Content marketing gives you the power to promote and grow your brand. Strategically placed keywords, alt tags, and other practices will make your content appeal to search engines. This is turn will make it easy for new customers to find you. This sounds great, but in order for this to work, you need to have a solid plan. As important as it is to know what to do, you also need to know what not to do. Earlier, I reviewed several content marketing myths to avoid. This was a good start, but there are so many myths more to cover. Here are some more content marketing myths to avoid in order to create the right plan for your brand.
Understanding the Role of SEO
Content marketing is largely governed by SEO (Search Engine Optimization) practices. Search engines each have their own proprietary algorithms that they use to rank (or tank) websites. These algorithms change periodically and each search engine keeps their algorithms shrouded in secrecy. This means SEO professionals, myself included, research trends to develop a good understanding of what will, and what will not benefit a content marketing strategy.
You Do You
Each brand is unique and while avoiding these content marketing myths will help most brands in most instances, there are plenty of people out there doing their own thing and finding success. Basically, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to content marketing. You need to create a strategy that works for your brand right now. This typically takes some trial and error. Keep in mind that the strategy that works today may deliver different results in a couple of years. Pick and choose the methods you use based on the results you want to find content marketing success.
Additional Content Marketing Myths
While there are no hard and fast rules, there are definitely some practices you should avoid. These content marketing myths may have been true at one point, or maybe they fly in the face of conventional wisdom. Whatever the case, cutting these practices out of your strategy will help you create a strong and effective content marketing plan.
Myth #1: All Content Should Promote Your Brand
There is this misconception that every piece of content you or your marketing team creates needs to shine a light on your brand. This is primarily a carryover from the days when print marketing dominated. Before the internet, brands had fewer opportunities to engage with customers, so they had to make every interaction count. This notion also makes sense given that the whole purpose is to sell your brand and your products or services. If you go off on a tangent, it seems less likely you will hit your goal.
Random tangents are bad, but occasionally taking your content in a different direction that still serves your readers can be worthwhile. Your readers are people who have issues and needs. Creating content that addresses these issues and needs helps your readers and positions your brand as a helpful and trusted source. You want to provide value to your customers even if that value does not directly or immediately help your bottom line.
Save the Lecture
Constantly promoting your brand can be tiresome for readers. If you do this enough, it may even cause readers to stop reading, unsubscribe or unfollow. Your readers know your ultimate goal is to close sales. Providing interesting and engaging content, even if the topic strays from your product lineup from time to time, can get your readers to keep coming back.
Myth #2: Social Media is Just for Socializing, It Isn’t for Businesses
Social media started out as a way to stay in touch with friends, but so much has changed. Your business needs to be on social media. This is a great way to drive traffic to your site and engage with users. Scrolling through your feed while you’re on the clock may not seem like real work, but that’s just not the case.
When users want to know what time your brick and mortar store opens, what drafts you have on tap, if you carry specific sizes, how to get in touch with you or anything else, the chances are good they’re heading to your social accounts. A complete content marketing strategy includes filling in the info on your social media profiles, sharing content and interacting with users.
Myth #3: I Don’t Need Professionally Written Content for Social Media
Bringing in a writer to write your website or handle your blog may be an obvious choice. Your social media posts can also benefit from a professional hand. The word count is a whole lot less, but the traits of a good social media post are very much aligned with what it takes to create a good blog post; namely: engaging, informative content and visuals.
Consider bringing on a writer to handle your social media posts. You won’t have to worry about spelling and grammar and the post will be structured to appeal and engage with your followers. For instance, when I write a blog post for a client, I also offer to write several social media posts. These posts are designed to pique readers’ interest in order to get them to click the link to learn more.
Myth #4: Automated Content is Just as Good and Saves Time
Automation can, in fact, save you time and money while getting the job done. However, it’s possible to overdo it on the automation front. Your content still needs human oversight and a personal touch. Relying too heavily on automation can give your content an impersonal and robotic feel which can turn readers off from your message.
Effective ways to utilize automation in your content marketing strategy include:
- Social media aggregators used to schedule content on social media platforms.
- Placing smart lead generation forms on your landing page to collect lead information.
- Setting up automated email workflows to engage with customers at specific points in the sales process.
- Reviewing analytic data and tailoring the customer experience to best serve visitors to your site.
Keep It Real
Automation is a great way to save time and prevent you from forgetting to post to Twitter or follow up with that user who left items in their cart. It’s in your best interest to always create original and targeted content, so it sounds fresh and personal. Your customers are likely to correctly spot an automated email, but if the content sounds like it was written by a real person, that creates a human connection.
Myth #5: You Got This
This one may not truly be a myth, but hear me out. You may be uniquely positioned to run your business, and there are a lot of things you do very well. Maybe you are capable of crafting an effective content marketing strategy and writing high-quality content. Or maybe you’re not capable of doing these things. Maybe no one on your team is cut out for this, either. Content marketing is more than just plugging keywords into blog posts. If you want a good product you need to bring in a professional who can deliver the results your brand needs.
If there is absolutely no room in your budget to bring on another employee or even to outsource your content creation needs, reassess your needs. Maybe you cannot have a professional marketing writer crank out two 1,000-word blogs posts each week. But maybe you can afford to have that writer take care of one blog post a month. Properly structured content will deliver results and address your needs.
Avoiding Content Marketing Myths
Incorporating any of these content marketing myths into your efforts can take down a good plan. Knowing what pitfalls to avoid can help you expand your reach and grow your brand. Still not sure where to start? Or do you have questions? I’m here to help! Whether you need content for your site, blog or you want help writing social media posts, just let me know what you need and we can figure out a plan.