Content marketing is having its moment; however, it is still undervalued and misunderstood to a large extent. Blogging became mainstream almost a decade ago. Since then, for most businesses, content marketing starts and ends with having a company blog where they talk about themselves and their products.

Is this what content marketing is? Partly, yes, but this form of marketing is far more significant than just having a company blog. In this article, we bust 10 common content marketing myths that block you from finding the success that content can offer to your business.

Myth 1: Content Marketing Must Be Promotional

While it’s important to talk about who you are, what you offer and how it benefits the customer, that’s not all you can do with content. The most potent form of content marketing informs, educates and engages without selling anything. 

Surprised? It’s true!

Your customers don’t care as much about you as they care about what you can do for them and how you can make their lives easier. If you want your customers to care about you, you need to give them a reason by adding value to their life. Put their needs front and center through content, and you’ll see the results.

Use how-to guides, ebooks, case studies, step-by-step tutorials, video, infographics and strong opinions – content that answers complex questions. Doing so will make you an authority figure in your niche and help you build credibility with your audience. 

Myth 2: Everyone Is a Content Creator

Sure, everyone is a content creator; but (and that’s a big but), can they create high-quality content that adds value to your customer and your business in the long term?

For example, you could create multiple short videos using your phone camera, but would they be as good as videos shot by a professional videographer? Exactly!

High-quality content trumps average content. Creating such content takes time, money and energy – lots of it. Unless you have experts in your team, hiring professional help from writers, videographers and photographers is recommended to create your content.

Myth 3: Videos Is Only for Big-Budget Businesses

Humans are visual creatures. That’s why a great logo is crucial for your branding, as it gives your business a solid visual identity. There are some great logo makers that can help you get a professional-looking logo for your brand.

However, when it comes to content marketing, videos trump photos. Of course, a picture can convey a thousand words, and it’s impactful – but compare that to a video, which is simultaneously engaging and educational.

People consume video more than any other form of content, especially on social media. Video engagement skyrocketed to 71 percent in 2021 from 2017. On average, consumers watch video ads five times longer than a traditional ad and say videos are the best way to discover new products.

You don’t need an expensive videographer to create videos for you. There are various video-making platforms online that you can use to get started with this form of content marketing. It’s inexpensive, and it’ll give you crucial data on what kind of content resonates with your audience. So, when you’re ready to spend the big bucks, you’ll know where to invest for maximum returns.

Pro tip: Create videos and then transcribe them into value-driven blog posts.

Myth 4: Focus on Content Creation More Than Content Discoverability

“If I create it, people will find it.”

Not really.

You can create the best content in the world, but it won’t matter if no one sees it. Content distribution is critical in content marketing. Use your social platforms, newsletter and other distribution channels, such as Quora, Reddit and Medium, to bring traffic to your content. Create content optimized for search engines so it shows up when someone is looking for a related topic.

Without the right traffic, your content and business won’t rise to their true potential. That said, don’t blindly publish your content everywhere. Modify it to suit the platform and audience.

Myth 5: Followers and Likes Are the Right Success Metrics

Followers and likes are vanity metrics that may make you feel good about your content and help you with brand recognition, but they may not be the best metrics to judge the success of the content piece.

Anybody can buy followers and likes. So, you can have thousands of likes on an Instagram post, but that may not be adding any value to your business. Build your audience but be mindful of the quality of your squad.

Before creating a piece of content, set what metrics will determine its performance, such as traffic or sign-ups. A hundred loyal followers are more likely to engage with you and add value to your business than 100,000 followers who are not interested in what you’re selling.

Myth 6: Branding Can Be Done Later

Your business branding starts with a great logo, a good business name, brand colors, fonts and more. But it goes way beyond that and requires consistent work. 

Branding is the process of creating an image for your business that your audience can connect and resonate with. This includes your brand voice, brand personality, tone of voice and the kind of words you use in your messaging. All these factors should paint a picture of the experience you want to provide to your customers.

Branding allows you to tell a story to your customers and invite them to be a part of it. A strong story will always outsell a sales pitch. Your content will convey this story, and it will further strengthen and amplify your brand.

Myth 7: Longer Content Is Always Better

According to an old study, articles above 2,500 words see more traffic, get more shares and earn better backlinks. But a good rule of thumb is to create for the consumer, and when you’re focused on offering value, the length of the content doesn’t matter. If you’ve put together 2,500 words that aren’t adding actual value, you won’t get the benefit you’re expecting.

It goes without saying that long-form content can be valuable, too, but if something can be communicated in 1,000 words, there’s no use prattling on about it for double the number of words.

However, if you’re still looking for ways to increase the length of your article, then consider the following tactics:

  • Add most asked questions by users (you can use Google’s “People Also Ask” feature).
  • Add relevant statistics and examples to add more credibility to your piece.
  • Include templates and a bit of history to give it some structure.
  • Add step-by-step instructions wherever possible.
  • Include expert quotes and advice.
  • Address an alternative viewpoint or perspective.

Myth 8: Content Marketing and Link Building Are the Same

While link building and content marketing share some similar goals, they’re not the same. When done well, content marketing attracts high-quality backlinks that add more value to the piece of content and more credibility to your business. 

A critical difference between content marketing and link building is the approach. Content marketing seeks to educate, inform and entertain through valuable assets such as videos, podcasts, articles and more. Link building aims to increase the number of sites that link to a piece of content to raise its credibility in the eyes of search engines.

While the goal is to increase brand visibility, the approach and strategies for link building and content marketing are quite different.

Myth 9: It’s Crucial To Run Paid Ads for Content To Be Seen

There are two broad ways to attract traffic:

  1. Paid – You pay the search engine, social media platforms or any other publication to push your piece of content in front of users looking for your product and services.
  2. Organic – You grow traffic on all platforms by consistently sharing valuable content over a long time. This is slow and requires hard work, but it offers fantastic returns on investment (ROI) in the long run.

Paid marketing can help you get immediate visibility, but it’s not necessarily the only way to gain traffic. You can grow organically by consistently producing and sharing high-quality, valuable and exciting content. 

Create content that starts a conversation and entertains and engages your audience. You won’t need any paid media to reach a large and relevant audience when you do this consistently.

Myth 10: Going Viral Is Crucial for Content Marketing Success

Going viral is like being a one-hit wonder. You don’t have to go viral to be successful. Some of the best, most helpful content never goes viral, and that’s because it’s not for everyone. Good content is created keeping a particular audience in mind. Your goal should be to engage with the right audience through helpful content.

The Truth About Content Marketing

Content marketing is a long-term strategy. The efforts you put in today will reap its fruit in the future. Your goal with content should be to help your users. When you give value without asking anything in return, you get a lot in return. 

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By Margaret Blank

At the moment I am an expert-analyst in the field of search engine optimization, leading several projects and consulting on website optimization and promotion, I am actively involved in various thematic seminars and conferences.

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