When Netflix increased its content budget to $8 billion this year, content marketers around the world, stood up and took notice. This is living proof that even in the Internet era content still is king. However, with changes accelerating in our industry, even the best of us can end up achieving poor results because we chose to follow outdated best practices or deep-rooted misconceptions when it comes to content.
By stepping away from the latest content marketing fads and popular myths, successful content marketers stay ahead of the curve – discovering how using new technologies can effectively lower consumers’ anti-marketing biases. With the latest studies showing that the average marketer spends 29% of their total marketing budget on content, it’s important to avoid the most common content marking faux pas:
Myth: More Content, More Reach
Truth: Quality content pushed at the right intervals through the right channels boosts reach
According to an IBM Marketing cloud study, 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years alone. So how can your business stand out amongst its increasingly global competitors when the average engagement in content is declining? The answer? Create mind altering content that not only sustains the reader’s attention with infographics, sizeable chunks or listicles - but also by sharing this content on social media their audiences use on an hourly basis.
Simply put, better content earns better engagement. Robert Rose, Chief Strategy Officer for the Content Marketing Institute, claims that successful businesses take on a content-first approach, not simply aiming to create more content, but instead choosing to “create the minimum amount of content with the maximum amount of results”. Many marketers assume that if their content has low engagement levels, they should just publish more to be heard. Instead, they should be looking at other factors behind low click throughs and high bounce rates, such as website loading speeds or the social media channels they have chosen to share the content.
With many companies still using outdated keyword stuffing in attempts to fool Google bots, even the most beautifully crafted content may be falling on deaf ears. Search engines now favour humanised non-duplicated content that ultimately drives consumer value. Avoid churning out meaningless content, and instead focus on creating useful, practical and shareable bits of knowledge that will improve your business reputation and attract potential customers. In terms of high performing content, less is always more.
Myth: Content Marketing is Just Writing and Publishing
Truth: Content Marketing is about creating a cohesive user experience across multiple channels
Businesses large and small rely on content to generate leads and build customer loyalty. In the space of a decade, marketers have gone from publishing in one or two mediums to choosing from an array of different channels both offline and online. However, with increased visibility also comes increased competition for high-value space. With so much choice, it’s now even harder for content to reach intended audiences organically.
Distribution and promotion play a large role in the success of your content. It’s important for marketers to think beyond the desktop, and to learn to incorporate mobiles, tablets and other hardware with cross-platform apps like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter to create an omni-channel experience.
According to Econsultancy, 87% of consumers believe that brands need to work harder to create a seamless customer experience. A multi-touch point content campaign not only extends your reach and allows you to track the customer journey across multiple devices, but also allows you to create cohesive and consistent messaging that builds brand loyalty and sparks consumer conversations. To be successful, brands must create ubiquitous content that draws readers in from each different touch point – and ultimately convinces them to purchase their product or service.
Myth: My audience doesn’t like content marketing
Truth: Your audience don’t like sale pitches – what they want is humanised content
You may believe your consumers don’t want to hear about your products, but that’s not true. They just don’t want to read a sales pitch. Consumers want to interact with brands that give them personalised content, emails and exclusive offers that reward their loyalty. They want to form long-lasting relationships with brands. In fact, research shows that 84% of millennials don’t trust traditional forms of advertising. Why not? Because they believe traditional advertising is manipulative and often untrustworthy, and the only objective is to close a sale.
In this day and age, it’s all about cultivating B2C relationships, a process that takes time. Personalized content is now more important than ever before with 75% of customers claiming they prefer companies that recognize their names or recommend products/services based on their past purchase history. By showing that deeper level of understanding for your customer personas, you can not only create content that is more valuable, informative and solves their problems, but you also will keep them coming back for more!
Myth: Content Marketing Drives Revenue Quickly
Truth: Content Marketing drives revenue over time through brand awareness that deepens customer loyalty
Content marketing that’s well executed can be an essential tool that raises brand awareness and increases lead generation. But if you want to win in content marketing, you’re in for a long game. Although you’re unlikely to see automatic return on ROI, consistency in messaging and the right promotional tools will result in dramatic long-term benefits and customer loyalty. Like they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither is great content.
Myth: The Longer the Content, the Better the Results
Truth: Long-form articles in sizeable chunks perform best
It’s no secret that consumers and marketers love long form content as it casts a wider net for Google’s latest search algorithms and allows for a human, conversational style that you just can’t achieve with shorter content. However, there’s a smart way to structure content that doesn’t require 10,000 words and a handful of complicated infographics.
Both human readers and Google bots prefer content that is broken up into sizeable chunks and topic clusters. With potential customers using long-tail conversational variations for better search results, your content must be structured with headings, subheadings to be scannable, along with links and bold text so it is easily digestible and appealing to read. Even if that means breaking the text down into two related posts that are published separately, this technique can build anticipation for the reader and also allows for your content to be easily scanned and digested by Google bots.
Content marketing has the power to spellbind your readers, by creating real, person-to-person connections, and giving customers the option to engage beyond business and develop a relationship with your brand. While it may take time to develop a following of avid readers, it’s well worth the effort to cultivate a loyal fan and customer base with a personal investment in your brand.