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Content marketing is growing in popularity as an essential strategy for driving traffic and generating leads. It is also a great way to promote your brand and establish meaningful relationships with your potential customers.

As more businesses begin to design content marketing strategies, it is important for them to be aware of common myths and misconceptions that surround content marketing. This article will highlight some of those myths and why they stand not to be true.

It won’t work for your audience

A common misconception of content marketing is that it won’t work for the type of audience that you appeal to. This is however not the case. In fact, 70% of consumers prefer to relate with a brand through their content (such as articles, videos and blogs) as opposed to being blasted with ads that are trying to get them to buy something.

Consumers want to feel a connection with your brand and to develop a relationship with it. Once you have built up that trust with your audience, they feel more comfortable purchasing your products. This situation holds true across many different audiences.

It is too expensive

Many companies feel that a content marketing strategy is out of their reach financially. When you look at it more closely, however, traditional methods of advertising can be much more expensive.

It is indeed true that content marketing comes at a cost (such as creating the right content, hiring writers and paying for social media ads) but these costs, when properly incurred, are actually less burdensome than other marketing strategies. This is particularly true for many advertising marketing plans such as Google and Linkedin.

It comes at no cost

Another common misconception is that content marketing is a cheap way to get the job done. Some businesses think that by simply putting out content, the rest will work itself out and they will automatically drive traffic to their site. This is however not true.

Businesses need to invest in the right strategies in order to create attractive and relevant content for their customers and drive those customers to their website. Such strategies involve paid social media advertising in order to give your content a boost, developing content around keywords through SEO in order to drive traffic, and re-designing your website in order to have the right landing pages. In fact, effective B2B marketers spend 39% of their budget on content marketing. It is the right channel to invest in.

It is difficult to Measure ROI

The ROI on your content marketing strategy can be measured. You can track incoming traffic and where it is originating from, and the number of leads that you have generated through the response rate to your call to action posts on your website.

You can also measure how many “contact us” forms have been filled out or how many people have subscribed to your newsletters in order to determine how many leads you have generated. Content marketing provides many methods through which you can continuously track and measure your results.

Quantity is better than Quality

You would think that the more content you put up, the better. However sacrificing quality for quantity can have the opposite effect on your content marketing strategy. Customers want more of what is relevant to them, not just more.

It is better to have one blog post that reaches many more people than multiple posts that are read by fewer people. When beginning your content marketing strategy, start slow, focus on quality and have a plan that outlines the goals of each piece of content you put up.

Results come quickly

Many businesses new to content marketing always expect quick and easy results as soon as they put up their material. Content marketing takes time and a lot of trial and error. It requires a deep understanding of your audience and the ability to create content that they find attractive and relevant.

In addition, you have to promote this content to your customers. All this takes both time and effort and it should be an on-going process, not an overnight activity.

All content should be on your website

It comes naturally that businesses would want all the content they have worked so hard to create, to be on their website. There are however advantages to diversifying where your content is located online.

Republishing your content on other platforms helps increase outreach and draw traffic to the originator of the material. Other platforms also probably have a larger audience than you may have at the moment, therefore it helps your business when you attempt to put your content on these larger brands.

The more views, the more success

Just because your video or blog post has been shared thousands of times does not mean that it will automatically drive traffic and generate leads. While outreach is an important first step towards successful content marketing, it is important to turn that outreach into leads for nurturing.

Your content should contain a call to action and other drivers of traffic that enables you to grab the attention of more potential customers.

It is difficult to compete with other businesses

Smaller companies or those that are new to content marketing may feel intimidated by larger established corporations which have a lot of web traffic and are dominant online. It is, however, possible to be competitive. If you strive to be unique and valuable in the content that you create, you can stand out in the face of all the material that is out there.

Implement SEO strategies that use keywords that are unique, yet popular in how often they are searched. As potential customers search online for solutions to their problems, having unique and valuable content that is SEO optimized can draw them to your site.

Content will speak for itself

Sometimes content marketers create quality content and think everyone will want to read it. Quality content is not enough for effective marketing. This is because every minute there are a thousand tweets, a thousand videos uploaded on YouTube and a thousand photos shared on Facebook among other sites. Marketers need to work hard so that their content will stand out in a sea of information overload. They need content that is different and unique. Content marketers need to find what their customers want and give it to them effectively than their competitors. A business needs to consider factors like online traffic, page views, engagement and number of clicks. They also need to use customers’ feedback to analyze how well they are serving the customers’ needs. Once they have this data, they can come up with strategies that will better target their customer base.

Content marketing won’t work in a specific business

A common myth is that content marketing belongs to some industries rather than others but this doesn’t mean that content marketing won’t work for them. Shipping companies are using content marketing to raise brand awareness. Research shows that content marketing will work effectively in the least likely industries.

Social media isn’t an effective way of content marketing

Businesses need to be active on social media and use it as an actual publishing platform. They can build better relationships with their clients by encouraging them to follow their social media sites and interacting with them. Too many brands neglect social media maybe because they believe their customers aren’t tech-savvy or active on these sites. Almost everyone is on social media in this age of technology and failing to use it as a resource could be crippling to the business Social media shouldn’t be ignored as a unique marketing channel. It provides multiple channels on which content can be distributed i.e. YouTube, Facebook, Tumblr. A strategy needs to be defined in order to determine how efficiently social media will be used to enhance a company’s brand and maximize user experience. The better the content the more readily it will be received by customers.

Creating content is an easy process

Creating content marketing with no experience is not easy. A number of processes can be used including; using social aggregators to schedule social media posts, tailoring newsletters and emails to promote content and using analytics to predict customer behavior towards the content. However, automation should not be used completely as the end result will be impersonal and not connect with the customers. Content creation should not be automated. There are software companies that can use to streamline the process of content marketing. Businesses’ need to know that creating efficient content marketing strategies is going to require a lot of investment in time and resources so they will need to hire professionals or dedicate the time to create the content themselves.

It is Easy to find Great Writers

Companies that are focusing on expanding the blog section of their websites and other text-heavy areas may opt to go for cheaper writers and other low-cost solutions when generating content. Simply writing something for a blog post and generating top-tier content are two different things.

Companies should invest in obtaining quality writers that are knowledgeable of the subject matter, the target audience, and can relate to the overall marketing strategy of the business. Creating professional content that your customers’ value is an important skill that should be given the necessary attention and resources.

There are better marketing strategies

Content marketing is increasingly becoming one of the top marketing strategies being adopted by businesses. In fact, 72% of marketing professionals believe that branded content is more valuable than ads placed in magazines. Many of them also view content marketing as superior to direct mail and other traditional marketing strategies.

Typical ads that "interrupt" and are placed in between TV programs, magazines and other media outlets are increasingly becoming less effective at generating sales. Content marketing is more effective marketing strategy and, when done properly, will continue to provide benefits for the foreseeable future.

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