We’ve already said that brands becoming publishers is our big theme for 2019. But as brands turn to content to establish expertise and create purchase intent by educating their target audience, they should be careful to avoid these common mistakes and misconceptions.
1 – Content marketing is too expensive and time-consuming.
OK, this one is partially true. Without the required tools or platforms for keyword research, content insights, distribution and analysis, or the experience and time to do it without enterprise-level platforms, content marketing can be expensive and time-consuming. But it doesn’t have to be! Use a content marketing service to outsource production to a roster of expert freelance contributors. You’ll be getting quality content from knowledgeable, experienced writers that’s yours forever.
Another thing to keep in mind – unlike direct response marketing channels, content marketing is more about long-term audience growth, among other valuable benefits. That means patience is key – initial ROI tends to be much lower for content (especially if investing in more expensive formats like video instead of text). You’ll start to see the benefits as your content strategy matures.
You can also maximize the value of your content by republishing your assets and repurposing them across other channels.
2 – More content is better.
Hold up. The “throw some $#!+ at the wall” method is outdated. As a wise surf instructor once said…
Rather than flood the internet with post after post – even if they’re relevant to your brand or products – focus on creating quality content that meets your audience’s content demands. It might mean paring down your content calendar.
3 – Written content is dead.
Hold up. Graphics, photo and video are sexy (and surely the way of the future), but written content is still the most important foundational element to any content strategy (and costs a lot less than graphic design and video). For comparison – SMS and chatbots are increasingly popular methods for brands to convert and retain customers, but email is still far and away the most critical conversion and retention channel.
If you are newer to content marketing, text formats are a great way to build a strong foundation for your content strategy. You’ll gather data and insights that will inform your future content marketing decisions (which may be to enhance your offering with more expensive but more engaging formats like photo/video and graphic design)
4 – Social content is more important than website content.
Slow your roll. While producing content for your social channels isn’t a bad idea, you should focus on content for your owned and operated (O&O) site, where you have more control. From there, you can create derivative content for social and third-party sites (as well as other marketing channels). Where possible, tease or release small digestible nuggets on those sites (specifically on social networks) that drive back to your site.
Content marketing is about being scrappy, creative and informed. Take advantage of resources, services and platforms that will help you develop insights and save time and money. Focus on developing quality content that addresses your audience’s actual interests. Start with foundational text content before jumping into the expensive stuff. Repurpose your content across social media and other channels.
Once your content campaigns pick up steam, monitor how your assets perform. Amplify successful pieces, but don’t give up on those that don’t live up to your expectations – you created that content for a reason! See if there’s a way to improve it to get the results it deserves.