Busting the 15 biggest content marketing myths
One of the most revealing statistics that we’ve discovered here at Castleford is the fact that while almost 80 per cent of marketing decision makers know content marketing is effective, only 6 per cent of them definitely know how it works.
Now we know that content marketing can seem complex, but it really doesn’t have to be. Simplifying the experience starts with dispelling some of the biggest myths surrounding what content marketing is and how it works. That’s exactly what we’re going to do, with a little help from some of our very own content strategists!
Myth #1: Traffic is all that matters
There’s no denying that traffic is important, but the only thing that matters? Not so much. The beauty of content marketing is that it can achieve multiple goals at the same time, so focusing too intently on one goal probably means that the rest of your strategy is getting neglected.
“Generating large amounts of traffic is great and certainly a part of a content strategy. However, there needs to be a focus on ‘quality’ as well as ‘quantity,’ because high traffic doesn’t turn into revenue without a clear user pathway to conversion.” – Jonathan Healey, Content Strategist
Myth #2: Quantity trumps quality
The quantity versus quality debate isn’t just limited to traffic, it also applies perfectly to the content you produce. In the early days of content marketing, posting every day may have been important, but in today’s online world there’s arguably nothing as important as the value provided by each blog article or landing page.
Myth #3: Content marketing and SEO are the same thing
We’re not having a bar of this one. Yes, SEO is an invaluable string to the content marketing bow, but it’s far from the only one. In fact, with Google focusing more and more on rewarding original, interesting and relevant content, spending too much time on pure SEO at the expense of everything else could end up doing more harm than good.
Myth #4: ‘Content is king’
This is one of the pervasive phrases surrounding content marketing, and while the content that you produce is very, very important, just like SEO it is only one component of a far greater whole. For example, without the right promotion strategy, your target audience may not even find your content in the first place.
Myth #5: Content marketing can paper over the cracks in your website
Wishful thinking, unfortunately. If a theme is beginning to emerge from these myths, it’s that content marketing is all about different elements working together, and the quality of your website is a big part of this. Instead of assuming that what you’ve got will be enough, start your content marketing journey by ensuring you’ve got a solid platform for audiences to discover your content on.
Myth #6: Bounce rate – The most important thing is to reduce my bounce rate
Your website’s bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave without continuing to other pages, A high bounce rate often causes alarm, but it’s really important to remember that it’s hugely dependent on factors outside of your control, such as the industry you’re in and the structure of your website.
“If you’re wanting to increase the traffic coming through to your site, you should expect to also see an increase in bounce rate. Instead of worrying about this, it is more important to take a look at what your users are doing on the site, and use this information to improve your strategy. What pages are they visiting? And what are they doing on those pages?“– Amy Crooymans, Content Strategist
Myth #7: Content marketing is all about blog posts
This is another myth that has its roots in the early days of content marketing, but in today’s world it couldn’t be further from the truth. From landing pages to whitepapers and from downloadable assets to custom graphics, the ‘content’ in content marketing can be almost anything!
Myth #8: Social media won’t work for my business
As social networks become more heavily ingrained into everyday life, this common misconception is starting to go away. Even so, too many businesses ignore platforms like Twitter or Facebook because they don’t see the value in them. With Hubspot reporting that “97 per cent of buyers use online media when researching products and services in their local area,” there’s no excuse for thinking this way in 2017, so create an account and start selling your brand on social media.
Myth #9: Nobody wants to read a 1,000-word article
This is true, but only if it’s a dull, uninformative 1,000-word article. We see a lot of businesses wary of branching out from shorter pieces, but there’s a lot to be gained by taking a more in-depth look at an industry-relevant topic, from better SEO through to providing more information to your potential customers.
FYI, you’re about 800 words in right now…
Myth #10: B2B organisations don’t have to appeal to ‘people’
Just because your product or service is tailored towards companies, that doesn’t let you off the hook when it comes to engaging people. CEOs and other business decision makers like to be entertained just as much as everyone else.
Myth #11: Content marketing is only for large businesses
Content marketing is about growing your business, whether that’s through securing more customers or developing a brand. Every organisation has room to grow, and the right content can be a great way to achieve this.
Myth #12: Content marketing gets quick results
This is arguably another of the biggest content marketing myths, with a lot of decision makers struggling to wrap their heads around how long it will take to see results.
“They say that slow and steady wins the race, but a lot of businesses are in the “results now” business. This makes it particularly difficult to find the right balance between managing their expectations and a good lengthy SEO strategy, but the benefits are well worth a little bit of patience” – Owen Arnold, Content Strategist
Myth #13: The ROI isn’t as good as other forms of marketing
We don’t know where this one came from, but with Hubspot reporting that “companies are 3X more likely to see higher ROI with inbound marketing campaigns compared to outbound marketing,” we can say with certainty that this myth is busted.
Myth #14: It’s hard to measure content marketing ROI
This is another myth that just isn’t correct. In fact, there are all sorts of different metrics to measure content marketing ROI, including traffic, leads and engagement on social media.
Myth #15: Content marketing is easy
We wish! There are so many different elements and aspects to content marketing – from creating the content itself to ensuring it ends up in the right places with the best possible promotion. It’s never easy, but that’s all part of the challenge.