What's the weirdest part of marketing
7 content marketing rumors that annoy you
In daily practice, one is repeatedly confronted with claims about content marketing that make one frown. The term content marketing is now used inflationarily, which leads to the strangest interpretations. In today's blog article, I want to dispel seven rumors that I often encounter at conferences, websites, or at customers' sites.
Content marketing means creating texts
If you talk about content marketing at conferences, for example, you often find that many only think of creating and publishing web texts in this context. Neither the development of a content marketing strategy nor a dissemination strategy is present here in consciousness. Of course, content can be produced in the form of texts, but content marketing encompasses many more formats such as videos, infographics, podcasts, webinars etc. I think that many text providers and freelance authors contribute to this limited understanding, as they often use the term content marketing write on their service flag. In conversations like this, you quickly notice that you have completely different views on the topic, which can be quite sobering.
Content marketing is the new link building
Especially among SEOs there is the assumption that content marketing is the new link building strategy. Of course, content marketing can contribute positively to natural link building, but this is just a nice side effect and should never be the sole focus. At SEO conferences I keep hearing smug sayings like "We used to do link building and today we call it content marketing". On the subject I already have the article Again! Content marketing is not written about link building 2.0, so I'll leave it at that.
Content marketing is also just advertising
Discussions arise again and again as to whether content marketing is not just advertising. People like to speak of "old wine in new bottles". I do not share this view. Content marketing is not primarily aimed at conversions, but rather should positively influence the behavior, perception and attitude of the target group towards the company. Mostly useful and advisory content is also produced, which is intended to help the target group in the problem-solving and information phase and to convert it into customers in the long term. In addition, content marketing is characterized by a strong pull character, whereas classic advertising is more of a push character. I think a lot of advertising agencies have jumped on the content marketing trend. Advertising services are often referred to as content marketing, which increases the confusion on the market. However, advertising and content marketing can perfectly complement each other in an overall strategy. Olaf Kopp wrote a good article entitled "Marketing Evolution: From Advertising to Content - From Push to Pull" on this topic.
Content marketing is way too expensive
At many conferences or in articles on the subject of content marketing, very spectacular examples of big brands are shown. Felix Baumgärtner's jump for Red Bull or the “The Epic Split” commercial for Volvo Trucks with Jean-Claude Van Damme serve as prime examples. These often cause uncertainty on the customer side. Such budgets are of course inconceivable for most companies. In addition, many examples, like the clip with Jean-Claude Van Damme, are not content marketing at all in my opinion. Fortunately, there are now more and more success stories from smaller companies that have been able to convince with a good content marketing strategy and content in the form of guides, short video clips or interesting blog articles.
Content marketing is text ads
Some publishers use the term content marketing for their advertising services. The term is often used synonymously, especially in connection with native advertising. Text ad providers are also committed to content marketing. You also regularly receive offers for inconspicuous or not marked advertorials with a follow link under the subject "Content Marketing". I do not want to deny the benefits of native advertising or other advertising options in connection with an outreach strategy in content marketing, but the inflationary use of the term content marketing often requires a lot of educational work on the customer side. Maël Roth wrote a good article on this problem with the title "The problem with the term" content marketing "... in one picture".
Content marketing cannot be measured
Again and again one is confronted with the statement that the success of content marketing cannot be measured at all. If you then ask the other question, how exactly success is defined and which goals are pursued with content marketing, often not much comes back. Of course, it is a challenge to set up valid tracking due to the long-term orientation of content marketing activities. However, if you have developed a strategy in advance and are clear about which goals you want to achieve and have defined corresponding KPIs, a lot can be measured and evaluated. If you are interested in the topic, I recommend the article Evaluating Inbound Marketing Campaigns with Google Analytics by Eoghan Henn.
Content marketing is the new PR
In the field of public relations one hears more and more often that content marketing is nothing more than modern PR. In practice, too, there are often trench warfare with the PR department in content marketing with regard to authority in the area of corporate communications. I think some professionals are afraid that content marketing will replace PR work. However, I consider PR and content marketing to be two different areas that are both important and should lead an equal existence. A main difference in my opinion is the fact that content marketing should produce customers in the long term. Inken Kuhlmann published a recommendable article on this topic with the title “Content Marketing is not PR!” In 2014 on the HubSpot blog. Practice has shown that there are many synergies here that should be used. PR usually has very good contacts to industry-relevant media that can be used in an outreach strategy. Here you should generally work more together than against each other.
Even if you are still confronted relatively often with annoying and strange ideas about content marketing, I see a clear improvement. At conferences one can observe a strong professionalization of the operative content marketing. I think a standard will prevail here in the long term and the ideas will not diverge so drastically in the future. Until then, the motto is to do educational work, exchange experiences and learn from each other.
Carsten Koller studied media economics and works at morefire as a content marketing and SEO consultant. As a Content Marketing Specialist, he is also responsible for product development in the area of content marketing. There is more at carsten-koller.de
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