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5 B2B Content Marketing Myths You Should Challenge

content-marketingContent marketing has blossomed much like the common plot of 90s high school cult comedies — the glasses are off, her hair is styled a little differently, and suddenly her big reveal is the talk of the town. We put a new shade of lipstick on content marketing every couple of months and then talk about how great she looks now … but there are still some persistent myths that need to be challenged before B2B marketing can really say they have conquered the content marketing mountain.

  1. Content marketing is cheap: While content marketing can offer a cost-effective way to reach, engage, and inform your audience, it isn’t free. It requires an investment of time, money, and other resources — both to create great content and to market it. If you’re creating great content on a regular basis and you can’t seem to get eyeballs on it, it might be time to reconsider your level of investment in content marketing and whether or not you are really giving your content the chance to shine.

  2. You can plan for your content to “go viral:” We hear this a lot at The Starr Conspiracy and in general within the advertising community — ”Make us a viral video.” While you can aim for content that has all of the ingredients that “viral” content has — accessible, funny, entertaining — you can’t guarantee the outcome of overwhelming shares. If we’re being honest, when brands try too hard to create that magic mix of viral content … it can often be pretty obvious and can sometimes even go against the brand standards, archetype, and messaging. Instead of focusing on getting a certain number of shares, focus instead on creating content that will be valuable to your audience … how can you answer their burning questions? How can you entertain them? How can you make their lives easier?

  3. Content marketing is basically the same as blogging, SEO, and/or social media: Certainly blogging, SEO and social media all play a role in content marketing, but they are not all one in the same. Your corporate blog can offer a stable and engaging outlet for your content marketing strategy, but it cannot be your content marketing strategy. Understanding SEO best practices can provide direction for the types and topics of content you’ll be producing, but understanding SEO alone is not enough to understand the magic of great content. And social media may be used to get eyeballs on your content or increase engagement, but a social media strategy without content is like a sail without wind.

  4. If you build it, they will come: A lot of B2B marketers responsible for creating effective content are proud of the meat of their content assets — their white papers, their webinars, etc. But they’re upset that no one is engaging with it. Oftentimes, what’s missing might be forgotten elements of the content itself — a killer headline, strong supporting creative layout, or an effective topic … but others, what’s missing might be a promotion strategy — engaging email copy, a landing page that can drive conversions, or budget for search or display advertising to draw in a new audience. The meat of your content matters — don’t get us wrong, but it’s not all that matters.

  5. Anyone can write great content: You could outsource the creation of your content — white papers, e-books, blog posts, etc. — to affordable freelancers, overseas chop shops, or your coworker’s niece who wrote something that got published once … but the more complicated the topic, the less likely that you’ll be able to find someone cheap who can not only understand your target market, but speak about their issues in a way that you would want your business to be represented. Whether you make an internal, full-time hire with relevant experience or you hire an agency to develop and execute a cohesive content marketing strategy, don’t cut corners with content.

We can’t bust all of the content marketing myths overnight. But in the meantime, if you want to learn more, check out this infographic — The Content Marketing Mix — from The Starr Conspiracy to understand what types of content fit into the sales funnel where:

Want to learn more about content marketing? Follow The Starr Conspiracy on Twitter to see what we’re sharing — and why it’s a pretty big deal.