Is Content Marketing Dead?
Recent headlines have proclaimed that content marketing is dead! Furthermore, companies shouldn’t spend any more money or time on content marketing.
However, this is far from the truth. As content marketers, we see first hand the benefits of content marketing campaigns for our clients.
The truth is that content marketing has changed. While you may have been able to get results from publishing low-quality content in the past, those days are over.
To be successful in your content marketing campaigns, you need high-quality content and a strong content marketing strategy that guides your decisions.
Here are some things to consider that have changed in the past few years in content marketing. Understanding these factors can help to make your future content marketing efforts more effective and worthwhile.
Stop Using Clickbait
Clickbait typically has an engaging title that causes users to want to click on it to learn more. In some cases, the article itself may not even be about the topic the title says it’s about. Internet readers have become savvier about clickbait and may even avoid clicking on clickbait titles for fear that the articles might have spammy content or malware.
If you want to draw in customers, avoid using clickbait. Instead, provide higher-quality pieces that focus on the topic and provide a lot of value.
It will help you gain customers’ trust and keep them engaged with your work. The more customers feel that they can trust you, the more likely you are to retain those customers and convert them into sales.
Understand There’s More Competition
The amount of competition has increased. It is not hard to see why more companies are relying on content marketing than before.
Content marketing gets results. Because of this, the number of companies that use content marketing to grow their businesses is increasing steadily.
For you, this means that you can take advantage of the changes in the market by improving the quality of your content marketing. It is now an essential part of how customers shop. Having the best content marketing will give you a louder voice in a crowded marketplace.
Know That Content Marketing is Only One Piece of the Puzzle
For all of the benefits that content marketing provides, it is only one part of the puzzle. You cannot base your entire marketing strategy on content marketing alone.
Every type of marketing has its benefits and drawbacks. To get the most out of your content marketing strategy, you’ll need to combine it with other marketing methods.
For example, content marketing is great at generating interest in a product or service and promoting engagement with the company through a call to action. However, content marketing is not as effective at completing deeper parts of the sales funnel to convert interest in the sales.
Instead, you want to combine content marketing with another method, such as email marketing. This will give you more direct communication with prospects so that you can move them through the sales funnel and closer to completing the sale.
Fortunately, content marketing pairs well with many other forms of marketing for sales processes. You can easily implement content marketing while relying on other systems to complete sales.
If content marketing is not already a large part of your operations, you can easily integrate it to improve engagement with your target audience. Many companies are doing this to improve their traffic, which is why the competition for content marketing is intensifying.
Track Performance and Discontinue What’s Not Working
Like many other forms of marketing, it is important to track the performance of your content marketing strategy. If it is not working, you can make changes to improve your return on investment.
Tracking content marketing performance is relatively easy as long as you know what to look for. Certain performance metrics can help you identify what methods are working and what methods are not.
Content marketing excels at engagement with general audiences. To measure this, you just have to track the number of qualified impressions or interactions with customers, based around your marketing campaign.
Understand Traffic and Target Market Before Investing
With the availability of companies that can help you develop content for your marketing campaigns, it’s relatively easy to create effective marketing campaigns. However, it is important to understand your audience and target markets before starting a content development project.
Content marketing is only effective if it reaches the right audience in the right way. No amount of investment in content marketing will help your company if you don’t know who you’re marketing to or how they engage with your content.
Before you put in the effort to develop new content, start by analyzing the traffic that you already have. This will give you deep insights into how customers engage with your content and what methods are currently working.
It may be possible that you have a working content strategy. If you’re going to capitalize on it, you have to understand how it works before creating more content.
Alternatively, researching your target market can give you the same kind of insight into what methods should work and how you need to develop your content.
Learn the Difference Between Low-Quality vs. High-Quality Content
Because content marketing has become so important to growing businesses, the focus has shifted from low-quality content to high-quality content. In the past, companies would generate as much content as possible without concern for the quality level to draw attention to their products and services.
While this method can still be effective, customers are wary of low-quality. Search engines are also adapted to better identify low-quality content and rank it lower.
Low-quality content is any marketing content that does not provide a lot of value to readers. For example, an article that leaves a reader with no idea of what the article was about would be considered low-quality content.
This is where methods like clickbait came from. Customers were lost in a large number of articles that did not provide the value that they promised in the title. Customers do not want this type of content and will avoid the source if it consistently provides articles that cannot help them in some way.
Understand the Difference Between Short-Form vs. Long-Form Content
Content can be either short-form or long-form. Short-form content is usually five hundred words or less, while long-form content is more than 500 words per article.
While short-form content can be useful, it can only provide a limited amount of information and value. Customers get more value from long-form content since you can include information in greater detail and have a single resource address multiple issues.
For example, this article (the one that you are reading right now) is an example of long-form content. It addresses the topic of content marketing in great detail and can give you insight into multiple aspects of a problem without having to read multiple articles.
One of the reasons why this article is useful is that you won’t have to read many different articles to get the full value of it. Therefore, it reduces the need for more searching on the internet.
Organic SEO can help readers find your content. (I don’t know why this is here.)
Repeat Highest Performing Content Strategies
To get the most out of your content marketing, identify and repeat the highest performing content strategies. This will maximize how effective each piece of content can be.
Using the same strategy over and over again is a quick way to make sure that you are getting the most out of your content. This does not mean writing about the same content over and over again, though.
Some companies make the mistake of rewriting the same content often. This only creates internal competition where you are competing against your own content for the highest position in the search rankings.
You can use the same strategy to develop content about different topics without causing a problem. In fact, you should use reuse a strategy that works to ensure that all of your content provides value.
Invest Enough Time or Money Into It
Content marketing is an easy way to increase traffic and engagement with your audience. However, it does require a significant investment to be effective.
Many companies start content marketing campaigns, but fall short in the amount of time or money that they invest.
When this happens, the campaign never reaches its full potential since valuable insights are left unexplored. Critical changes to make the campaign more effective are never completed, and the campaign is not as effective as it could be.
That’s not to say that content marketing has to be expensive. It can be implemented in a cost-effective way that can grow your business without a massive investment.
However, you have to follow through on the process to make sure that the content that you develop can deliver value effectively. Otherwise, it becomes a wasted investment that takes resources from other parts of the business.
Lose Unrealistic Expectations
For all of the benefits that it can provide, content marketing has its limitations. This is where companies tend to find trouble since they have unrealistic expectations.
Content marketing is often confused with social media marketing. Businesses expect content marketing to create a massive following of loyal followers in the way that social media campaigns can.
In reality, content marketing is more likely to establish your company as an expert in an area and take a more technical approach to topics. While you can create a following of customers that see you as an expert this way, you are less likely to create a brand following as social media plans do.
They are fundamentally different in that social media marketing is consumed in small snippets by a wide audience, while content marketing strategies focus on a prolonged interaction that provides technical value rather than entertainment value.
If you want to get the most out of content marketing, then develop clear and realistic expectations of what it can do for your business. This will make it easier for you to plan an effective overall marketing strategy that includes content marketing and effectively grows your business.
Melanie G. is a freelance writer and editor living in Tampa, Florida. She’s freelanced full-time since she left her writing job at Nielsen in 2012.