Many businesses practice content marketing to connect to their audience, boost their brand awareness, and drive growth in their company. But content marketing can be elaborate, with multiple strategies and aspects to ensure. Because of this, some businesses may misunderstand what content marketing is really all about, especially if they’re just about to start with only minimal background. This can do more harm to their brand than good.
So what is not content marketing? Many people confuse content with content marketing, but they’re actually two different things – a blog post or video content isn’t content marketing. More than this, content marketing isn’t about self-promotion, a matter of producing as much content as possible or focusing on keywords. It also doesn’t produce immediate results. Content marketing is suitable for all industries and provides measurable results.
Many businesses tend to misunderstand what content marketing is all about, having them end up with poor content marketing efforts. This negatively impacts your brand recognition, keeping you from gaining more customers. To get started in applying a better content marketing strategy, you might want to know that content marketing is not:
Content and content marketing may seem similar – that's why many people tend to confuse one with the other. But they actually mean different things – content is any piece that provides information, shares experiences, or expresses thoughts online. While vital in content marketing, quality content is only one of the aspects to consider when creating a winning strategy.
Content may be in text, like articles, ebooks, or landing pages, or visual content, like infographics or videos. All businesses can create content, but that won't always mean what they do is already content marketing – content marketing refers to an approach to creating and distributing content to build credibility and trust and drive growth into your business.
While it may be used to connect with your target audience and boost brand awareness and recall, content marketing is not about you and your brand. It may sound counterintuitive, but creating content for your content strategy isn't centered on self-promotion. Everyone can sense a sales pitch from miles away and tend to turn away from these types of content.
Creating content that only talks about your products and services and persuades readers to try them out isn't content marketing. If anything, having these content formats only can hurt your brand. Successful content marketing involves producing engaging content relevant to your target audience.
The volume of content production isn't a decisive factor in content marketing – many brands think that producing many long articles or other content formats will result in more leads and customers. While long articles or blog posts are beneficial for your content marketing campaign, it requires thorough planning on the topic and interest of the audience.
Successful marketers know that producing high-quality content consistently and publishing them on the schedule is better than posting way too much mediocre, much less subpar content. Besides, Google penalizes bad content with a low ranking on search engine results pages or SERPs. Having many poorly-written posts hurts your brand reputation and gives you low ROI with higher costs.
Many content marketers tend to get frustrated upon not seeing significant results as quickly as assumed, which is understandable. That's why it's better to keep your goals and plans realistic from the get-go. Content marketing doesn't produce immediate results because it needs time, budget, and hard work to mature – that's why your content marketing program must be long-term and sustainable.
New visitors won't make a purchase and even trust you immediately upon encountering your content and brand for the first time. You must produce high-quality content consistently over time and build authority. Establishing a strong relationship with a visitor to convert them into loyal and satisfied customers takes time.
Content marketing isn't dedicated to some industries only – it's suitable for every business and will still produce positive results as long as you appeal to your audience with valuable content. Many marketers often misunderstand content marketing as industry-specific because some niches seem difficult to showcase online while some have defined audiences.
But it's important to note that content marketing is more about storytelling – marketers in tough niches, usually B2B, must be more creative in strategizing the best way to create and promote content.
While employing the best search engine optimization or SEO practices is crucial to your content marketing success, it's not the primary consideration in your content strategy and efforts. And many marketers tend to misunderstand this, making them fall into the trap of prioritizing search engines in content creation instead of the customers.
Some businesses make the mistake of putting lots of keywords in their content to gain traffic and high rankings on SERPs. It might drive traffic to your page, but search engines don't miss the behavior of visitors when they bounce off of your content, deeming it irrelevant.
This results in search engine algorithms booting your content at the bottom of the SERPs. What really puts your content at the top of the SERPs is focusing on the needs and interests of your target audience.
One of the misconceptions about content marketing is it doesn't produce measurable results. But the truth is that it actually gives you key metrics that report qualitative and quantitative results of your performance, the most common being Google analytics.
Google Analytics gathers data from your website, blogs, social platforms, and other channels. This tool can even report granular results like the engagements of audiences in specific posts and pages. Aside from this, you can find other tools used for gauging different practices in digital marketing.
Thinking that content marketing doesn't produce measurable results might stem from the lack of a reliable content marketing strategy, which allows marketers to determine benchmarks when tracking and assessing their performances.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, only 40% of B2B marketers have a documented content marketing strategy, and 64% of successful companies in the same industries have a documented content framework.
Content marketing means the strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract users and gain a clearly defined audience, promoting profitable customer action.
With content marketing, brands produce and distribute quality content that attracts visitors by establishing their authority in the industry. This allows your audience to trust your brand, acknowledge your unique value proposition, and engage with your business. Businesses can do this by drawing the attention of audiences with content that is:
Content marketing aims to publish content to appeal to the audiences and efficiently provide their needs without asking for anything in return. Brands should demonstrate their expertise in the industry and share valuable information audiences would find interesting and relevant instead of focusing on self-promotion.
Content marketing can be beneficial for many businesses in various industries, tested and proven to drive growth in your company. This is because content marketing can:
These are some of the reasons why many businesses engage in content marketing. These goals will be easier to achieve with a sustainable and cohesive content marketing strategy. That’s why if you think you’ve been doing content marketing wrong, you and your content marketing team might want to recalibrate your plans and create a better framework.
Content marketing involves strategizing content creation and distribution to build credibility and strong relationships and drive growth in your business. Because of this, you might want to learn different content types – this allows you to get creative and create a winning content marketing framework. The content types you can diversify to connect with your audiences are:
Each content type requires unique planning and proper format you should learn about to ensure publishing high-quality content. You can also use various content types for repurposing and/or promoting your content to get the most out of your information.
While content marketing helps your brand build credibility and generate leads, it doesn’t produce immediate results. This is because you need time to nurture your relationship with your audiences and guide them in every stage of the buyer’s journey. You must plan your content strategy carefully and deliver valuable content consistently for each stage. Here are some ways businesses produce content in a purchasing cycle.
The awareness stage is the first stop of the buyer’s journey, where the audience has just encountered your brand, product, or service. They’re aware of their problems and are seeking solutions to their problems or answers to their questions. They’re trying to meet a specific need.
For audiences in the awareness stage, brands might want to produce top-level content that educates them. You should discuss their challenges, pain points, and challenges for better engagement while saving your pitch or suggested solutions with your product or service for closing phrases.
Your content may be in the form of a social media post, blog, or ebook. Audiences in this stage usually have a low lead value because you can’t guarantee they’ll purchase your product or service.
The second stage of the buyer’s journey is the consideration stage, where the audience has already defined their problems and is exploring different options for solving them. Because of this, they tend to do thorough research and learn about the specifications of various solutions available.
Content marketers should produce content that offers valuable information while showcasing their product or service’s benefits. Brands might also want to demonstrate their expertise and inform the visitors about the right specifications or functions to choose from and how each feature addresses their problems.
The marketing aspect of these types of content shouldn’t be too explicit, like self-promotion. You’ll simply insert the benefits you offer by leaning your content toward the products or services your brand offers. The usual types of content suitable for this stage are case studies, checklists, and how-tos.
The closing or decision stage is a crucial position in the buyer’s journey when the consumer is close to purchasing your product or service. Content marketers can discuss their brand’s sales and success stories to demonstrate why their brand is the best choice instead of simply registering that their products or services are great.
Your content must be about your brand’s expertise and authority in the industry. You might also want to discuss the different benefits of your products or services. The types of content suitable for this are user-generated content, product videos, case studies, research reports, or buyer’s guides.
Brands running into content marketing mistakes and misconceptions are still common, especially when they’re just about to start their content marketing efforts. These poor content marketing practices can still be corrected – you should:
Define the goals you want to achieve in content creation and distribution, including your long-term goals. These objectives will help keep your content marketing efforts working cohesively and contribute collectively to building your brand’s credibility. It’s best to keep your goals as specific as possible based on the challenges your business is facing and your current market position.
As content marketing is aimed at building a relationship with your target audiences, you might want to get intimate with them to determine their interests, needs, pain points, and behavior. Do extensive research by interacting with your target consumers or integrating within their circles. Creating detailed buyer personas will help you plan your content marketing strategy more efficiently.
Determine the type of content to focus on and ensure keeping it valuable and relevant. The right format for your content marketing campaigns depends on the stage of the buyer's journey you want to address. You should also consider the content format that will best highlight your brand value.
You might want to identify a content format to focus on to ensure refining its quality and produce informative and authoritative content. This is better than deciding on multiple content formats than your team can handle.
Document your objectives, research, and campaigns in a content marketing framework that oversees your brand’s long-term goals. A documented strategy helps keep your content marketing efforts working cohesively in contributing to your goals. This will also help you fulfill your plans smarter and more efficiently, even if you’re working on a lean team. When creating your content marketing framework, you might want to:
A long-term content marketing strategy ensures cohesion in every content you produce and promotes sustainable growth for your online presence. It sets you up for success in keeping your content marketing efforts organized and properly aligned with your goals.
Aside from documenting a content marketing strategy, you might also want to create a detailed content calendar to keep your processes organized and ensure consistency in content production. This also helps you fulfill your content marketing efforts based on your team’s capacity.
When creating your content calendar, you might want to make it realistic and less ambitious to set yourself up for success. It’s best to start with shorter periods, like planning your content for a week or two. Include in your calendar the time you need in preparing your content and its promotion.
Your content marketing efforts don’t stop at publishing each type of content and fulfilling your calendar – don’t forget to track and assess your performance to determine bottlenecks in your campaigns and come up with resolutions and adjustments immediately.
As established, it’s pretty common to make mistakes in your content marketing efforts or find that some strategies might not work for your brand yet. That’s why it’s necessary to monitor your performance with the right key metrics. These key performance indices will provide data-based insights into your progress.
Many businesses today already engage in content marketing as it’s a cost and time-efficient option to establish your brand credibility and build strong relationships with your target audience. But content marketing can be an elaborate approach for boosting your brand, so some businesses tend to have misconceptions about it, making them do poor practices that hurt their brand.
Content marketers must remember that content marketing isn’t the same as content and isn't about self-promotion. You can’t expect immediate results, and its success isn't based on creating as much content as possible, especially if they sacrifice user experience and quality. Content marketing also doesn’t prioritize search engines over user-centricity. It’s suitable for all industries and provides measurable reports to gauge your performance.