Now, after reading this title, don’t get me wrong. I am not about to renounce my faith in content marketing. I am still a believer and an ardent content advocate to the core. Which is just as well considering the field I work in. However, as an Entrepreneur article which recently caught my eye on expressed to perfection: doing the smart thing for the wrong reasons is just dumb.
Content marketing is nothing new, though it has evolved over the past few years from a ‘want’ to a ‘must have’ for many businesses. It turned the concept of traditional marketing on its head, changing the focus from pitching a product or service to the infinitely more interesting angle of educating or adding value to prospective customers’ lives with content that aims to build long-term relationships. But there are still many who may only just be considering a conversion to the church of content. Well, better late than never, I say! But only for those who have given themselves a thorough reality check on the reasons they are keen to give content marketing a go. Take note of the top three terrible reasons to try content marketing…
1. Everyone else is doing it
There are lots of things that everyone else is doing right now that I wouldn’t want to do, like listening to Little Mix or wearing embellished bomber jackets. Not that there’s anything wrong with those who do, but they simply aren’t the right options for me. And that’s the frame of mind you need to have about content marketing and your business. Following the crowd just because something is on trend simply isn’t enough of a justification for branching into content. You need a purpose, a plan and your own unique voice to make it work. Otherwise you’re at risk of wasting time and money churning out meaningless content that’s no good to anybody.
2. I need instant results
They say that good things come to those who wait, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the world of content marketing. It can take months, even years, of effort before you start to see a real return on investment. The concept of content marketing is to give something of value to your customers – you need to give, to get. Don’t go to the effort of setting up a company blog only to abandon it within the first few months, writing off content marketing as a failed experiment. It takes time and dedication, but do it right and eventually you’ll come out two guns blazing.
3. I want more direct sales
Of course, the long-term aim for many content marketers is to boost a company’s bottom line, but the expectation that a piece of finely honed content should result in direct sales is a notion that more companies than you might think subscribe to. However, it simply isn’t reality. A well thought out content plan will deliver content to different stages in the buyer’s journey, boosting your brand with knowledgeable and informative material that builds trust with your audience. If you’re looking for every piece of content to hit customers with the hard sale, then you might need to read up a bit more on content marketing and ask yourself why you’re taking such a backwards approach. Just saying.
Content marketing gets results. As the aforementioned Entrepreneur article points out, it costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates more than three times as many leads. But in order for it to take you to the right places, you need to make sure you get on board for the right reasons and steer the ship in the right way. Interested but unsure how to proceed? Contact the experts at M2 Bespoke and we’ll be happy to help you on your way.Ben Hollom
January 20, 2017