By Lee Odden, CEO, TopRank Online Marketing
Content marketing got really hot this year. With 9 out of 10 B2B marketers adding content tactics to their marketing mix (according to a MarketingProfs/CMI 2013 study), it’s hard to deny the impact of all the attention.
Like any other business marketing topic trending in popularity, however, companies seek good advice: what to do, what not to do and best practices. To help companies distill the signal from the noise, I want to discuss three common myths surrounding content marketing, along with takeaways on how to avoid them.
MYTH #1: Content marketing means more content. A misperception for many marketers new to the field of content marketing is that simply adding more content leads to improved business outcomes. When Google launched its Panda Update to filter out poor quality and thin content from search results, many members of the SEO community fell into this trap. They clamored to produce more content for the search engine rather than focusing on delivering quality information for the people intended to read it.
Takeaway: Quality — not quantity — rules the day when it comes to high value, high impact content marketing. But there’s also nothing like a “quantity of quality” to win the week, month and year.
MYTH #2: Quality content is not sustainable. Fear of not being able to maintain high levels of content production is a reasonable concern. This isn’t a problem, however, for companies that are connected to the sources that matter most: their customers.
Companies that fear running out of interesting things to say have bigger issues to solve than writing their next blog post. In fact, 16% of the daily queries on Google have never been seen before, so there is plenty of opportunity to diversify into key topics that show empathy for your customers.
Takeaway: Connect with your frontline customer service and sales staff to uncover important questions that, when answered, lead to improved consideration, retention and advocacy within your market. Tapping into the themes and topics of importance to your customer community means you will never run out of meaningful ideas for your content creation efforts.
MYTH #3: A content object has only one life. Many companies approach content marketing by publishing stand-alone content objects and then promoting them through distribution channels like email, RSS, PR, advertising and social media. These one-off efforts are tantamount to throwing away money – or leaving it on the table for your competitors to grab.
Takeaway: A content plan should look to repurpose evergreen and co-created content. Break big topics down into a series of smaller concepts to attract attention and inspire anticipation for the next installment. Think in terms of a series of blog posts, infographics, webinars, whitepapers, press releases, videos or case studies. Then repurpose those content objects into multiple formats to give your audience information in a way that satisfies their information consumption preferences.
Content marketing only works when it’s useful to the people who consume, share and act on it. When your marketing organization cuts through these misperceptions, you’ll clear the way to achieve a huge variety of benefits: greater customer awareness, heightened interest and consideration, a greater likelihood to purchase, and long-term retention and advocacy.
Lee Odden is the CEO of TopRank Online Marketing, Author of Optimize and Chief Blogger at MarketingBlog.com.He will also be a featured speaker at the 2013 Content2Conversion conference, April 22-23 in New York City.