We don’t know everything about content marketing – no one does. What we do know is, it works. It vastly increases your digital footprint in web searches on Google and Bing and also through an increased presence on social media channels. There are also plenty of content marketing myths out there as well.
Content Marketing is constantly evolving and as such, we will strive to perfect it indefinitely. But currently, some companies are promoting false ideas about the concept of content marketing and these thoughts are sometimes preventing others from trying it or enjoying success.
Here are 10 misconceptions; 10 content marketing myths that you may hear or see. It’s not a complete list, but its stuff we hear and read all too often.
10 Content Marketing Myths
Content Marketing is New
One of the most common content marketing myths is that is shiny and new. It’s a new “present” for business owners. Doing content marketing on digital platforms is reasonably new, but content marketing itself is not. Think about it. There have been content marketing platforms as long as we’ve been alive. From industry specific magazines to restaurant “five star” guides, content marketing has been around since cave drawings. The concept isn’t new, the vehicle is.
Content Marketing is Creating Content
You are producing content, so that’s content marketing, right?
Sorry to disappoint, but you are most likely wrong. There is much more to content marketing than producing content. A true content marketing strategy has to include concepts for content distribution, as well as SEO. You have to have a clear idea about which goals and which target group you want to reach, and a firm grasp on all the tools available to perform SEO on text, images and video so that Google and Bing can properly index it for search returns.
Content Curation Makes You a Leader
There is a lot of buzz lately on “content curation”. Content curation is sharing other (often competitors) information. Marketing companies will tell you content curation makes you “an expert” in your field. Now we get it when you don’t have an endless reservoir of industry specific content to share, but why would you endlessly promote someone else’s business? True content marketing includes your own engaging, pertinent content. If you are solely sharing someone else’s content you are at risk of only becoming a multiplier and promoter for other peoples’ content strategy.
Content Marketing Doesn’t Work Without SEO
Wrong. It just doesn’t work as well. Let’s say you own a small, independent neighborhood coffee shop. A mobile responsive web page, blog and some active content marketing on social media and you’re probably good to go (along with some very basic local SEO like Google and Bing maps, etc.). There are some businesses that don’t need ongoing SEO for search returns.
All Content is Good Content
Since we are active online and in social media, we sometimes get the impression that there is a heated competition to see who creates the most content instead of creating the best content. Bottom line: you can gain more with one outstanding, informative piece of content in the right channels and it will gain more attention, feedback and branding than hundreds of cheap content pieces no one really needs or wants to see or read, for two reasons.
First, Google and Bing “bots” are getting very good at “reading” your content for indexing (they are beginning to index social media as well). In short, Google can see bad content more often now than in the past. There is also the risk of creating too much irrelevant, bad content. It can easily backfire and label you as a spammer.
Content Marketing IS for Google
Last time I looked, Google doesn’t buy from anyone I know of. Yet many companies design content marketing pieces with SEO as the primary objective. Wrong.
While Google is a friend of good content and Google is a powerful tool to give your content the attention it deserves; producing content for search engine optimization is not content marketing and optimizing your content for search engines (i.e. keywords, H1, H2, meta data and descriptors etc.) does not necessarily give you success in content marketing. Focusing solely on SEO content strategies leaves out all the other great possibilities content marketing might hold for you.
Please keep in mind, the “content” in content marketing is created for an audience. This audience wants well composed, informative, pertinent pieces of content. Keyword stuffing and over optimization can kill the user experience. Google might still bring people to your content, but you will not successfully market with this content.
These folks have it backwards. Producing quality content that your audience likes and recommends produces backlinks and social signals that improves your search positions in return. Google loves quality content. Thoughtful, professional SEO helps immensely, but it’s not the only goal.
Content Marketing IS NOT for Google
If done right, content in content marketing will speak to Google. If your content attracts an audience, they will backlink to it. They will share on social platforms. They will recommend and share your content. Being able to place content on high quality outlets gives you the opportunity to produce high quality backlinks to your site.
Google (and Bing) love quality. The one thing Google is trying to accomplish with all the recent updates is to bring users useful content they are searching for. If your content creation is focused on bringing good content to your audience without any thoughts about keywords or “meta” anything, Google will eventually appreciate your efforts and help you get your content to your audience. Yes, Google best practices SEO vastly enhances your efforts and makes it easier for the indexing bots.
So, even while content marketing is not just SEO and you should not focus on satisfying Google, your SEO can profit from your content marketing efforts – or even more you should make sure that your content marketing and SEO go hand in hand.
“Your Industry is too (pick one) Boring, Traditional, Niche, B2B, etc. for Content Marketing”
Complaining your industry would not benefit from Content Marketing tells me two things about you:
- You don’t fully understand your customers’ needs/wants/pain points.
- You are boring.
The opportunity to create high-quality relevant content is there, regardless of what industry you serve. Period. Just because your business is railroad engineering (or insurance, or church pews, or gutter cleaning), doesn’t mean your topic has to be 100% on railroad engineering. A smart marketing company will find interesting peripheral topics, or research topics your potential customers are passionate about, and create valuable, engaging content around them.
Content Marketing is a Campaign
Joe Pulizzi, who in his recent article he published on the Content Marketing Institute said: “Content marketing is not a campaign — it’s an approach, a philosophy, and a business strategy.”
That sums thing up quite nicely. You can have great content. That alone is not content marketing and it certainly does not make your company successful in content marketing.
Content Marketing is much more than the content, it is the strategic combination of SEO, producing, publishing, and sharing content.
Joe sums it up this way. “Be wary of any agency pitching you a “campaign” over a “program.” There is one thing that’s certain with any campaign: It has an end date. Not so with content marketing.” So true.
Content Marketing is Social Media
For many business owners, when they hear “Content Marketing” they think “Social Media” but that’s only half the story. Content marketing also works with Google search returns. So SEO is very important.
There are plenty of good reasons to keep content interesting, informative, entertaining, engaging, witty, useful, well-written and well-presented, as well as pertinent to the initial search engine inquiry. There are dozens of more SEO reasons to have a strong taxonomy, descriptive and compelling headlines, tags, titles and other organizational attributes within your website or blog.
Consumers have shut off the traditional world of marketing. They own a DVR to skip television advertising, often ignore magazine and radio advertising, and now have become so adept at online “surfing” that they can take in online information without even noticing banners or buttons, using ad blocking software (computer) and apps (mobile) at historic levels effectively making most digital advertising irrelevant.
Smart businesses understand that traditional marketing is becoming less and less effective by the minute, and that there has to be a better way.
Everyone knows what a Google search is and why SEO is important to your business. Everyone knows what social media is and why that’s important. But what exactly is content marketing?
Content Marketing means creating and sharing valuable content on a regular basis through various social channels to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. The type of content you share is closely related to what you sell; in other words, you’re educating people so that they know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you. The ultimate goal is that content is then processed using up to 22 tools and techniques to be indexed by Google so that in a moment of need during a Google search, your business can benefit. (TABB)
Content Marketing has two primary vehicles.
On social media, that first sentence or two of your engaging content, as well as an (optimized) image, is the “money shot” that drives traffic from the social site your business is on, back to your website where a user can see and digest the content and can re-share from your site to their preferred social networks providing even more links and exposure to a new group of consumers or even a new social network you may have had no presence on until that very moment.
The other channel is Search Engine Return Pages (SERP). This is where content marketing shines. Google calls it Micro-Moments. It’s SEO Optimized Content Marketing. It’s where you can go from zero to hero. It’s giving life to your online presence by using Google best practices for SEO and Local SEO on every page and on every post, on every image and every file, for every keyword and every long-tail phrase. The ultimate goal is to increase your web presence across the search engines when businesses and consumers are looking for your product or services.
There are plenty of content marketing myths out there. If you are looking for a free, no bullshit consultation, give TABB a call. The one office rule here? We don’t tell you what you want to hear, we tell you what you need to know. 1-844-TRY-TABB.