Also known as native advertising, content marketing is a combination of advertising and traditional news.
The result is information-based content that captures the attention of audiences, while creating a sense of loyalty and trust through useful information and thought leadership that ultimately translates into sales.
While the concept may seem simple, the shift from traditional advertising to this new form of marketing has led to many misunderstandings about what content marketing is, how it is created and what it is intended to achieve.
There are several key misunderstandings that are holding companies, especially new companies, back from content marketing efforts.
#1: It’s all about you
If traditional advertising were an object, it would be a megaphone, with amplified sound moving in one direction, towards the audience. The goal of traditional advertising is to put your product and the problem it solves for the consumer front and center, to force them to pay attention to what you are selling and why they should want it.
Don’t underestimate the media savvy of your audience. We have entered an era where almost everyone online is experiencing direct sales at a steady pace.
The success of content marketing is viewed from another angle, from the perspective of the end user. What kind of information is useful to them? What can your company offer in terms of data or experience that will benefit them most? This is where content marketing resembles traditional news content, where the goal is to inform.
#2: They’re just items (they’re not everything)
Paid placements and sponsored items will definitely have a place in a full-content marketing calendar, but they are just one piece of what can be a very large cake.
Graphics, video content, podcasts, newsletter content ads, influencing campaigns and data-based analysis of relevant themes and demographics all come under the name of content marketing.
When creating a content calendar, consider ways you can mix and match pieces of content for the best effect. Perhaps a thought leadership blog will also include illustrative computer graphics.
Perhaps a company representative will make a webcast presentation that includes images, graphics, and slides.
It may be a sponsored column that includes selected information and statistics from a company study. The options are unlimited.
Get your team together to brainstorm about the best ways to present your experience to your audience.
#3: Quality doesn’t matter
There are a number of content writing farms that have emerged in recent years to meet the growing demand for content creation, and the quality of writing varies greatly.
It may seem like a large amount of money to spend on a writer to create content, but if the content is of low quality, this defeats the clear purpose of it.
To be effective, content must be informative, well written and well presented. If you can’t afford to hire a professional writer to produce good text, then consider finding someone on your team with the talent and drive to build this part of your portfolio.
Depending on the amount of content you want to generate, in-house writers can be more or less expensive than disseminating the work to freelancers or content creation companies. Keep in mind that most freelancers and content creation companies are willing to offer discounts for volume orders or regular work.
#4: Marketing is expensive
While it is definitely possible to spend incredible amounts of money on content marketing, it is also possible to do so on a budget. Not all companies need to place content in top tier publications or work with nationally recognized influencers.
Look for influencers who have small but highly engaged audiences. Reduce costs by searching internally for competent writers.
Consider including content creation and writing in a new employee’s job description. By seeking out the right opportunities, a content marketing plan can be affordable and effective.
This type of marketing can be an effective way for new businesses to reach their audience and engage with their potential customers.
By keeping the realities of content marketing at the forefront when creating a content calendar, companies can take advantage of this trend to impute.