You’re in charge of content marketing at your business? Or you’re a content creator, trying to explain what you’re doing all day to your higher-ups. With content marketing comes many misconceptions, most of which come from thinking content marketing is something it isn’t.
Listed below are some common content marketing misconceptions that your boss may believe and the truth behind them.
YOUR CONTENT IS ONLY GOOD ONCE
Your boss may believe that content you create only has a one-time value, like a traditional advertisement. But, the opposite is the case. Experienced content marketers know that content is the gift that keeps on giving. After you post your content to your website or blog, it is there forever. These posts, depending on the content, can become evergreen, meaning that your content will turn into trees that never turn brown… Just kidding. But the concept is the same. Like the trees that never lose their leaves, evergreen content is good forever, no matter what season or time of year it is.
Actually, our most popular post of all time is a textbook example of evergreen content. It defines the difference between a lead and a prospect, which is something that will (likely) never change.
Since it is a commonly asked question, the post is ranked very well in Google, so much so that the rest of our posts have little hope of catching up. This is the sort of post every content marketer dreams of. It’s popular and centered in HIPB2B’s area of expertise. People who search for the difference between a lead and a prospect end up on our site.
IT’S JUST A BLOG
Every other brand has a blog and therefore you have one too.
That’s enough, right?
Wrong. I see so many companies with blogs that do absolutely nothing for them. They included a blog because they think they’re supposed to, instead of setting specific goals for it.
This is the wrong approach to content marketing, because good content marketing holds both lead generation value and the value of thought leadership. Your blog is not just a blog, but a conversation. This conversation is with your followers, a group of potential leads, and people who are interested in engaging with your brand.
IT’S JUST FOR MAKING SALES THEN?
Nope. The B2B purchase cycle is slow. Instead of making sales in a quickly, content marketing links your brand with value. This makes a better impression on your followers than your aggressive sales team (who I’m sure do a lovely job).
In the end, you hope that your content creation does the job, which is convincing and converting those leads into sales. But your content SHOULD NOT openly push that end goal. It should seek to inform and inspire confidence. Only then will content successfully be able to take followers and guide them closer to being sales-ready. Good content will drive sales, but it will not do it immediately. Which leads me to the next myth.
CONTENT MARKETING IS QUICK
Content marketing is slow. The process of generating awareness and nurturing leads is slow to generate income. First, you need to come up with a strategy, then implement the strategy, knowing the whole time that these efforts will take a long time to turn around an ROI that will satisfy your bosses. Content marketing works, but it takes a while to do it. It’s not easy. But the results are tangible and well worth it.
That’s not to say that someone can’t come to your site and immediately ask to speak with a rep (that’s actually fairly common in our experience), but that content doesn’t have the magical ability to turn someone who isn’t sales-ready to someone who is.
IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME
Nope, nope, nope. If you just build it, they MIGHT come. You might get lucky with your SEO and get people who find you solely by search engine. But that is less than likely.
To get people to actually find your blog and by extension, your company, it is imperative to take steps to get your blog noticed. This involves sharing your content far and wide across your channels. And when I say far and wide, think beyond the Facebook page and the LinkedIn company page.
Join or create a group on LinkedIn and post your content there to start a conversation, instead of just posting on your company pages. You want people to interact with your content. The more people that interact, the more people it draws in. Often, if one person thinks that this post is worth responding to, others will see that and do the same.
YOU CAN USE IT TO TRAP YOUR READERS INTO JOINING YOUR MAIL LIST
I hate clicking on an article, getting just a few words in, when a window pops up over the words, asking me to please sign up for this email list. No. Why? I don’t even know if your content is worth signing up for. Why would I want to give you my email address in exchange for unproven value?
Instead of overly intrusive, full-page pop ups demanding that readers sign up for your newsletter, why not just put enticing links on the side? If you must have a pop up, wait until the end of the article. If you’re really set on covering the whole screen, at least put the window on delay to give the reader some time to read the content. Nothing is more likely to make me leave a page than a pop-up ad for a newsletter that I can’t figure out how to get out of.
SOME ACTUAL FACTS ABOUT CONTENT MARKETING
And while there are a ton of myths, there are a ton of statistics that touch upon the success of content marketing. Here are a few of my favorites:
- 61 % of consumers said that they feel better about a company who creates its own custom content and said that they were more likely to buy from them.
- 7 out of 10 consumers said they would prefer to learn about a company through a series of articles, rather than an advertisement.
- B2B companies with blogs generate an average of 67% more leads than those without blogs.
- And finally, blogs give sites on average 434% more indexed pages and 97% more links.