The value of a well-designed content marketing strategy is well established, but many people start with unrealistic demands in mind. Here are three things not to expect from your campaign.
A cheap alternative to traditional advertising
Content marketing campaigns may cost less in general and ultimately result in more leads, but this doesn’t mean you should think of it as a “cheap” alternative. Any promotional campaign is going to need a certain level of investment, and looking for cost savings from the start is a bad idea. For example, you could outsource your content marketing needs to non-native freelance writers who will work cheaply, or you could use a content agency with a quality assurance process. The latter may be more expensive, but it will result in better content that will resonate with your audience.
An instant bump in search rankings
Content marketing brings many benefits for search rankings, such as enlarging your content “footprint”, but this should not be an overriding ambition. Content should be about giving people what they want rather than manipulating search engines with keyword strategies. When you provide people with content they enjoy, you will almost certainly be rewarded with better search rankings.
You cannot realistically expect content to work like a paid advertisement, with buyers clicking a link and making a purchase there and then. You’re rather trying to build brand authority, which then leads to purchasing decisions down the line. This is especially important when you sell to other businesses.
In reality, content marketing can deliver cost savings, better search rankings, and increased sales, but if you begin with expectations of these, you will usually be disappointed in the short term. You must be prepared to invest the time and resources it needs to gather momentum, and then you’ll see the real benefits.