Content marketing exploded with the advent of the digital age, and it shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, many companies both large and small owe a great deal of their success to an effective content marketing strategy.
From the outside, it looks so easy. Write a few blogs, draft some funny tweets, or shoot a few entertaining videos, and your profits go through the roof! That’s a popular perception, but content marketing is actually quite a bit more complicated than that.
Interestingly enough, those businesses that struggle tend to have 1 or more of these erroneous beliefs:
Incorrect Belief #1: “Social Media Isn’t That Important”
Maybe you believe your target demographic doesn’t use social media. Or perhaps your business is such a niche market that your customers can find you without a social media presence. There are two problems with this assumption.
First, even if your target demographic tends to shy away from social media, things change all the time with regard to technology. Getting started now, and building even a small audience, will ensure that you’re better positioned in the event that your target demographic grows or starts using social platforms more frequently.
Second, if your customers do search for you online, maintaining at least a basic social media presence helps your company to look more trustworthy and legitimate. We simply live in a world in which almost every business has some sort of footprint online. It almost looks strange when one doesn’t.
Incorrect Belief #2: “Search Engine Rankings Matter Most”
Businesses that operate under this assumption tend to make a critical mistake: They gear all of their website content toward keywords and search engine algorithms. Then, when algorithms change, it is possible that the content is no longer useful or relevant.
Instead, you should always seek to best represent your brand through content. Search engine algorithms have begun to value quality content over keyword stuffing anyway. But no matter what the algorithms do next, you will own quality content that accurately reflects your company. Focus on appealing to your target audience.
Incorrect Belief #3: “If It Worked for Someone Else, It Will Work for Me”
Think of some of your favorite brands, and you will probably recall some of their marketing strategies. We’ve all been impressed by a hilarious tweet or a personally moving commercial at some point.
But keep in mind that what you’re seeing is the end result of a long journey in market research. Some very clever marketing experts did their research and determined that approach was best for a particular market. It might not be the best approach for your target demographic, and could actually be all wrong.
The lesson to take from the experts is that researching and understanding your target audience is crucial. The messages you craft should be based on their preferences, not what worked for other companies in the past.
Incorrect Belief #4: “I Just Need to Focus on One Type of Content”
Focusing on informative, relevant blogs can be a good start. But some members of your target audience prefer to watch videos. Others are more persuaded by personal testimony, social media interaction, or direct emails. Diversifying your approach is the best way to reach all corners of your market, rather than saturating just one group of people with your message.
Incorrect Belief #5: “More is Always Better”
On the other hand, there is no need to spread yourself too thin. No, you don’t need to distribute content on absolutely every channel available on the internet. In most cases that would result in wasted energy and ineffective messaging.
Shoot for something in the middle. Identify two to four channels for distributing your content, focusing on those that are most likely to appeal to your target demographic. Then, alternate the types of content that you produce. Analyze the results, get to know your audience better, take note of what works, and then gear future content toward their needs.
As you can see, a lot of marketing work happens during the research and planning stages. The final result that we all witness only represents a fraction of the energy actually devoted to a marketing strategy. Luckily, you can still launch a successful content marketing strategy, even if you’ve fallen victim to one of the above faulty assumptions in the past.
Contact us to discuss your marketing needs, and we can help you analyze your target demographic. Then, together we will craft a strategy based on proven procedures, track your results, and help you hone your marketing plan to perfection.