Major brands like Coca Cola, Disney, Lego and McDonald’s are using content marketing to adapt to a new world where consumers are in control. Smaller businesses are also using content marketing to stand out in their markets. Content marketing has evolved from a buzz word to an accepted marketing principle. At the same time, myths persist. Let’s take a closer look at some of these myths and the real truth.
Content marketing Is Inexpensive and Easy to Implement
Due to the proliferation of digital content, some marketers believe that content marketing does not cost much money. They’re more than happy to use the lowest cost provider to develop their content.
However, according to the Content Marketing Institute 2014 B2B Content Marketing report, nearly 60 percent of marketers plan to spend more money on content marketing in the next year than they did the year prior. They realize that content is an investment, and to provide quality, valuable content requires reasonable spending on content strategy, production, implementation, monitoring and testing.
Content marketing is really the art of building relationships. No matter what communication method you use, relationship building has always been a difficult endeavor. Valuable content strengthens your relationships.
Content marketing takes away from selling
This is another myth because content marketing actually is a perfect companion to the sales team. Sales is a long process with multiple decision-makers who need to learn various aspects of your product or service before they make a decision to go forward.
This is where content marketing shines because white papers, case studies, videos and other content can be custom-designed to meet the needs of different decision-makers at different points of the sales process.
While we still say “sales funnel” to help explain the sales process, the truth is that the sales process constantly evolves and changes. Content marketing is the best strategy to adapt quickly to these fluid market conditions.
Content marketing should be directly related to a sale
Content marketing isn’t necessarily directly related to making sales. There are a number of marketing goals that need to be met along the way before a prospect is properly developed for a successful sale.
For example, in the discovery stage a prospect is interested in learning overall knowledge about the industry and products available. Typical content at this stage include blog posts, social media and newsletters.
As they move closer to a decision, they may likely be comparing your company to your competition. The content used at the delivery stage would not be useful here. Better content at this time includes demonstration videos, service guides, case studies about specific successes, special reports and competition analysis grids.
As the sale moves closer to the closing, the prospect will want to look at content that answers their questions in detail should they decide to move forward with your company.
As you can see, there are multiple stages prospects go through on the way to a sale. A direct sale is not a goal until prospects have developed a relationship with your firm and have begun to know, like and trust you.
Content marketing means tweaking your content for search engine optimization
Content marketing is much more than creating relevant content in the goal of appearing high in search engine results. Content marketing is a comprehensive strategy of using content at all levels of the sale to meet the needs of the target market.
Content marketing uses up-selling and cross-selling to introduce prospects to new products and services. In addition, content marketing moves beyond the digital realm of the web. Content marketing could mean the publication of a monthly off-line newsletter to your highest profile clients, for example, or a summary of your company’s history. Each of these vehicles is another way of using content to meet the communication and marketing goals of your company.
You don’t need a plan — Just start producing content and your customers will show up
Producing content on-the-fly without any strategy or planning will ultimately fail. Content strategy is important because it creates a repeatable framework that can manage content through the stages of planning and implementation. It seeks to align the content with the business goals of the organization.
Without such a framework, opportunities will be lost because time will be spent on content that doesn’t fit into the overall strategy of the website, company and organization. At the same time, epic content that meets the core of the target market’s wants and needs will be missed, because there is not a strategy in place to develop those concepts in the first place.
“Check this page to see how we can help you by designing and implementing a complete content marketing strategy specifically for your business needs and goals!”
Content marketing myths persist despite the successful implementation of content marketing for large and small firms alike. Don’t let these myths dampen your efforts. Instead, focus on your target market – help them meet their goals with useful, powerful and valuable content.