Debunking Content Marketing Falsehoods – Part One

Some of my favorite articles are those that expose commonly circulated fallacies and pull back the curtain to reveal the truth. For example…

The lie: Artificial sweeteners are safe sugar replacements. The truth: Studies have actually found that those who use artificial sweeteners are more likely to gain weight then those who consumer caloric sweeteners.

The lie: You should stretch before you exercise to avoid injury. The truth: Conversely, researchers have found that stretching before exercising can actually slow your body down, resulting in a five percent reduction of efficiency.

When ubiquitous “truths” are circulated and then subsequently debunked,  you are oftentimes left flabbergasted and befuddled—but then you realize that a world of possibilities opens up. After all, maybe you can start traipsing around in the cold with a wet head and not get sick. Perhaps your dog is not really as old as you think he is, as dogs do not age at seven years per one human year. And, maybe, just maybe,you can in fact have that ice cream sundae minutes before jumping into the pool.

content marketing strategyPerhaps no space has more misconceptions flying, however, than the content marketing one.  Marketers claim to know all the statistics and best practices for crafting a competitive content marketing strategy—numbers that often belie the potential of this new-age marketing technique and preconceived notions that often hamper success. Below, we unveil some of the biggest content marketing falsehoods.

Fallacy: You are too late to the game.

The Truth: While the jerseys have been ordered, the rosters set and the strategy honed, there is still PLENTY of time to get into the content marketing game. Though the facts are facts and 91 percent of B2B marketers are already leveraging content marketing to bolster their corporate identities, the barrier to entry for content marketing is low and you can quickly leave the nine percent behind.

The first step is to identify your content marketing objective. Determine what you are hoping to gain from your content marketing endeavor. Are you looking to augment your brand awareness? Hoping to become a respected thought leader in your space? Searching for ways to drive traffic to your website? Before taking a dive into the content marketing whirlpool, spend a few precious days outlining your goals and determining benchmarks to measure success.

Fallacy: My target demographic is not on social media so I don’t need to weave social media into my strategy.

The Truth: With Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram attracting a variety of users—from teens to senior citizens to high schoolers to those with doctorates—you will always be able to find at least one platform for your target market. Consider Facebook, for example. In 2012, the average Facebook user was 41 years old, up from 38 years old in 2010. Moreover, in 2012, more than 65 percent of Facebook users were 35 plus years old. If your target market is the CMO or Director of Marketing who can pass along your offerings to his or her CEO, Facebook is your go-to vehicle. This target audience is already on the social networking site—connecting with colleagues, having a social escape and exploring other brands—so don’t miss a minute to touch your ideal market organically.

Perhaps your demographic is 18 to 34 year-old women. Then Twitter is where you need to be. This social networking site is favored by females (55 to 45 percent) and the most frequent tweeters are those between the ages of 18 to 34. This group is busy, contributing to the 175 million tweets that are sent per day. Ninety-two percent of Twitter users will retweet “interesting” content and more than 50 percent  follow companies, brands and products.

Stay tuned for part two this Thursday, which will dispel two other common content marketing myths.