A difficult area, these days; content is almost a Holy Grail when it comes to internet advertising, promotion, and the way in which people now interact with the world wide web.
There are lots of misconceptions and dogmas around as to how it works and why it doesn’t. We are going to take a quick look at eight of these to discuss and to show you why you need to look at the bigger picture to make sure that the time, and the money, that you spend on your content gets you the best returns. After all - that is the whole idea - isn’t it?
It is worth remembering what content marketing is before we look into the pros and cons, though. Traditional means of advertising have been in trouble now for a long time; television, newspaper and magazine ads, for example, have been getting progressively more expensive, whilst, at the same time, becoming less and less “read” or looked at, and therefore, less and less effective.
Content marketing has come to the fore to broach this gap by providing a more subtle, (if used right) and more effective way of promoting a product or service. This is powerful because it turns the whole concept of advertising on it’s head. Instead of spoon-feeding everybody with a brand advert or campaign - which reaches lots of people who have no interest in the product whatsoever, content marketing is only read by people searching and looking for products and services which are related to that particular item.
In order to promote your content, you need to have a range of internet marketing tools at your disposal. This gives you the greatest spread of opportunity for as many people as possible to stumble across your wares.
This is where the first myth can be dealt with;
Myth 1 “Content marketing is not expensive” That is not quite right. Compared with television, radio, newspaper and magazine advertising, it is certainly good value - but it still has a cost. In order to be successful at it you have to consistently put new content out there and keep up with the trends, fashions and Google’s ever changing SEO, (Search Engine Optimisation) rules and guidelines.
Doing this yourself demands a disciplined and organised approach, and as your enterprise grows, it is inevitable that you will not have time to do this, and as a result, will need to farm it out. This will cost you - good content will cost a lot - nobody wants to read rubbish.
Myth 2 is that “My customers won’t read this stuff” This is quite a common misconception and one which you need to consider when trying to promote your content.
Surveys have shown that people would rather find out about a product or service via an “independent” advertorial or article than by “wham, bam, thank you ma’am” type advertisements which simply sell.
Today’s consumers are a lot more savvy - they want the “cons” of a product - not just the “pros”. They may not take the “cons” into consideration - they just want to know about them.
Myth 3 is “Content Marketing won’t work in my industry” As with Myth 2 this is another misconception. Any industry, service or product can be promoted through content marketing. As with any form of advertising you simply have to find the “play” or “angle” by which to introduce or discuss your enterprise.
The story of Deluxe, who are a printing company who are best known for checkbooks gives a fantastic idea of what can be done in even the most staid and conservative of businesses.
Myth 4 is that it is “too hard to do” Well - really - what isn’t? As with all things, at first, there is a lot to learn and relearn. But, the content itself is the easy part. You know the message that you want to put across - and you know what customers you want or need to appeal to - putting those two together isn’t too hard.
The hard bit is targeting and finding the right following … again this too is a myth …
Myth 5, in fact, “I can’t possibly find an audience” This is probably the biggest myth of all; with content marketing - the audience find you!
If you lay the traps, use the right words and phrases - they will find you.
Myth 6 is that “other methods are a better use of our spend” No - dollar for dollar, content marketing is the most effective and cost positive way of getting your message out to a massive amount of potential customers.
Myth 7 is related to Myth 6 - “We can’t prove that we get a decent return on our investment” Take blogs; hundreds of millions of people read blogs every month - this number is increasing - blogs are perfect. They are not too long, they are focused, and they are “there” in front of you - as mobile, tablet or desktop reading 24/7.
Myth 8 is simply that “Nobody would be interested” The answer, of course is to make it interesting! Get experienced papers writers to make it relevant and make it informative - and people will read it, comment and give you invaluable feedback whilst doing so.
As for the reasons that your content is not shareable - it is probably because nobody wants to share it!
Make it great - and they will ...