The field of content marketing has seen exceptional growth over the past few years, and it shows no signs of slowing up – in fact it’s moving at an almighty pace.

While there’s no doubt that the focus on this channel should be applauded, there is a sense among the marketing world that some brands are jumping on the content-marketing bandwagon without having any sort of creative idea, a point of difference or a genuine reason to talk to consumers. In fact… they don’t even have a plan at all. “Content” is created in a whirl of panic and confusion, ending up with something that simply looks like branded clutter.

With this in mind, we’re going to look at the top 5 myths when it comes to content marketing.

 

1) Content marketing is simple

Content marketing is easy, it’s just a few blogs and some videos churned out every month, right? WRONG. Content marketing is a targeted series of digital, mobile and print communications that are highly effective in engaging an audience, creating loyalty, building customer retention and, ultimately generating bigger sales. Ka-ching.

 

2) Strategy, why do I need a strategy?

Without a content strategy, your content will be wasted.

A content strategy ensures that the content you create tells a consistent and compelling story. When crafting this story, you simply can’t connect the dots if content exists in silos.

Content should be planned at least six months in advance, taking into account major events and campaigns to ensure all available platforms are integrated so that your customers enjoy a seamless journey. But don’t underestimate the power of reactive content – you’ve got to have your finger on the pulse and be flexible to adapt when a phenomenon like the black and blue dress hits the world.

 

3) A tick in the box

Content is often a last minute addition to an already ‘in progress’ marketing campaign. “ Yes yes I’m adding on some content marketing to this campaign” – TICK.

Anybody can tick a box and say they are doing content marketing, but without edit­orial skills and a deep understanding of the brand and customers, you are just adding to the content sludge. Your content needs to be engaging, inspirational, helpful, spark excitement and most of all be relevant and regular.

And don’t forget that Google takes into account quality of copy when they rank sites, meaning that a series of badly written pages can cause your website to drop down the rankings like a virtual brick.

 

4) Content is purely for SEO purposes

Yes, search is of course very important, but it’s not the main reason we create content. A massive mistake is to create your content for robots, stuff your keywords in everywhere and cross your SEO i’s and dot your t’s without thinking about your human audience! Remember people first.

 

5) Once it’s created, they will come

WRONG. Your audience has no time and will not spend hours digging around the internet to find your hidden content, even if you think it’s great.

Just like authors who write a book, you’ll probably need to spend as much, if not more, time promoting the content than the actual writing of it. Share on social media channels, share in blogs, optimise it for search, try social advertising, reach out to bloggers, put it on your email signature – just make sure that your audience know about it.

 

The bottom line

Make a plan, think about your customers first, get passionate about it, promote it and have some fun. Oh and don’t forget to measure, measure, measure and then readjust your strategy based upon your results.