Effective content marketing is increasingly being regarded as vital, with many brands seeing it as a crucial way to help develop presence and increase success. Done right, a campaign not only generates revenue and growth but can boost brand awareness. However, there are ways in which content marketing should not be approached, so it’s wise to consider all the facts before launching a new campaign.
Firstly, content marketing is not the easy and cheap solution that many believe it to be. For companies believing that to be the case, attempts to start campaigns can be fraught with difficulties and, in some cases, might even damage a brand’s reputation. Therefore, it’s important to think about why undertaking such a challenge might not be such a good move. Those without the proper in-house skills might be wise to outsource the work if it is to stand any chance of success. Alternatively, other forms of advertising can be used.
One mistake that brands make is starting a content marketing plan as a way to stay ‘on-trend’. Unfortunately, if content doesn’t actually offer a target audience any value, it’s unlikely to succeed. Before beginning any content strategy, consider whether the resulting advertising is likely to find appeal. It also shouldn’t be thought of as a quick fix because it can take months, even years, to carefully construct a strategy that will work. Most things take time to evolve before they give anything in return and the content marketing niche is no exception. For example, many blogs are quickly abandoned; however, when blogs are maintained in the long-term, and generate around 15 blog posts each month, around 1,200 new leads can be generated.
Another misconception is that content marketing will instantly improve search rankings. Though it may well help in the long run, it certainly will not yield overnight results. One expert in the content niche, Ian Lurie, says: “Content isn’t ‘stuff we write to rank higher’ or ‘infographics’ or ‘long-form articles.’ Content is anything that communicates a message to the audience. Anything.”
Finally, it’s important to recognise that content marketing strategies are neither a cheap form of advertising, nor a way to gain direct sales. With regard to the former, there are many reports showing massive return on investment. In fact, three times as many leads can be generated as traditional advertising, with a 62 per cent markdown in cost. However, investment is required. Meanwhile, not every piece of content will generate direct sales and, in fact, many pieces shouldn’t be aimed at doing so. Some will build brand awareness, while others will lead customers into the mouth of the sales funnel. In fact, almost half of B2B marketers agree that between three and five buying stages are required to make a sale.
Content marketing can be hugely successful when it’s done correctly, pushing companies to the next level and spreading positive brand awareness. It is not cheap and it is not quick to yield results, however, those going into it with their eyes open could reap huge benefits over the medium to long term.