Many brands still struggle to successfully utilize content marketing. Whether it’s content that fails to connect with readers, or failing to track and measure content effectiveness, one thing is clear: content marketing at an elevated level isn’t easy.
If readers don’t find what they’re looking for on your brand’s website, they’ll quickly move on to find a brand that does. To become valued as a helpful and authoritative source, you must start with a content development strategy that helps boost conversion rates, sales, and your bottom line.
Content Development Misconceptions
Quality content that converts is well-thought out, provides valuable information, and builds brand awareness and loyalty. So, why do so many marketers struggle with creating content that transforms leads to sales? The answer may lie in basing their content development on mistaken beliefs.
If your content development relies on one or more of these 10 common misconceptions, it may explain why you’re not seeing the results you want.
1. Back to the future
As HubSpot points out, content marketing is not a new concept. If you treat it as if it is, you might assume there’s a “secret sauce” you’re not privy to. Don’t miss out on how much you can learn from past examples – they date back to the cave paintings!
2. It’s all in the writing
Creating content is not the same as having a content development strategy. A development plan also includes planning an editorial calendar and addresses goals, targeted audiences, and content distribution.
3. It must be short and sweet
Not all content needs to be easily digestible bites of information designed for mobile. While such content is great for sharing, there are times content needs to be in-depth. Long-form content is what you use to tell a brand’s story and develop audience relationships.
4. All content marketing is digital
If content dates to prehistoric times, it’s obviously been non-digital for far longer than digital. Printed articles, newsletters, magazines, and guides were all heavily used for marketing purposes – and they all did it with content. Many brands still use offline content marketing to complement their digital campaigns.
5. An editorial calendar is just for content
A big part of creating an editorial calendar is scheduling social media distribution. When is tweeting and posting not content? When it’s used to link to your actual content.
6. All content must be written to Google’s algorithms
There's no denying that Google is the #1 search engine, but it’s not the only one. Others such as Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo should also be considered when developing a content strategy. To avoid missed opportunities, it pays to be familiar with the ranking factors of all the major search engines.
7. The right keywords are all you need
Keywords are still an important slice of content marketing, but they’re not the whole pie. Other factors like responsive design and social media marketing also contribute to a brand’s marketing success.
8. Creating content that goes viral is crucial
Going viral can be a wonderful thing, but it shouldn’t be a goal when designing a content development plan. Viral content is often wildly popular for a short time and then it, and the brand behind it, are forgotten as the new kid on the block appears. Instead, strive to develop and create content that encourages an audience to come back again and again.
9. Campaigns define content marketing
Content marketing is, first and foremost, an approach. One campaign does not make (or break) a content development strategy, nor does it necessarily make a brand successful in content marketing. The goal should be to develop a plan that combines creating, publishing, sharing, and interacting with content.
10. Content must be the same across all channels
Remember the old saying, “variety is the spice of life?” It still holds true for content marketing. Publishing cloned content across multiple social media platforms isn’t always the best idea because you risk alienating readers who are more interested in variety. Creating separate pieces of content written for specific platforms will most likely result in better engagement and traffic.
The Bottom Line
Providing value for your readers should play a vital role in your content development strategy, as giving them the information they need is what keeps them coming back. When your content isn’t delivering the results you want, make sure you’re not operating under any of these common myths. If you are, focus on how you can redesign your content development plan to better align with reality. To learn more, check out our white paper, "What is a Digital Content Strategy? And Why You Need One!"