The Bostrom marketing team attended an annual content marketing conference in Chicago where we learned five common marketing myths:

Myth #1: More content is better for your marketing strategy.

Nope. How many times have you heard a client or even a colleague say: “We’re not posting enough, blogging enough, e-blasting enough?” Just because you create more content doesn’t mean people will consume it. Consider this:

  • Today, there are more than one billion  (and counting!) websites
  • Every second, 17 new websites  are created
  • There are on average 6,000 tweets per second
  • Every minute, people share 31.25 million messages  on Facebook and view 2.77 million videos

That’s more content than any one person would dream of consuming, or any brand could dream of their target audience consuming. More content is not inherently better. After all, so many messages, tweets, emails, websites – and so much more – vie for your audience’s attention. How do we cut through all the noise? When you blog/tweet/ post/share/etc., make it count. Develop a relationship with your members, prospects and audience in which they know that you respect their time and their click. Become their trusted resource for useful, thoughtful information; become a content authority. Research, conduct meaningful interviews, think creatively and always consider if the information is useful and valuable to your audience, or are you adding to the noise?

Key take-away: Good content is about quality, not quantity. As keynote speaker and bestselling author Drew Davis  emphasizes, treat your content like a product.  Get to the simplest idea and create content tailored for your audience’s needs. Valuable content inspires action.

Myth#2: Create content that is relevant to everyone.

If you write content that you want everyone to relate to, no one will. Why? When you get overly general or vague, you sound hollow and fake. Targeting specific messages that genuinely address your audience’s wants, needs and pain-points creates a connection. This is how your audience can see your organization’s and brand’s value.

Remember:

Content Brands Build Relationships →

Relationships Build Trust →

Trust Drives Revenue

As Davis puts it: A subscription allows you to build a relationship with the audience before they need you (or so they need you!). Create a newsletter; people can subscribe to it via a call-to-action button on your website. This is a long-term strategy that far outweighs the value of likes, views and impressions. So, explore and identify the niche(s); find them and commit to serving their needs.

Myth #3: It’s all about above “the fold!”

For those less familiar with marketing terms, “the fold” is the portion of a webpage or email that doesn’t require you to scroll down to view. For years, the token marketing wisdom has been to place calls-to-action and important messages above the fold. For a while, that made sense. Now, people are savvier when it comes to using the internet and reading email than they were even 10 years ago. They are comfortable scrolling and swiping because it’s part of their routine.  While not everyone will scroll below the fold, those who do are more engaged with the content. Interest is much more easily converted to action.

Myth #4: Email marketing is a thing of the past; now it’s all about social media.

Think again. Email marketing is still how 72% of people prefer to receive information from other businesses or organizations. Yes, even Millennials. As Content Jam speaker and e-mail marketing guru Jessica Best’s research shows, email can drive 30–50% of a company’s revenue, AND it drives the highest ROI of any medium. Or the Direct Marketing Association’s research shows: “For every $1 you invest in email marketing, on average, you can earn $28 in return on investment… If you’re doing it right.”

So, use your toolbox to do it right:

(1)  Use data to be relevant; personalize your messaging and segment your lists.

(2)  Make the content engaging, even with images off.

(3)  Make it accessible on all platforms (desktop, mobile, tablet).

(4)  Get to the point, make it short.

(5)  Don’t start from scratch – re-purpose your content (blog, social, video, etc.).

Myth #5: Amazing content starts with amazing tactics.

Agency head Ian Lurie dispells this myth about tactics:

it’s not about apps, social media accounts or blogrolls. As you may have suspected, at the end of the day, it’s still all about content. There is no shortcut to great content. Ian’s top tips include:

  • Select relevant, timely topics
  • Conduct research
  • Review, revise, proof (and use these tools to help: Grammarly, Edit Minion, Hemingway App, to name a few)
  • Use images with intention; avoid using stock photos
  • Be concise
  • Grow

Great marketing is all about crafting well-researched, strategic (and meaningful) messages and sharing that information (then re-sharing it!). The best way to start is consider your audience first-what is relevant to them and how do they want to connect?

As speaker James Ellis put it:
“Content Marketing is not Pixie Dust. You can’t sprinkle it on your site and expect magical things to happen.”

It’s not just about good writing, creativity, design and social promotion. It is about knowing your audience. Be relevant. If you target the right person at the right time with the right message, they convert. It’s also not aggregate, people don’t read your entire website or e-mail marketing campaign, they read a page or an e-mail and they decide if your message matters to them. Then, they make a decision. Be thoughtful and intentional with your messages, measure outcomes and create content that does more than take up space.