Think about the amount of confusion and fallacies surrounding some of the most bleeding-edge technologies today – like cloud computing, WebRTC, and wearable technology. Businesses everywhere are clamoring to take advantage of such innovations, yet they are held back by their own gross misconceptions surrounding these technologies.
Content marketing, the latest marketing strategy, is in a similar boat. Though it’s enjoyed a groundswell of acceptance in the few short years since its inception (with 86 percent of B2B and 77 percent of B2C marketers employing the tactic, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2015 benchmark studies), it’s still saddled with confusion regarding its attributes and problem-solving capabilities. Accordingly, if you are in the minority of companies that have not yet experimented with content marketing, it’s time to debunk some myths.
Myth 1: Content Marketing is Not for My Industry
Fact: Content marketing is not industry-specific. Companies that play in all sorts of spaces –from manufacturers to retailers to technologists to financiers – are leveraging the power of storytelling. That’s because there’s a myriad of content marketing vehicles that companies can use.
Let’s say you run a small restaurant. Sure white papers and case studies won’t make sense for your business, but social media and blogging will. You can use these vehicles to tease new menu items, feature interviews with your chef, and offer healthy eating tips and tricks.
Similarly, if you run a bank, take a good hard look at what assets will make sense for your target market. A five-page guide about how to plan for retirement would work, as would a webinar about the differences among HSAs, HRAs, and FSAs. As the study above suggests, the majority of B2B and B2C marketers – no matter their industry – are using content marketing. Figure out which content marketing vehicles resonate with your demographic, and start producing compelling content.
Myth 2: Content Marketing Is Expensive
Fact: According to CMI, the most effective content marketers spend 37 percent of their overall marketing budget, while the least effective spend 16 percent. In other words, content marketing is not an added marketing investment. Rather, it should replace some legacy marketing tactics such as billboards, and print advertising and brochures.
The truth is that content marketing has a very low barrier to entry. Take social media and blogging, for instance. You can use free platforms (from Facebook to Twitter (News - Alert) to WordPress) to disseminate your thoughts, meaning all you are essentially paying for is the salary of the employee manning these accounts. However, with the surge in content marketing outsourcing companies today, you can amp up your content marketing efforts for a fraction of what a staff person would cost. For instance, instead of hiring a full-time content writer – one who can cost you up to $70,000 in salary, $6,000 in taxes, and $10,000 in health care, according to a Content Boost infographic – you can hire an outsourcing vendor. Competitive vendors have robust content marketing offerings at just $1,500. These cost benefits explain why 62 percent of companies outsource content marketing, according to CMI.
You don’t have to start leveraging every content marketing vehicle today and onboarding a massive team of marketers. Instead, start with a few meaningful tactics, team with an affordable outsourcing vendor, and set yourself on the path to profitability.
Myth 3: You Can’t Measure the ROI of Content Marketing
Fact: On the contrary, you can measure the profitability of content marketing. Just consider the following statistics aggregated by Content Boost from Kapost, NewsCred, and Rocket Post:
• B2B companies that blog generate 67 percent more leads per month than those that do not.
• Blogging is proven to increase web traffic by as much as 55 percent.
• The cost per lead of content marketing drops 80 percent in the first five months of a content campaign.
• Companies that blog at least 15 times per month get five times more traffic than companies that don’t.
• Content marketing produces three times more leads than traditional marketing tactics per each dollar of spend.
Though content marketing does not produce ROI overnight, brands that maintain consistent content marketing efforts will soon start seeing an uptick in website visitors, customer acquisition/retention, qualified prospects, and audience engagement across online platforms.
So what are you waiting for? We’ve busted the most common content marketing fallacies, meaning nothing is standing in the way of your increased profitability, brand awareness, and thought leadership. So round up your team, determine where you want to start, set your budget, and begin exploring a world of content marketing possibilities.
Edited by Maurice Nagle