Content marketing has been hot for the last few years, but that’s only really because we’ve finally started calling it something. The central tenet of content marketing is to produce quality content, which honestly, should be the main point of any marketing campaign, right? We’re just now labelling it “content marketing”.
As with all popular concepts, there’s always a bit of bashing that goes on, some of which may cause you to stop and ponder your decision. You may have read about these 8 myths and wondered if you can really get a good return on investment in Content Marketing. I’m here to tell you that YES, you certainly can. Let’s bust through these myths and get you on the right path.
Myth 1 – If I write it, they will come
Unlike that baseball field in Kevin Costner’s corn field in Field of Dreams, if you write it, they will most certainly NOT come. After all, if no one knows about your content, how can they read it? Create great content, and then promote it, and THEN they will come. Yes, you have to produce quality content, but at the end of the day, even bad content will get visibility if it’s promoted. (Ever seen that grumpy cat meme currently going around right now?) I’m not advocating that you produce bad content and then just promote the hell out of it, however producing no content is just as bad.
Content + Promotion = Readers
GOOD Content + Promotion = Leads and Sales
Myth 2 – Just produce more content
“If some is good, then more must be better!” – Leonard’s mom on the Big Bang Theory
Deciding on the frequency of your content generation is key. Producing content that isn’t getting read or used is a waste of resources. Decide on your frequency and method, and stick to the schedule.
When you produce content, make sure that it’s quality content. Even if you only send something out once in a while, if it’s content is good, they won’t mind.
Myth 3 – Quality isn’t sustainable
This is such a load of crap! There are many blogs, people, and companies who are producing quality content ALL THE TIME. There’s really no reason for you to have bad content out there. You must be aware of where you can find ideas, and then just start writing. According to Google’s internal data:
Think of how many searches happen on Google on a daily basis. Now just think about how many topics 16% is of those daily searches. Finally, think of all the search engine traffic you could get if you wrote content on those topics. Now tell me you can’t find any ideas for new content?
Myth 4 – Content marketing isn’t free
The strategy is free, as you don’t have to buy any system or things to implement it. It will cost you in employees and time though, as you do need to use existing resources or external ones to create your content. You may need to pay for some tools like HubSpot or HootSuite, but the costs are minimal compared to the ROI you will receive from it. As a B2B software producer, your product probably costs a lot more than the investment you’re making, so it’s definitely worth it.
Myth 5 – I need 5 different tactics to drive my goals
As I mentioned previously, the 2013 CMI B2B Content Marketing Report stated that most companies use at least 6 CM tactics in their campaigns, while others are using 23. Before you get scared, I just want to point out one thing: you can use all of your tactics to point to one product.
Copyblogger talks about it in this post, where Robert Bruce specifically targets mobile websites. But the idea applies to whatever idea/product you’re promoting. You use all of your tactics to point to that one idea. Just think, each tweet, infographic, blogpost, newsletter article, video post, and brochure talking about ONE IDEA.
Phew, don’t you feel better now?
Myth 6 – Content marketing is a fad
No, content marketing is most definitely NOT a fad. It just took us a while to give it a name. I will say that some tactics of content marketing may enjoy fads, but the overall concept is here to stay.
Myth 7 – I’ll get an immediate ROI on my content marketing
Content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. You can’t just expect an immediate bump with it. Sure, you may get some increased visitors to your blog, or more calls to your sales people after they see your latest brochure, but it may take a little longer to get some sales out of it. The B2B sales cycle is already longer than a B2C one, so you know this. Content Marketing is not a quick cure-all to slow sales. BUT, if you keep at it, keep producing quality content, it will pay off in the long run.
Each piece of content you produce is like a training run. After a while you decide to sign up to a marathon. And you run an okay time. So you keep training. You keep producing quality content and you generate a few more leads. As time passes, you generate a few more leads. The months and training runs pass, and your leads increase slowly but surely. You run another marathon, and you’ve shaved off more time. You’ve generated more leads, and a few sales.
Lather, rinse, and repeat my friends. Keep training, keep writing, keep running those marathons, and you’ll see the ROI on it all. Your leads will increase, and your sales will increase. You just have to understand that it’ll take time. It won’t happen overnight.
Myth 8 – All content needs to be new
On Page 5 of that CMI report, they list 26 different tactics that B2B companies are using in their content marketing strategies. They also mention that some of the larger companies are using over 23 of them. Twenty-three! That’s impressive. And scary, especially if you think that they’re writing about 23 different topics in each tactic
I’m here to tell you that’s not the case. Yes, they will be writing about a number of different topics in there, but they repurpose a lot of them too. THAT’s the real secret to content marketing. Repurposing.
That doesn’t mean you simply copy + paste the same content in different vehicles. No, I’m talking about reworking the same topic in different ways. For example, for to repurpose this article, I could:
- Write an article on each myth.
- Create a list of posts based on each myth. (This is where I’d link to content from other blogs that either illustrate or solve each myth.)
- Create an infographic on how to solve each myth.
- Develop a new landing page on my website explaining the myths and how I could help potential customers develop their own content marketing strategy.
- Write a series of tweets on each myth, linking to the blog post.
This is just a quick list of ideas. If you spent some time brainstorming, you can see how to repurpose your content and further increase the ROI on that original content production.
Are there any other myths you’re running into? How have you busted through them?