At some point in your marketing career, you have probably been given a bad piece of advice, but you didn’t realize that until long after the fact. That bad piece of advice is kind of like these content marketing myths; they have been passed on from person to person as the truth, but are actually far from it. But we are here to stop these myths right in their tracks, because we don’t want you, or any other person, making these content marketing mistakes ever again.
Myth #1: If I Just Keep Creating Content It Will Eventually Lead To More Customers
You’ve probably heard the saying, more isn’t always better. When it comes to creating content, this statement holds true. It probably isn’t hurting your business to continue creating blog post after blog post, but it is wasting a lot of time, and we all know how valuable time is. The content you are producing and putting out should be valuable to your audience, enough so that they want to read it, share it, and come back in the future for more.
A better use of your time might be spent evaluating the pieces of content you already have and seeing how you can improve upon them. For example, if you have an eBook that got 1,000 downloads in its first month of being on your website, but has since dropped off and now only gets one or two downloads a month, you should reevaluate it. Consider how you might take that smaller eBook and expand upon it to make it an even larger and more insightful eBook for your readers.
Remember quality and quantity should go hand-in-hand. Produce high-quality content, and produce it often, but don’t post content just to post, especially if it is not performing in the first place.
Myth #2: Once I Publish My Blog I’m Done With It
Clicking publish on a blog post you’ve put a lot of time and effort into is a rewarding feeling. Trust us, we get giddy just thinking about pushing the publish button. The problem a lot of marketers face is that after a piece of content is published, they forget about it and call it good.
In a perfect world, all website traffic to your piece of content would come from organic and direct efforts. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case and a majority of your traffic is going to come from referrals, social media, paid search, and email. This means that you are going to need a plan for distributing your content after it has been created.
When we distribute content at Leighton Interactive, we try to get it in as many places as possible, as many times as we can. We might tweet a link to a blog 15 times in one month and also publish that blog on Facebook, include it in our email signatures, and run an ad for it. This might sound like overkill for just one piece of content, but if we didn’t do this a lot of our blogs would barely see the light of day.
If you start a distribution plan and aren’t seeing results right away, don’t get discouraged. Even with the best of intentions, not every piece of content you create is going to take off and become a viral sensation. It happens to the best of us. Even we create what we believe to be killer content and then it only ever gets a couple of views here and there. It’s disappointing yes, but it’s the life of a marketer.
If you have a piece of content that is already published and you’re wondering what you can do beyond distribution to increase views, we do have a tip. Every few months we like to take a look at our content that performed well in the past but has stopped gaining as much attention in recent times. Then we will re-optimize that blog or eBook by freshening up the content, CTAs, images, and title. It’s like getting a whole new blog with only half the effort, and it will hopefully be found by a lot more people this time around.
Myth #3: Content Marketing Is Giving Away Free Information, And That Will Hurt My Business
Many people believe that by giving away free content you are hurting your business because people won’t pay you for your services anymore. We are hoping you don’t believe this myth, but we are addressing it because we know that some people still do. Let’s start off with some facts:
Companies with blogs produce 67 percent more leads per month than companies who don’t have a blog. In fact, blogs account for 434 percent more of indexed pages on Google.
So as you can see, intrusive marketing is not working anymore and people are tuning out if they believe a business is too pushy or sales-y. However, by providing blog posts that are informational, relevant, and answer hot topic questions about your industry, you’ll be seen as less intrusive to your followers.
People want solutions to their problems, but they like to come by these solutions naturally and usually on their own. They don’t want to be sold a product just because a company says it will work. These people want to first trust that company and get to know them through the content they provide. Then, and only then, will they see your business as helpful and trustworthy versus pushy and only out to make a quick buck.
Myth #4: Every Piece of Content Needs To Be 5,000 Words
Look we get it. You’re confused. Should your blog be 500 words or 5,000? You’ve probably heard both sides of this argument. One person tells you to write short, digestible pieces of information because no one likes to read 10-minute blog posts. And your other friend tells you to write a blog post as long as a short book because people like finding credible information all in one place and you’ll rank higher in SEO. So which one is it?
The truth is there is no magic number for the correct length of a blog post. But there is a way to write a great blog post that will rank high in SEO and still be valuable to your readers. While you are writing your blog, keep your goal in mind. What question are you trying to answer and what solution are you providing? It’s great if you have a 10-page blog post stuffed full of resources and information, but a lot of times this isn’t what happens. I’ve read numerous blog posts that are basically half “filler” information and half of it is valuable content. In those cases, I wish the author would have cut out the filler information and just provided me with the value. I would have taken less of my day to read the post and still valued them as thought leaders.
While we can’t provide you with the ideal length, we did check out some other reputable companies that think they have found the perfect blog post length. Take these numbers as more of a guideline vs a hard and fast rule.
HubSpot says the length of a blog post should be 2,100 words.
Buffer provides a nice infographic with all sorts of good info. They are saying a blog post should be 1600 words.
For a frame of reference, this blog post is 1,455 words long.
Myth #5: Only Certain Industries Need Content Marketing
Content marketing is for every single industry, period. Whether you work in automotive, food, manufacturing, or technology there is a spot for you in the world of content creation. How can we say this with such certainty? Because there isn’t an industry out there where there aren’t people with questions. Plain and simple. People who have questions are going to want answers and if you can provide those answers in the form of a downloadable PDF, online eBook, blog post, or video series, people will find you. Of course, as long as you distribute your content in the right way.
After reading through this blog we hope you are coming away from it with a better understanding of content marketing. Don’t let a myth stand in the way of your business succeeding online. If you need help with a content plan, reach out to us. We would love to start your business off on the right foot!
My fire is fueled by the relationships I make, build, and cherish. I love hearing people’s stories, what makes them who they are, and where I fit into their lives. As the Creative Content Lead at Leighton Interactive, I'm a storyteller. I’m lucky that I can use my natural ability to help people find their voices, tell their stories, and reach their goals so their businesses can get results. Outside the office I get excited to find sunshine, consume iced coffee, work out, or add unique pieces of jewelry to my ever-growing collection. I also tell stories on behalf of my local AAF chapter, and serve as the Board's Past President.