You’ve heard the buzz phrase a thousand times before: content marketing. The term seems to be everywhere you click these days, with top-notch marketers emphasizing its importance time and time again.
You probably write a blog post here and there and update your Facebook page when you find a spare minute, maybe you even ask your customers for reviews on Google. But are you sure you are implementing the consistency and techniques it takes to succeed?
If generating leads from online marketing was that easy, we’d all be content marketing rockstars. In the real world, content marketing is both science and art. Sound complicated? It can be if you don’t know the underlying reason for why you’re marketing content in the first place.
Successful content marketing techniques are carefully crafted, thoroughly tested, and reach target demographics at a deeper level.
Content Marketing Misconceptions and The Mistakes You’re Probably Making
It’s easy to get caught up in tricks and tactics that are supposed to enhance your online content. There really is no single element that sends your content conversions skyrocketing; it’s more of a combination of techniques and testing. With that said, here are some content marketing misconceptions that can send your efforts straight down the drain.
Misconception #1: Keywords Are the End-All, Be-All of Content Marketing
Now that you understand that there’s a lot of depth to content marketing, it’s time to throw another buzzword into the mix: keywords.
The truth is, you do need relevant keywords for optimization (SEO) purposes. However, it’s important to keep in mind that keywords are only one piece of the content marketing puzzle.
If you solely focus on keywords for your content marketing strategy, you’re hitting a dead end with both your audience and the search engines. Real people can absolutely tell the difference between over-optimized blogs and quality content. Guess what else? Search engines know the difference, too.
If you’re writing keyword-based content only because you’re trying to rank on Google, your strategy will eventually crash and burn. Nothing will make your audience click the back button faster than fluff sprinkled with meaningless keywords.
Content marketing is not about overusing keywords to cheat the system. There are methods to strategically incorporate keywords, but basing your entire strategy on one word is a surefire way to kill your efforts.
Misconception #2: Content Marketing Has a Beginning And an End
Content marketing is an entirely different animal than setting up a Pay Per Click ad and calling it a day.
While content marketing may have a beginning, there isn’t an end in sight if you’re doing it right. Don’t let the concept of eternal content marketing scare you; you want to consistently market your content so your message is always in front of the consumer.
Whether your message is conveyed on a blog post or a video, consistency plays a big role in successful content marketing strategies.
Misconception #3: Content Marketing is Not a Long Term Solution
While times certainly change and businesses must morph their marketing strategies to effectively reach their audiences, it’s unlikely that content marketing is only a fad.
There’s evidence for this, with the first form of content marketing emerging in 1867. This breakthrough marketing strategy was brought to light by Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company, with a publication called The Locomotive. The goal of the publication was to provide helpful information on equipment operation risk and problem-solving. The publication had a clear target audience of people who needed quality information from professionals.
Although the digital age has significantly changed the way we market content today, the strategy itself is here to stay.
The Right Way to Use Keywords in Content Marketing
Earlier in this post, keywords were put into a semi-negative light. To be clear, this isn’t saying that keywords are worthless. In fact, that’s far from the truth. Without keywords implemented into your content marketing strategy, you may not receive all of the traction your content deserves. You need to be aware of keywords when you’re creating content, but don’t put all of your eggs in one basket by using just one keyword.
Use keywords correctly in content marketing by researching a relevant keyword list related to your website. There are online tools that will analyze keyword data such as monthly search volume, cost per click, and competition. Depending on your goals, you can use this data to determine if the keyword in question is worth pursuing.
Going beyond the data-driven value of keyword research, there is also a creative element involved that can put a new spin on your content marketing efforts. Keywords are great resources for brainstorming and coming up with new topic ideas. Digging into keyword research can spark some new keywords or phrases that you never would have thought about.
Once you find a keyword that you consider relevant and valuable, be sure to use the term naturally throughout your content. This is where the fine line comes into play with content marketing vs. technical SEO. You need to write for people, not search engines.
Stay Focused on What Matters Most: Your Audience
Successful content marketing satisfies the needs of your customer and ultimately converts at some point during the process. If your customers’ needs are not being met through your content, you can bet it probably won’t be converting any time soon. Although you can’t count on converting every time your article solves a problem, you’ll make a big enough impact that you’ll be remembered when the customer is ready to buy.
Keep in mind you will be remembered only if your content is quality. Sloppy or vague content will never impress potential customers, and you’re setting yourself up for disappointment in the conversion department.
So, What Does Your Audience Want From Your Content?
That answer varies depending on exactly what you are marketing and your target audience. Customers who are in different parts of the buying process will possess different needs. There are some guidelines that will help you get the most out of your efforts, and ultimately deliver what your audience is looking for.
- Education: Giving your audience valuable knowledge speaks volumes for your brand. Instead of just rambling on about yourself and your business, create a helpful tutorial or answer frequent questions. You want to be an educational source for your customer at every step of the process.
Take your educational material beyond the standard blog post by creating eBooks or how-to videos. Your customers need to believe that you are there to help them, even if that means giving away a few free tricks to make their lives easier.
- Authority: Your customer is looking for a professional; a source they can turn to when a problem arises. Knowing your stuff (and knowing it well) will encourage your audience to trust your content as a valuable source. You want to remain credible at all times, so be sure to link sources that contain statistical data.
You can take your authority status a step further by developing your own study, research, or white paper. Being the primary source of helpful and relevant information is about as authoritative as it gets.
- Quality: Touching back on the quality content topic, it’s imperative that your content is well thought out with a top-notch presentation. High-quality content is helpful, engaging, or unique.
- Presentation: Content presentation matters. Incorporate graphics and relevant screenshots to capture attention. Pay attention to paragraph lengths, use an adequate amount of whitespace, and don’t overwhelm your audience with too much jargon. Your customers will thank you for it.
Do Content Marketing the Right Way with Hooked Marketing
Satisfying your audience on at least one of these levels will help you attract more customers. From keywords to video creation and hooking more online reviews, we’re here to make you a content marketing superstar. Contact us today to implement a digital strategy that will leave your audience wanting more.