Content marketing is one of the most well-known but also misunderstood marketing techniques in the world today. Everyone knows that content marketing can be effective, but a lot of people either assume that it is too much work or, alternatively, that it is as easy as simply pushing out as much content as possible through as many channels as possible. The truth, as it so often does, sits somewhere between those two extremes.
If you make the first mistake, your company will simply slip by unnoticed as your rivals get all the attention. You will be left wondering why no one is paying attention to you, when the reason is simply that you are too humble and that you are not giving people a reason to listen. The second mistake, on the other hand, will leave you looking like a spammer who is desperate for any form of attention. Customers will question why you are making so much noise. Are you trying to distract people from the fact that your product is inferior in some way?
Myth 1 – A Blog Is Always the Answer
One of the most often repeated myths is that you simply must have a blog. While blogs are incredibly useful, they are not a solution that everyone can use. If your niche is narrow and there is not a lot to say about it, or you are a part of a small team and don’t have the time to write great content every week, then blogging could be counter-productive. A poorly maintained blog reflects badly on your brand and could end up costing you customers. If you can’t write good content regularly, it’s best to save that content for a third-party website rather than having a blog that is only sporadically updated. However finding a content marketer or agency you can outsource blog management to could help you use an expert to help drive relevant traffic to your website.
Myth 2 – Republishing and Syndication Will Get You More Traffic
In the world of traditional media, syndication was the Holy Grail for getting exposure. Sadly, it doesn’t work like this online. If you republish your blog content all over the place, then you could actually find yourself being hit by a Panda penalty for duplicate or low-quality content. Instead of syndicating and cross-publishing, simply try to get third parties to link to the source of the content. This will get you increased traffic and improve your domain authority too. Admittedly, not everyone who sees the link will click it and read the content, but those who do will be genuinely interested in what you have to say, and those visitors are easier to convert. However using content syndication can help if you do it properly and ensure that you tell Google that you are the author of that content, you can either use rel=canonical or add in a NoIndex to the copy of the article – both topics of which are explained here – How to Syndicate Content Without Getting Dinged in Search.
Myth 3 – Video Is Hard
While text content is great for helping to build up traffic, and it is certainly the most search-engine friendly, video content should not be overlooked. Many website owners make the mistake of ignoring video content because they think that it is too expensive or too complicated to make. In truth, making videos is easier than you might think.
You do not need to spend a lot of money on a studio, fancy lighting, expensive microphones or other gear. You can make great videos if you have a clear, well-lit area to sit and something interesting to say. In fact, videos that are produced by real people from your company are often better in terms of engagement and conversion than commercially produced videos. They are more interesting, easier for customers to identify with and have an authenticity that makes people more receptive to them.
Myth 4 – Each Article Has To Be Over 1,000 Words
Although it is true that search engines, and more importantly Google, loves lengthy and high-quality articles these should be interwoven with smaller articles to keep your blog efforts going, and to allow you to write about industry or company news in easy to digest articles. There are a few articles such as Anatomy Of A Perfect Blog Post Backed Up With Research which will give you some tips on what works best, the key points of any great article are:
- Headline: the 6 words that count most
- Storytelling hook
- Fewer characters per line at first
- Featured image
- Subheads for scanning
- Content and the 1,500-word sweet spot
- Soundbites for sharing
Try using these pointers above the next time you write an article and see if they help, and remember the most important one that you should never forget: Each article should pass on knowledge to the reader and show your personality. By doing this you`ll create a connection which is at the heart of content marketing.
Myth 5 – If You Don’t See Immediate Results, It’s Not Working
Google Analytics and other similar services offer instant, real-time information. This makes them great for people who want to see how well their PPC campaigns are performing. However, it won’t always work for content marketing. When you have only just launched your blog or website, and you are struggling to get that initial batch of traffic, you need to be patient. Your first article may get just a handful of readers, your second a few more, and so on. Video content takes even longer to get critical mass — you need to promote not just individual videos, but also your channel as a whole.
Don’t give up just because you are not seeing results in the first few weeks or months. Most websites fail in the first year, but if the owner had kept up with their promotion efforts for just a little longer, then they might have been a success. Giving up when you are on the cusp of success is such a huge shame, and something that could be avoided if only people knew how to interpret analytics data on a longer-term scale.
Content marketing requires patience and consistency. If you do not have the time or the expertise to do your own content marketing, then you may want to consider outsourcing the creation of articles or paying someone to make a video series for you. Another option is to write your own content but have someone else handle the placement of your work on industry blogs and to take care of your social media management for you. This will leave you with more free time to handle the other more specialist parts of your business.
Whatever you do, keep your customers in mind when you are producing content and be patient. With consistency, you will see results in your content marketing efforts.
P.S. Happy Holidays! Hope you all have a great Christmas