Content marketing — pretty much everyone is doing it, yet still so many people misunderstand it. While content marketing is far from rocket science (you definitely don’t need a PhD to do it), there is a lot of confusion and misinformation floating around about it. Whether you’re considering taking a stab at content marketing in the months ahead, or are just looking for ways to improve what you’re doing, settle in and get ready to separate fact from fiction when it comes to content marketing. Here’s content marketing explained.
Content Marketing Explained: Clearing Up Common Misconceptions
Misconception One: Anyone Can Create Content
User-generated content is super popular. It might seem that everyone you know has their own blog or YouTube channel. And yet, not everyone is cut out to be a content creator.
That might sound way harsh, but it’s true. Some people are better at crafting stories, putting together visually interesting videos, or making eye-catching graphics than others.
If you stumble across a piece of user-generated content that’s really stellar, go ahead and use it. Just don’t rely solely on submissions from others, or expect that every story idea, blog post, or video is going to be solid gold.
Misconception Two: All You Need Is Content
Content marketing and content often get lumped together, and people tend to use the terms synonymously. In reality, content is part of content marketing. But just putting together some content isn’t the same thing as content marketing.
Content marketing also includes goals, a defined audience, and a way to measure and track the content’s performance. Ideally, there’ll be a strategy behind your brand’s content marketing, and that strategy should be what guides all that you do.
Misconception Three: Content, Social, and SEO Should All Be Separate
Another popular misconception about content marketing is that it needs to be separate from SEO and social media marketing. While SEO and social are different from content marketing, the truth is that they can inform your content marketing plan and strategy.
For example, when you brainstorm content ideas or think of goals for your content marketing, you should think of how SEO can influence or affect that content or those goals. The same is true of social media. Consider how you can use social media to distribute or measure the impact of your content marketing.
Misconception Four: There’s No Way to Measure Content Marketing
Speaking of measuring content marketing, one belief that seems to persist is that there’s no way to measure it.
Au contraire. There are many ways to measure your brand’s content marketing. You can use key performance indicators (KPIs) like website visits, social media shares, bounce rates, newsletter signups, and so on.
What you measure depends in part upon what your goals are. If you’re interested in boosting social presence, you’re likely to look at how your content performs on social media. Does it make people follow you? Likewise, if you’re interested in boosting sales, you’ll want to look at how many people click through a piece of content and end up buying something from you.
Misconception Five: Once You Hit “Publish,” Success Immediately Follows
As it turns out, overnight success is a myth —and that’s definitely the case when it comes to content marketing. For every viral video or attention-grabbing meme, there are literally thousands of also-rans.
When you first start publishing and sharing content, things might be slow. You might get a handful of clicks, or a few likes here and there. But as you build momentum and as people start to realize that you’re there, the amount of traffic you receive should increase.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it’s pretty unlikely that you’ll get instant results with content marketing. But sticking to your strategy and plan, and making appropriate adjustments can help you enjoy content marketing success.