Content marketing is an amazing marketing strategy. When done properly, not only does it boost your ranking in Google search results, but it also engages potential customers and builds your brand.
I’m a big believer in content marketing because I’ve seen it work for brands over and over again. However, there are certain cases where it may not be the best idea.
Before you get aboard the content marketing train, it’s important to examine your reasons for doing so. Here are five bad reasons to do content marketing for your business:
Bad Reason #1: Everybody’s Doing It
Content marketing is pretty trendy right now.
From big brands to small shops, it seems everybody is producing content with blogs, email newsletters, ebooks, videos, podcasts, and any other content medium you can think of. You can’t visit the website of a yarn store in Kansas City without being bombarded by pop ups asking for an email address.
Does that mean you should get on board and throw content all over the internet?
No. Please don’t.
At least not without a solid strategy, target audience, production power, and metrics for success. Getting into content marketing just because everybody else is doing it is a bad, bad idea. What did your mother always ask you? If all the cool kids were jumping off a bridge, would you jump too? If you jump into content marketing without a plan, you’re going to take a fall.
Bad Reason #2: Paid Media Costs Too Much
Unlike paid advertising such as Google Adwords or social media ads, content marketing is (sort of) free. This concept is music to the ears of bootstrapped startups or budget conscious businesses, but let’s evaluate for a second.
Is content marketing really free?
Sure, if you write a few evergreen blog posts you may bring in traffic for years to come without having to pay for it, but what does it cost to produce those blog posts?
Time. Expertise. Writing skills. Strategy. Market research. SEO. Outreach. Promotion.
I don’t know about you, but to me none of those things really come for free. At the very least, they all take time and expertise, and time and expertise cost money.
Not to mention, content marketing success is a constantly moving target in an ever-changing landscape of online media. Plus, content strategy and effective execution is skilled work that requires consistent adaptation and experimentation. It’s hard work just to keep up!
Bad Reason #3: You Want To Be A “Thought Leader”
No, Oprah. No.
Not everyone is a thought leader. In fact, very, very few people are true thought leaders. And yet one of the popular selling points of content marketing is to position yourself or your brand as a thought leader.
What does it mean to be a thought leader anyway?
Thought leaders are recognized authorities in their specialized fields. They’re the “go to guys” for their area of expertise. Thought leaders are innovative, visionary, and even revolutionary.
You can’t just call yourself a thought leader. You are recognized as a thought leader by others for years of distinguished work. That’s not going to happen by throwing up a few blog posts. Think bigger!
Bad Reason #4: You Want (And Expect) Fast Results
If you’re looking to get traffic and customers overnight, content marketing is not for you.
There are a lot of great strategies and tactics to get traffic quickly like paid search advertising, paid social advertising, and direct email campaigns to curated lists. However, content marketing is a long-term strategy that pays off over time.
Content marketing can take months, even over a year, to see results. It’s a good idea to integrate content marketing with short-term strategies in a comprehensive marketing plan.
Bad Reason #5: You Think Blog Posts = Sales
While blogging is related to more traffic and thus more potential customers, it’s not necessarily going to get you sales directly. It’s attribution to the bottom line is more supportive or indirectly contributive.
For example, a person may view your blog post and get a lot of value out of how you helped them with a problem or question. However, they probably won’t buy your product or service directly afterwards. Instead, they will come back to you later when they have a related problem or question. This develops a relationship and over time they are more likely to make a purchase or to share your brand with a friend.
A blog post is not a targeted landing page. It’s not direct copywriting. It’s helpful, informative, or even entertaining. Don’t make the mistake of trying to turn it into a sales page.
So You Want To Do Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a fantastic tool in your online arsenal, but like any tool it only works if you use it as designed. Be careful in identifying your reasons for producing content. If you can avoid the bad reasons, you are far better suited for content marketing success.