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Content marketing, otherwise known as “native advertising” is a combination of both traditional advertising and general news. The end result is content that is information-driven, capturing the attention of audiences by giving them quality information that they can use. Giving an audience useful information rather than a hard sell on product can inspire trust and build brand loyalty. The great thing about content marketing is that you can build thought leadership in a space, and when a brand becomes a trusted source of information, customers are much more likely to convert.
Although the idea of content marketing may seem simple, many have misunderstandings about what exactly is considered content marketing, and what the end goal may be. This is due to the dramatic shift from traditional advertising, which was a hard sell to an audience from a company or brand highlighting a specific message, to a new form of marketing that aspires to build authentic interactions and engagements with an audience in order to build trust.
These misunderstandings ultimately cause many companies, particularly startups, to be lacking in their content marketing efforts. Today, we’re going to discuss some of these common misconceptions, and how you can fully take advantage of content marketing in your business.
Misconception #1: Content marketing is pricey
Content marketing is neither expensive or inexpensive - it all depends on how you navigate the space. Whether you have a large or small budget, there’s ways you can engage in content marketing and drive meaningful results. Although top-tier content and getting placements in large publications can be effective, it’s not always necessary. One great way you can generate meaningful content is by honing in on your target demographic, and tapping into opportunities with smaller niche platforms and publications. Adopting this strategy will allow you to secure placements in more affordable publications, you may even be able to offer in-kind exchanges with these companies. For example, many niche influencers have smaller, but more engaged audiences - at StickerYou, we could offer in-kind custom stickers, custom vinyl stickers, labels, and water bottle labels for content creators to review and post about.
When it comes to generating content, staying organized is crucial. Creating a marketing plan for each quarter will assist you in finding the perfect opportunities, and will help you save money by planning ahead. You may also choose to use in-house writers and content creators in order to not only ensure your placements represents your brand, but also cut down costs. The reality is content marketing isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and it can be a great tool for businesses to reach new audiences (especially startups). By harnessing this trend, you can drive a huge amount of interest and growth - it’s time to get to work!
Misconception #2: Content quality is not important
The content marketing industry has exploded in recent years. This has caused a huge number of writing farms and freelance workers to come out of the woodwork in order to keep up with growing demand. Due to this, writing quality can vary greatly. It may seem like you’re getting an excellent deal when hiring writers to generate content, but the reality is you get what you pay for.
Your company should always strive to deliver high quality material, content, and literature - otherwise you’re defeating the purpose of publishing to begin with. Before doing placements, ask yourself, is this information well-written, well-presented, and digestible? If you don’t quite have the bandwidth to hire a professional writer, it may be worth it to look at your internal team, and help them build new skills and talent - you’ll never know what you may uncover!
Misconception #3: Content marketing is only about you
Consider the concept of a megaphone: a loud sound that moves one directional towards the audience. This is a great metaphor for the concept of traditional marketing, the ultimate goal being to place your product in the centre, forcing people to pay attention to what you sell and why they need it. In today’s age, consumers experience a huge amount of sales pitches at a near constant rate. Due to this, most people have mastered the art of tuning out hard sells - the saturation and frequency of these depthless pitches render them almost meaningless.
The great thing about content marketing is that it takes an innovative approach and views marketing from the perspective of the potential customer. Keep these key questions top-of-mind: “What can my company offer to these individuals that other companies can’t?” and “What kind of information is valuable and useful to them?” This is where content marketing shines, the end goal being to inform the audience and give them something to remember. For example, when we write blog posts for our website, we always try to put education and instruction first. In our blog post “Which Sticker Material is Right for You?” we go into detail about the different material choices, and why each of them are unique and beneficial in their own way. At the end of the day, the reader walks away with valuable knowledge in order to make an educated decision.
Misconception #4: Content marketing consists of only articles
While sponsored articles and paid placements definitely have a place in the content marketing vision, they are only one piece of the much larger scale. When deciding what type of material you can offer, be sure to consider mixed mediums such as newsletters and e-blasts, influencer partnerships, branded videos, and podcasts. You may also choose to do more substantial pieces such as data analysis and research of relevant topics in your industry
When planning and reviewing your content calendar, always strive to mix-and-match the mediums of the content pieces you have. If you’re writing a thought leadership piece, you may want to include an infographic for added engagement and education. If a rep at your company is doing a webinar, consider including graphs, slides, images, or video. The options are endless, so get your team together and brainstorm how you can best inform your audience and represent your company as a leader in the space.
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StickerYou blog posts are written and published by members of the StickerYou team at our headquarters, located in the beautiful city of Toronto, Canada.