brands over social media. As Navigate Video go on to explain.

But it is expensive to develop as filming and production costs can quickly add up.

And because video has become so mainstream and popular, it can be easy to forget that other effective content marketing approaches also exist.

In fact, social media content, blog posts, brochures can all be effective in reaching your audience and with boosting SEO.

Video is powerful but not everyone has the budget or capacity to take it further.

What content marketing myths have you come across?

If we’ve missed any myths that other content marketers need to know about, then definitely get in touch. You never know, there could be a Part 2 to this post in a few months’ time.

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