You’ve probably heard that small businesses should try content marketing, but there are some misconceptions about the practice of content marketing. And I think we need to dispel those myths. Let’s get right to it!
Here are your five content marketing myths, debunked.
1. Content marketing doesn’t work as well as other forms of marketing.
Even as a content marketer, I hear people say that content marketing doesn’t work or that no one reads anymore. Many businesses put more emphasis on other forms of digital marketing, or even traditional marketing, because they believe content marketing doesn’t work.
Well, that just isn’t true. In fact, content marketing costs 62 percent less than outbound marketing, and it can generate three times as many leads!
Content marketing is also great for local SEO (and organic SEO); if you’re writing about industry-specific or location-specific topics, you are sending search engines plenty of fresh content that helps them understand what you do and which searches your business is relevant for.
2. Content marketing could never work for your industry.
Lots of small business owners think their industry is too boring for content marketing (or that they couldn’t possibly think of enough relevant, valuable topics their customers would actually want to read).
Even if you think your industry is boring, there is plenty you can write about. Here are just a few ideas for interesting content your audience will love, no matter your industry:
- Step-by-step how-to blog posts
- Blog posts or videos that answer common questions about your business or industry
- Holiday updates (Do you have holiday specials or different business hours?)
- Local news
- Video tutorials
- Social media contests
There’s so much you can do with content marketing. Just remember: whatever you do, your goal should be to provide valuable content that can also help with sales and customer retention. And don’t forget to have fun with it!
3. Content marketing is just blog posts.
Writing isn’t for everyone, but even if you don’t enjoy writing blog posts, content marketing can take other forms too! These are all considered forms of content marketing:
- Blog posts
So, if you’re not into writing, you can create videos instead. Or, you can use a service like Canva to help you create infographics.
4. Once you publish a post, you’re done.
If only. Even if you create the best blog post or video ever made, you can’t just leave it on your blog or YouTube channel and wait for the views and comments to roll in. Content marketing doesn’t end when you hit publish. You need to spread the word about your content:
- Share it across your social media profiles
- Send an email to everyone on your mailing lists
- Ask followers to share your post with their friends
- Consider using a small amount of your marketing budget to create a social media ad for your post
Content marketing doesn’t end after you share your content, either.
After publishing, you should also measure the success of your content marketing efforts. For blog posts, use Google Analytics (or if you use a platform like WordPress, use its analytics) to track traffic to the post as well as time spent reading. You can also use analytics to learn which types of posts do best.
Do list posts or how-to articles perform better? Use this information to drive your content strategy and continue to create posts that are more important for your readers.
YouTube also has analytics that help you track how your videos are doing as well as view time, so you can figure out which types of videos are most popular and how long your average viewer’s attention span lasts.
5. The myth of going viral.
So many businesses think they need to go viral. So they spend their time trying to create that magical piece of content that inspires and awes the world into furiously sharing their business into internet fame.
A few weeks ago, I mentioned this to a client of ours who has only been in business for a few months. “Everyone wants to know how to go viral, but that really shouldn’t be your goal.” However, his response to me was, “But how do you go viral?”
While it isn’t technically a myth (since it is possible) going viral shouldn’t be your goal. The problem with going viral is that you’ll be hugely popular for a short time. Then, you’ll see a quick drop in views or traffic and probably end up right where you were before you went viral.
To avoid this, you should be working on building a sound content marketing and social media strategy rather than spending your time trying to create something that will go viral.
Instead, create a blog, video and/or social media posting schedule and stick to it. Build relationships with your followers. Create social media ads to help your content reach new followers and drive conversions/website traffic.
Isabella is a Content Writer at RevLocal, where she writes digital marketing content for local businesses that want to be found by consumers online. Isabella’s passions are localized social media marketing and content marketing.