Content Marketing Myth 6

No, content is not going to work on its own. There’s only so much you can do organically; paid is equally a part of content marketing!

Did the word ‘paid’ in the line above give you an instant headache?

Well, good. You’re ready to have the tough conversation now.

A lot of organizations that start with content marketing believe that there is going to be this sudden influx of traffic and leads. That’s not all. They believe it is all going to happen organically.

True, there have been times where a piece of content went viral, got tens of thousands of visitors in just 30 days. All organically. But then that piece of content was either a frivolous news or something so valuable that its target audience just couldn’t stop sharing it!

Since we’re on the topic, let’s bust another bubble – not every piece of content you create will go viral. Sometimes, it will simply get you a little organic traffic and also help as a support and sales collateral for your business. And that’s not bad at all.

But most of the time, you’re going to have to do more than serving your content on a lovely looking plate to your customers. You’re going to have to get them talking about your plating skills before expecting them to be on the lookout for you.

It’s pretty similar to what happens when a new restaurant opens.

While some people will simply start to walk in because they pass by it, others will need to be told where it is and what it is all about!

Yes, I’m talking about content advertising. And as much as you’d like to believe in organic-only traffic, this is as important a part of your content marketing strategy.

Before you keep this aside and log into LinkedIn to promote that post, hold on and read these points before you set aside even $1 for promotions:

Quality and value over quantity.

But here are some other things I’d like to quickly clarify too:

  • Content advertising is the process of creating content with a clear intention of promotion via paid channels
  • Content advertising does not rely on organic traffic, social discoverability, shareability or SEO – it rather depends on your targeting and builds on top of your organic traffic
  • Content advertising is perfect when you have something highly niche to share and is not suitable for your other organic content marketing efforts – yes, you may even have to create an exclusive piece of content for your content advertising efforts
  • If you do not have the resources to create something exclusive for your content advertising campaign, you can and should definitely consider repurposing your content to align with the goal of your campaign
  • Every content promotion needs to be associated with tangible, measurable business objectives – be it in terms of traffic, volume of leads, nurturing your leads or even a high level goal like – introducing your product/service
  • Paid social is an excellent way to get started with content advertising – its inherently visual nature and powerful targeting options are a sure shot way to reach more of your audience
  • Just like your organic campaigns, content advertising should leverage intent and understanding the pain points of those you’re targeting – reaching the right people with the right message and the right offer can save you a lot of dollars for that weekend pizza!

And now, a reality check:

Accept that although content advertising campaigns will help you reach a wider audience and the conversion rates will definitely be higher than organic efforts, the time involved for prospects to transition through the conversion funnel can still be significantly longer than your sales-focused advertising campaigns – you will still need to nurture your leads and there is no escaping the content funnel!

You can’t just straight from opening a restaurant to getting 100 orders a day. Be realistic.

Let me give you an example of how to use advertising to give a push to your content marketing efforts.

Let’s say you are opening that pizza restaurant and every ingredient is going to be made from scratch – even the sauce! (BTW, I have a friend who can do it all from scratch and WOW, I envy him so much that I might not learn but move in with him just to eat those pizzas)

You’ve been writing some content on the different types of pizzas available at your restaurant, how you learned to make them, and so on. It has been giving you some traffic on the site, but not so much impact on your restaurant walk-ins.

Here’s what you need to push out as a campaign now – See our chefs put everything they have learned to use, and make those pizzas live in front you!

Now you’ll get the same reaction as I did when my friend told me about his pizza-making skills.

Before you tell me this isn’t possible for B2B SaaS products – I got another example for you before moving to the next section.

Say, you’re selling a marketing automation software. You’re obviously targeting a lot of industries with this very capable product of yours – healthcare, finance, eCommerce and more. So you’re creating a lot of content to educate people on what marketing automation is, why they need it and how to implement it, getting some traffic onto your site.

What’s the next step?

Telling each of your target segments the value of marketing automation for their industry ‘only’.

Yes, your content advertising campaign will need you to drill down to a niche and speak to them with something that adds value ‘only’ to them.

Impact of marketing automation on healthcare efficiency. Impact of marketing automation on eCommerce sales. You get the drift, don’t you?

You’ve seen the likes of HubSpot and Wordstream and even IBM do this so often. In case you’ve forgotten, here’s an ad you’ve probably seen or seen something similar to:

Alright, onto the next.

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