If we all shared the Powerball we’d each get $4 million?!! We were saddened to learn recently that no, this is an urban myth. Generous Powerball sharing would only result in everyone being able to buy a small latte and not an end to poverty in the U.S. Sigh.
Some myths, especially about content marketing, you can’t plug into Snopes.com, so we’re going to bust open the top seven myths we hear about content.
See which one of these you’ve heard (or said).
1. Quality content takes too long to create.
Good content shouldn’t take hours to create, but it shouldn’t take minutes either. There are things you can do to make content creation easier, like sign up for Google Alerts to stay on top of current trends, or research the optimum times to post blogs and other content. But don’t be fooled, content marketing isn’t just copying and pasting or providing a collection of links. Content should gratify a specific need a target audience has and provide them with tips or solutions to a problem. You can create a blog in under an hour with your own industry knowledge.
2. No one reads it.
Content marketing lets you communicate with your audience and partners directly, an arena where traditional marketing falls short. In fact, 61 percent of consumers say they feel better about a company that produces and distributes custom content and are more likely to buy from that company (Kapost). People want to hear stories about brands and products in order to feel a connection. Content creation is the way to do this, and can help drive traffic, generate leads and convert customers. Make sure you’re letting your company’s personality shine through, let your audience see who you are and what you represent.
3. Content doesn’t get you found.
If you’re keeping keywords and search engine optimization (SEO) in mind it will. In fact, MarketingSherpa found that content creation is the single most effective SEO tactic. That doesn’t mean stuffing keywords into your services page or using black hat SEO techniques. It means writing about what your audience is searching for.
Thinking about what people are searching for online and incorporating those specific keywords in your content will help drive rankings and organic search traffic. But you’re not alone in coming up with keywords. Google has a tool that can help, as does WordStream. For our keyword work we use HubSpot, an integrated marketing platform. If you’re blogging on WordPress you can use the Yost plugin to help you target your words.
4. Content marketing is a trend.
Content marketing is like Googling, not a trend but a new era. Googling everything you want to know and buy is our new way of life. And content marketing powers those searches. How else would you decide between X and Y?
While content marketing will continue to adapt to the changing times, the core concepts remain the same – write about stuff people are searching for. Position yourself as a trusted source and a problem solver.
5. It’s just a filler and includes no ‘real’ information.
While a lot of companies are writing blah blogs for their websites, the ones who use content effectively and get results (more sales, better brand image) are those who use content to add credibility to their brand. Make sure your content aligns with your brand and your goals, that way it will provide relevant content to customers. Think about your target audience’s pains and needs. If you’re selling natural stone countertops to designers, you want to help them solve the dilemma, ‘Do I choose manufactured quartz or natural marble?,’ by showing the pros and cons of each and how your natural product offers a unique and desirable design aesthetic.
6. It’s just writing articles.
While blogs are arguably the highest quality content, they aren’t the only thing that gets attention from audiences. Infographics, videos, reviews, how-to’s, podcasts, case studies, quotes, and facts and stats are all ways to reach audiences and encourage them to engage with your brand. To do these well you need a professional who can create an infographic and then a marketing team to help you deliver it through email and social media. That team can also help you curate content from around the web to share with your audience that supports your sales and marketing goals, ie. getting designers to buy more natural stone and less quartz.
7. It has no ROI.
You can indeed measure the effectiveness of the content you’re creating, but you have to know what your ultimate goal is for each piece of content you create. Calls to action can help you get data on clicks, conversions and visits. Marketers who make blogging and content marketing a priority are 13 times more likely to have a positive ROI (HubSpot).
Here’s an example of how you can prove the return on your content marketing investment: You know a typical buyer concern is that marble stains. Your keyword phrase might be, ‘Which product is better for kitchens with kids, quartz or marble?’ You write a blog about how marble is actually much easier to maintain than people think and leads to a higher resale value.
You see that the blog gets a lot of visits through search so you add a call to action for ordering a free sample. Then you track how many people received a sample and went on to order a product. ROI proven.
Now that we’ve busted these myths you know seven reasons why your company should be using quality content in its digital marketing. But you may not know where to start, or which of your current efforts are actually moving you ahead on your company goals. Make it your goal this quarter to sit down with your team and look at your traffic, engagement and competitors. Be honest about what’s working and where your needs outweigh your in-house capabilities.