Five myths about content marketing

The problem with hot topics is they exhale a lot hot air. Here are five myths about content-marketing.

It’s easy. From strategy to commissioning, creation and publishing, content-marketing requires more skills than many vanilla jobs in marketing or journalism. Take journalists: for those that venture into content-marketing, they will need to sharpen some skills: it often requires seeing a subject matter with the eyes of a practitioner, combined with a certain amount of client handling and the sometimes tricky process of re-writing. On the other hand, marketing executives will probably need to engage in a little double think: to bear responsibility for the content but also trust in the editorial nous of those they commission.

Publish and they will come. Search engines are getting better at identifying those sites that feature quality content and are updated regularly. But does this mean that you can abandon keywords and simply publish and then rely on the search engines to list you? Probably not. For a start, keywords do a lot more than simply tell a search engine what is on your site; they can be used to work out what your competitors are doing and what audiences are searching for. The potency of key phrases may be questioned, but it would be foolish to abandon them altogether.

ROI is not measurable. Return on investment (ROI) is an age-old problem for marketing and advertising. But gone are the days when a company would pay for an advert in print and hope that it would be worth it; in the digital world, companies can measure effectiveness against a set of metrics. For fairly obvious reasons, your interpretation of return on investment will depend on your business objectives. But importantly, the information provided by take up of digital content can be measured. For instance, ROI can be broken down into: awareness, consideration and close of sale.

Content is another word for sales. The core of content-marketing is engagement with your audience, and getting it to trust you as an information provider is key. But that information shouldn’t simply be sales material. Although the price of your product and the benefits it brings to the consumer are important, categorically it’s sales information – what the consumer has to rationally consider when deciding to purchase. Content-marketing is something quite different.

It’s a generation-Y thing. Those people born after 1978 probably understand social media better than their older siblings, but that doesn’t mean that digital content is solely for the technically engaged. If content-marketing is essentially behavioural – marketers essentially endear themselves to their clients through providing something free – it is therefore universal. Of course, that’s not to suggest that Generation Y isn’t an important demographic.

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