Content marketing allows a business to connect with existing and potential customers by providing value through original or curated content.
With the rising interest in content marketing over the last few years, so-called experts have issued conflicting advice on what works and what doesn’t.
Here are seven of the most common myths and the truth behind them.
1. You can’t have both quality and quantity
There is always a debate whether quality or quantity is more important when it comes to the content your company is creating. Rather than settling for one or the other, consider devoting more resources to creating meaningful content that is scalable to provide the quantity your industry demands.
2. Social media is the sole indicator of success
Social media as a marketing channel is extremely beneficial to extend the reach of your content and gain valuable feedback as to what content works for your audience.
However, social media is not the only indicator of success: an increase in first-time visitors to your site and improved search engine rankings are two other strong indicators beyond an increase in social likes and follows.
3. Create content related to any current event
It’s true that creating content related to current events can yield results, but not every trend or event is related to your business. Finding the right context is one of the most important factors in determining the success of content with your audience.
Determine if a widely publicized event — like the Oscars or the Super Bowl, for example — is related to the interests of your business before you develop content or comment on the topic. Only then it is appropriate for your company to participate in the ongoing conversation.
4. Long-form content is dead
Long-form content is live and well, yet it is often confused as irrelevant because of the growth of micro content.
Long-form content can resonate just as effectively, if not more effectively, than short-form content when placed in the right context — for example, on a company blog, white paper, eBook or article. The most important aspect of utilizing long-form content is that it is distributed or hosted on channels where it is expected by that platform’s audience.
5. Creating blog content is essential
Blogs are an important component to your content marketing strategy since they are a regular channel for communication with your audience. However, incorporating other types of content into your strategy can be equally as important.
Visuals, infographics, white papers, eBooks, user-generated content, videos, presentations, GIFs, cartoons, memes, original data and podcasts are alternative types of content to traditional blog posts that your business can use to reach the right audience.
6. All your content should be serious and remarkable
Not all your content has to have a serious tone, because depending on your business and industry, your audience may not want to see only one type or tone of material. Incorporating humorous or quirky content adds depth and variety to your consumer-facing messaging.
It is also not the case that every piece of content has to be highly remarkable. All the materials your business develops should simply be a part of a larger message that tells your story and discusses the topics that are important to your organization.
7. Lead generation and sales are the sole purpose of content marketing
Content marketing can eventually increase sales and leads for your business, but most importantly it should be focused around building familiarity, likability, and trust with existing customers, potential customers and the people that interact with your customers.
Thinking of your content efforts as solely focused on driving profits won’t help produce the best messaging for your audience. Keep your focus on what information is valuable to your customer by providing the right amount of quality content in the right context.
What content marketing myths has your business disproved through trial and error? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.