While a report or blog post IS content, it’s only a slice of the pie. Your motivation for producing a juicy piece of content, your audience, and how that specific piece fits into your overall content strategy plan – THAT is content marketing at its finest. So, don’t think one small bit of written material counts as content marketing because it’s not. Content marketing done right communicates and engages your audience and solidifies your brand. It takes planning to create a powerful engine of ongoing content across the web.
Solution: If you don’t currently have a content marketing plan, build a calendar for content distribution. It will keep you organized and focused. If you’re new to content marketing, create a monthly theme and stick to it. You’ll build your brand by connecting emotionally and mentally with your audience.
Uh, NO! That’s not how it works. You can’t just expect your brilliant tidbit of information to go viral just because you slap it on your social media sites. And, anyway, that shouldn’t be your motivation for posting. Well-written, distinctive content feeds your audience like a 5-star steak dinner. Sorry, if you’re a vegetarian let’s use a 5-star quinoa salad.
Solution: Create a checklist of your distribution channels. Visibility doesn’t happen automatically – you have to feed the monster to get it to keep on “monstering” (that’s my made-up word). Don’t just post one update, make a list of 5-10 variations of the same post. It’s call re-purposing. Use paid promotion to magnify your best-performing post.
Myth 3: Cookie-cutter content is good enough.
Just like the stars in the sky, your audience is vast and varied. They’re scattered across the globe and their intellects and emotional intelligence levels are just as varied as their interests.
Solution: Cater to your vast audience by addressing a wide variety of challenges they might be facing, the desires they may have, and what would motivate them to further check into your product/service. It’s essential to keep abreast of industry trends and timely topics. How will you know what your clients want, like, and dislike? Ask them! They will not skip a beat in telling you their thoughts.
Myth 4: The constant care and feeding of the content monster will keep him alive and well.
A lot of business owners think that if they just put out fresh content in a steady stream that Google will be happy and all will be well in the world. I say not so much. If you’re maintaining your content calendar, you’ll cycle in and out of content without overwhelming yourself and your team. While I’m not a fan of article-spinners because a lot of them just spit out garbage, you don’t have to re-create the wheel every time either.
Solution: The adage “quality over quantity” is true here. Use your strongest content and give it a makeover to make it fresh and pretty. You can re-purpose the same article topic many different ways without beating it to death. Eg: Take that tattered blog post from last year (make sure it’s still relevant) and create a webinar from the information, OR, write a booklet, expounding on each of your points, OR, create a PowerPoint to post on your website and social media sites, OR create a YouTube video from the blog content, OR, really beef it up and create an audio program to sell. See what I mean? There are multiple ways to re-purpose one item. Perform regular analytic checks to see which content is performing the best. Allow your content to be your workhorse.
Myth 5: You have to do it all by yourself!
Michael Gerber, in his classic book, The E-Myth Re-visited, shouts the praises of outsourcing and systemizing your business. I admit that I haven’t done much outsourcing except for my business finances (I cringe every time I look at the Quicken icon on my taskbar). The big, bad, bold point here is you DON’T have to do it all by yourself! That is a huge myth and it deserves to be knocked down.
Solution: OUTSOURCE. OUTSOURCE. OUTSOURCE. It may take a little time to find a qualified, competent professional to write in the style you want but they’re out there. Sites like Guru.com, Upwork.com, and Freelancer.com, are a playground to connect you with freelancers who really want your business. If you find one that you feel has potential, give them a small project to start. If they get it done on time and it has quality written all over it, then you can move ahead and give them bigger projects. For writing, I would stick to U.S. based freelancers. For other projects you need assistance with, you can use virtualvalley.io which is based in the Philippines.
The final word is: Content marketing is not a monster after all. It’s simply cultivating trust and communication between you and your audience. It’s about building and nurturing relationships. It’s not a free proposition; it costs time and money, but the results far outweigh the costs. You can pull the content monster’s teeth by creating your calendar, developing a strong strategy, and by using carefully crafted campaigns that resonate with your audience. It doesn’t happen overnight…it’s a journey; but in the end you will have forged a robust connection between you and your readers, and that’s what content marketing is all about.