Crunch. Did you hear that? That’s the sound of content marketing cliches being squashed. Content marketing is wildly popular. It’s not just a trend, it’s an essential in the marketing world. More than three-quarters of B2B and B2C businesses invest in content marketing. It’s not surprising that with all of this interest, there are now some pervasive cliches about content marketing.
Why Squash the Cliches?
What’s the matter with a cliche? It’s a broad, sweeping statement about content marketing. Cliches may have had a nugget of wisdom in them at the beginning, but now they’ve been said so often that they don’t really add to the dialogue about content marketing. As a business, you want to look at today’s world of marketing, understand trends, and use cutting-edge techniques to connect with your customers. Moving beyond the cliches allows you to see the true value and the true challenges of content marketing.
It’s All About the Killer Content
Content is definitely important, but if it’s king, the monarchy needs support. If you’re going around talking about the need to create killer content or the domination of content above all other forms of marketing, you need to see that content needs a support system. Content is a powerful way to connect with your readers and build a relationship between your company and prospective customers. However, the key to content marketing is not just great writing that informs and challenges your readers. You could write the best novel in the world, but if no one reads it, no one will know. The same applies to your marketing content. You need to support it with market research, social networking, and yes, even effective SEO. Your content is just one part of your marketing plan, and without a plan, when the content ball drops, it will land with a soft thud, roll off into the bushes, and be lost in the weeds.
Content Marketing is Dead
Is the king dead? Often, this cliche springs up in circles where content marketing is old news. They say that this type of marketing is now mainstream. Content marketing is just marketing now, they say.
Yes, content marketing is something that many businesses are doing, and it is most certainly a form of marketing. However, it’s not the only kind of marketing out there. When you look to content marketing, look at it as a single tool in your toolkit. Do you need to make an announcement about a sale to your local audience? A flyer could be the best way to make your desired impact. Do you want to build trust in your business as an industry expert? Speak at a conference, create a webinar, and develop outstanding content that enriches your readers’ understanding of the field. Content marketing isn’t dead, but it has become more mainstream. It’s an accepted tool in the toolkit, and you need to decide if it’s the right tool for the job at hand.
Content Marketing Isn’t Real Marketing
Then there are the unbelievers: content marketing isn’t actually marketing, it’s something else entirely: a sweet little idea that providing information and connection with readers will turn those readers into buyers. According to this cliche, you need to remain heavily invested in your traditional business marketing strategies, because content marketing doesn’t meet the “real” marketing standard.
What is real marketing, anyway? If you’re looking at your business’s bottom line, you’d say that real marketing results in sales. Luckily for your business, you can make sure that content marketing yields real results. Your business can track metrics such as the search terms that people use to find your site and the path that they take to make a purchase. Does your content yield real results? You can find out.
Yes, content marketing feels different from print advertising, but it does what innovative advertising should do: it appeals to new audiences in new places. It forges a connection over time, developing customer relationships in a different way than print advertising. It feels less sales-oriented than a flyer or a print advertisement, and this is a good thing for businesses that seek to establish customer relationships with the Millennials, who are notorious for their dislike of traditional promotion. Content marketing is also the ideal marketing technique for the internet, where people search for substantial content with keywords and find articles through social media referrals. Content marketing isn’t the best, the worst, or the only type of marketing, but it’s one of your many tools to develop a stronger audience for your products.
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