Regardless of the size of your business, one of the biggest content-killers around is unrealistic expectations. The higher your expectations for your content marketing, the greater the disappointment will be and the more your content plans will be abandoned.
We’ve listed 5 great misconceptions that can kill your content-love – and what you should really expect:
1) Content is easy
“Write about what you love about your business” sounds so easy but in reality, when you have to come up with interesting, compelling topics week in and week out, you realise, it is no cake-walk. And nothing deflates enthusiasm faster than finding out your nice easy task is, in reality, really hard.
What to really expect: Expect to focus your energy on setting up a content strategy and planning out your topics so you have a structure to follow and you are not left having to start each article from scratch every time.
2) Content is free
Content marketing, and blogging in particular has often been touted as “free marketing” but as you spend time coming up with ideas, time executing ideas, money on images and more time uploading and broadcasting your blog, it dawns on you, there is free and then there is free-not-free.
What to really expect: To create anything of value (and let’s be frank, why would you create anything less for your business) you will pay. You will pay in time, expertise or money – or all three. Great content that is well executed and focused on your clients will perform better than shoddy work that makes people wonder “is this their standard?”
3) Content will fix all my SEO woes
Content will put you on the first page of Google. And well it might – but then again, it might not. Depending on how well you understand you keywords, how strong the competition for those keywords is, how regularly and how frequently you post – and how relevant your content is to the audience – these are all factors in how much search ranking love you will get.
What to really expect: If you are posting regularly, and your content is very focused and niched (yes, even within a crowded space, you can find a niche) then you can expect to see improvements in search rankings.
4) Anyone can create content
“Whoever has some spare time can write an article this week” – but suddenly you find that nobody has published anything for 3 months and the last 2 articles were written by the ex-receptionist – who wrote band reviews from a festival she attended! Content is a specialist area – it is something that requires great communication skills, a deep understanding of both your product/service, your clients needs and how the two work together.
What to really expect: You will need to do one of three things. 1) outsource the content creation to someone who specialises in writing content for businesses. 2) Include ‘content creation’ as part of a job description so the employee is very clear that this is part of their job and time has been allocated for them to do it. Or 3) if you have a team of experts who can write on their area of speciality, get each team member to contribute regularly – but remember to make time and make it a priority for them.
5) Content = instant clients
Publish and they will come! You’ve created content hard for 5 months and you’ve yet to get an unsolicited phone call from someone saying “I read your article and I can’t wait to work for you, who do I pay?” Once again, your enthusiasm is deflated and you think that is is all too much effort for too little gain.
What to really expect: It has been said many times and we will say it again here – content marketing for business is a marathon, not a sprint. The ROI is in the relationships you start and build online – these can take months to years to turn into a sale – but the thing to remember here is: those sales will be some of the easiest you will ever make.
Keep your business content expectations realistic and keep your content going – one thing is certain, there will always be more places to publish online, not less, so the more you have, the better.