5 Myths about Content Marketing You Shouldn’t Believe
A quick search of the internet, and you’ll find plenty of chatter on the latest content marketing trends, dos and don’ts, rules, guidelines, etc.
For the most part, it’s a great thing that there are so many content marketing resources available online.
However, for every truthful, accurate, and proven piece of information floating around the internet, there are at least 3 pieces of information that shouldn’t be trusted.
And with so much inaccurate or skewed information available, the lines between fact and fiction begin to blur.
Unfortunately, when we are unable to differentiate between what is solid, accurate information and what some kid wrote and published online for his high school marketing project, we end up believing content marketing myths.
Myths worse than when…
- A nurse tells you the doctor will be in to see you in just a minute.
- You hit the button while making a transaction that says “I read the terms and conditions.”
- Your teacher told you you’d use what you learned in Algebra 2 for the rest of your life.
We’re tired of all the content marketing myths being circulated, so we decided to debunk some of the biggest ones and share them with you. Keep reading to discover 5 myths about content marketing you shouldn’t believe.
Content Marketing Myth#1: Great Content Always Promotes Itself
Boy, would content marketers be living the dream if great content always promoted itself!
The truth is, the majority of the time, business owners have to promote their content for it to be successful. The even harsher reality–even when you promote a great piece of content, it doesn’t always spread like wildfire into the hands of millions of people who then purchase your product/service.
That’s just the nature of the business.
To give your content the best shot of being seen, shared, and read by your target audience, we recommend the following things…
#1 Publish your content on multiple mediums, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, your blog, and guest blogs, and make it accessible on your website. The more places you content is shared and promoted, the more people will be exposed to it.
#2 Pay to promote your content. Between social media advertising and search engine ads, there are many places you can pay to increase your content’s exposure and help get it into the hands of your target audience.
#3 Ask family, friends, and/or colleagues to share your content. Most people are willing to lend a hand and share quality content as long as it doesn’t conflict with their personal interests.
#4 Don’t forget to pay attention to SEO, like keywords or meta tags, that help organically promote your content on search engines. When you SEO optimize your work, search engines will make it easier for people to find your content when doing an online search.
We have a great article on utilizing distribution channels to promote your content. When you’re finished reading this post, we recommend you check it out!
Content Marketing Myth #2: You Should Copy Successful Content to Be Successful
As school kids, we are taught that copying is bad. It’s cheating, and will it certainly get you sent to the principal’s office.
But then we enter the workforce, start our own businesses, and are given the advice that we should copy what successful professionals are doing so that we ourselves will be successful, too.
Some professionals even take it as far as creating the exact same content–give or take a business name and a few words here and there–in hopes the content they create will perform as well as the content they copied. Sometimes, this method even works!
So, to copy or not to copy…that is the question!
Here’s our rule of thumb…
We believe it’s great to borrow ideas from people, use templates we’ve be been given permission to use, and follow strategies that have worked well for other businesses.
That said, just because a specific type of content worked for one business doesn’t mean it will work for another.
You need to make sure the strategy you’re replicating works for your audience.
For example, let’s say you own a retirement community and are trying to promote an event to bring seniors (or their adult children) into your community for a tour. You’re not sure what type of content strategy you should use, so you look to your colleague who works at a university that is trying to bring college kids on campus for an event to learn more about a university.
For the most part, you have the same goal–to get people on your property and convince them to move into your community. Yet, while the goal is the same, your content strategy will be vastly different.
For college kids, your content may revolve around online ads, blogs, and social media posts. This strategy may pull in thousands of visitors and be a real success. If you try to copy this strategy as an owner of a retirement community, there’s a good chance this plan will flop.
That’s because your market (senior citizens) doesn’t eat, sleep, and breathe in the digital world. (If you’re marketing more to their adult children, then it’s a different story as they are more likely to be digitally savvy.) For you, there’s a good chance it would be more beneficial to create newspaper articles or TV ads.
Before you try and replicate a content strategy someone else created, be sure to spend some time thinking about whether it truly works for your market or not.
Content Marketing Myth #3: The More Content You Have the Better
The idea that more is better is a myth business owners are fed on a daily basis. This myth comes in many forms such as you need more marketing content in order to…
- Rank high on search engines.
- Drive traffic to your website.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Here’s the real truth. You need more quality marketing content…not more content in general.
When business owners get caught up in the idea that more content equals better online visibility, more sales, more website traffic, etc., they get caught up in trying to produce as much content as they can, giving little thought to the quality of it.
This leads to massive amounts of invaluable, inaccurate, untrustworthy, and sometimes just downright silly pieces of content that give you a bad rep.
If you don’t have the time to craft and publish content that contains valuable information, resources, or tools on a weekly basis, then don’t do it. Simple as that.
We promise, producing once piece of truly valuable content a month for your business will do more to establish a positive and trustworthy reputation for your business as opposed to writing 20 pieces of content a month that are junk.
Note: It is okay to have fun with your content every once in a while. At Sumer, we occasionally write about our pets, fun events we’ve attended, and other silly things. That being said, 95% of our content, aside from the silly stuff, provides important information, tools, and resources. It’s important to find a balance.
Content Marketing Myth #4: All Business Owners Are Capable of Creating Their Own Content
Imagine if we could all be our own accountants, doctors, hairstylists, dentists, and so on and for forth. We’d certainly save a lot of money and stress if we could do everything for ourselves.
But we can’t.
No one, no matter how intelligent, talented, or studious, could do all of those things.
There’s not enough time in the day to learn all of those skills, and to put it bluntly, not everyone is gifted with the skills necessary to be successful at every job in the world.
Could you imagine going in for brain surgery and finding out Brittany Spears was your surgeon? I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want anyone who sings “Oops…I Did it Again” operating on my brain.
If your gifts don’t lie in content creation, or you simply don’t have the time to produce your own content, that’s ok.
There are thousands of copywriters that have the skills and knowledge and that would be thrilled to craft beautiful copy that drives traffic to your business and increases your sales.
If you’re struggling with creating your own content, but aren’t sure if it’s the right time to turn this job over to someone else, we recommend you check out our post about why DIY content kills sales.
Content Marketing Myth #5: Content Marketing Is the New Link-Building Medium
Over the past few years, content marketing has become a vital factor in search engine optimization. In fact, search engines are so sensitive to SEO optimized content that in order for your content to rank well online it must…
- Contain specific search keywords.
- Be considered valuable to the reader (provide tools, resources, knowledge).
- Be a certain length (at least 1,000 words).
- Adhere to SEO guidelines that penalize you for things like keyword stuffing and having broken links.
With this knowledge, content creators have worked hard to ensure their content ranks higher than their competitors’ content. Many times, this includes being proactive about link building inside your content.
Because of the link-building aspect of content marketing, many business owners believe that content marketing is now the new medium for link building–an SEO tactic that involves placing quality inbound and outbound links on your website, blog posts, and other marketing mediums.
This is a big fat content marketing myth. Here’s why…
First of all, like keyword stuffing, you can get penalized for including too many links in your content. This is especially true when your link is to poor quality content. Search engines consider this spammy, and it will hurt you in the long run.
Second, the practice of link building spans much farther than simply placing links in your own content. To get the most out of link building, you need to take advantage of outside sources like local directories, forums, and other people’s reputable websites and blogs.
That reason alone is enough to destroy the myth that content marketing is the new link-building medium.
Before you go yanking all the links out of your content, hear us out.
Links are important for your content strategy–you just need to be sure you’re using them appropriately. Here’s what we recommend:
#1 Limit the number of links you use. Use 3-5 valuable links per 2,000 words in the content piece you create. Any more than that may appear spammy.
#2 Use a quality link within the first paragraph of your content. Search spiders crawl your content and pick up on where you use links. That’s why we recommend using a link, connected to an important keyword, at the very beginning of your content. See image of how we do this below.
#3 Only link to trustworthy, valuable pieces of content. Links that connect to spammy, useless, and untrustworthy content will hurt how your content piece ranks online. Before you link to anything, be sure it’s a quality link from a trustworthy source.
The bottom line is that content marketing is important for SEO, but it should not be a replacement for SEO practices, like link building, for your business.