5 Content Marketing Myths and How to Avoid Them
For many small business owners like yourself, content marketing is probably very low on your list of priorities. However, very recently, content marketing has become one of the most successful ways of attracting visitors to your website.
Why is this important, you ask? The reality is that in today’s abundance of information and options, most people will never buy from you on their first visit. In fact, you are killing it if you can average a 3-5% conversion rate for people who come to your site for the first time. Most actually see much closer to 0-1%. Often times, it may take as many as 7-10 visits before a potential customer becomes an actual customer. That is why content marketing is so important. It provides an avenue for potential customers to keep coming back to you.
Building your brand awareness and establishing your business as a reputable source for industry information is the key to converting more customers in the long run. Brand loyalty and reputation are why most people choose to buy from you in today’s competitive landscape, not because you have a low price or an ample supply. So, make sure you avoid the 5 following common content marketing myths and keep them coming back for more.
Content Marketing Myth #1 – Only develop content for your products or services
Most small business owners are so strapped for time that they consider their website to be more of a brochure, than a tool to increase brand allegiance. As a result, most list their benefits, share some core competencies, list their products and services and share some history about the owner and the company. This content marketing strategy will most likely have them scratching their head after a few months, asking “Where are all the customers?”
You are much smarter than that, right? As a competent small business owner, you should actually be writing content…A LOT of content. If you are not a writer, or don’t have the time to write consistently, have someone do it for you, such as Zerys. Access Thousands of Top Writers. Pay Only if You’re 100% Satisfied! Now, I am not suggesting that you do not create the foundation pages that help visitors understand what your company does and the products and services you provide. In addition to those basic pages, I suggest a company blog. Write about anything and everything that makes you and your business an expert in your industry. Write about news and industry changes. Share your opinion on everything. Help your customers get to know who you are and what you stand for. Help them to understand why your company will be there for them, not just as a place they can buy a product, but where they can continue to come for trustworthy and entertaining information.
Content Marketing Myth #2 – Anticipate a quick turnaround
It is a huge myth that content marketing will deliver website visitors overnight. This just simply is not the case. Unless you are dialed into a large content distribution network (not advised these days), the time it takes for your new content to be picked up and shared across the web can take a decent amount of time. Do not let this discourage you. Write as often as you can handle. If you cannot handle writing at least a few times a week, find someone who can do it for you. Just make sure that the content you are developing is of great quality, adds something new to the overall conversation about the topic you are writing about, is sharable and follows Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. On average, it may take several months before you start to see any traffic for the content you develop. But, if done correctly, your new content will deliver a constant flow of traffic from that point forward.
Content Marketing Myth #3 – Don’t market your content
Whenever you publish a new blog post or article or share a new video, you want to market that piece of content in every way you can. Most small business owners are convinced that “if you build it, they will come.” This is just not how to web works anymore. You have to scream from the hilltops to get anyone to notice you.
Online, the way you get the word out is by sharing your content within your social circles on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and anywhere else you connect with your customer base. You should actively go out and try to get some links back to your new content by approaching other bloggers and asking them to link back to your page, genuine commenting in forums where people are discussing your topic and provide a link (if allowed), submitting your RSS feed to various feed submission sites, linking to your new content from your old content on your own site. The list goes on and on. The point is that if you want people to read your blog or watch your video, you have to let them know it is there.
Content Marketing Myth #4 – You don’t need to track your effort
Perhaps the biggest myth that many small business owners believe when it comes to content marketing is that once your publish and promote, the work is done. This could not be further from what a good content marketer does. A good content marketer is going to monitor how that content performs, typically using some sort of analytics software. Google Analytics is the industry standard and is free to use. There are other Analytics solutions that can do more than Google Analytics, but for your purposes, Google’s is just fine.
Every day, you should be reviewing what is happening on your site in Analytics. You should look at the content that people are landing on, where they navigate to, what pages on your site that get low engagement, and what pages produce the highest conversion rates. Figure out what it is about these pages that people like or don’t like and make them better! Content marketing is a constant evolution. If you do not have the time to analyze your site and how people respond to it, then please hire someone to do it for you. It is too important to the success of your business online to ignore what your customers are telling you based on what they do on your site. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting new results is the definition of insanity!
Content Marketing Myth #5 – Treat content marketing as an equal marketing channel
For many small business owners who fail in the long run, the common denominator almost always seems to be putting all of your marketing efforts into one basket. You cannot expect to stay in business very long if all you do to market your company is put in ad in the local paper, or sell your products on only Ebay. Even though this is probably easier for you as a small business, the reality is that your business can be turned upside down overnight because you are at the mercy of whatever your one marketing channel delivers. If people no longer use Ebay, or stop reading the local paper, your business is down for the count.
The best approach to marketing is to diversify your tactics. But, please do not consider each tactic equal to the rest. Every method you choose to market is just a part of your overall strategy, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. This is no different when considering content marketing as part of your marketing mix. While great content will help bring in traffic for those who are seeking information on the topics you write about, it will not capture everyone. You need to advertise. You need to create and nurture an email list. You need to do everything within your power to be in as many places as you can, wherever your potential customers may be. This way, if one tactic fails, you still have several others that are driving up revenues.
By developing a wide range of content for your SEO Strategy, giving yourself enough time to be successful, effectively promoting your content, tracking your progress and diversifying your marketing strategy, you will find greater success and longevity for your business.