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The practice of content marketing is growing rapidly. In fact, according to a recent study, it is predicted that content marketing is expected to more than double by 2019 – making it a $54 billion market.

It’s no wonder that – suddenly – everyone is a ‘content marketer’.

What we’re seeing in the industry is similar to the surge of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) experts, which led to the days of “black hat” and “white hat” SEO practices. Traditional marketing practitioners are faced with a similar steep learning curve, which has led to some trying to ‘outsmart’ the content marketing practice.

As a result, we find ourselves surrounded by myths about content generation, content marketing, and best practices. Let’s debunk those myths and get your small business on the right track – with the data to prove it.

Myth # 1: Quantity Is More Important Than Quality

 Many marketers, especially those with an SEO background, focus on building large amounts of content for search purposes. While a lot of content isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and they’re right to use it to boost SEO – they are forgetting the first purpose of content marketing.

Content marketing is a science that requires creativity, business experience, and pointed messaging. By simply focusing on page views, you may find yourself going off-brand.

Why is this bad? Well, most marketers will (correctly) tell you that your content should improve your brand perception, but a recent study reported that 35% of B2B customers have encountered content from a business that actually led to them choosing a different company because they didn’t perceive it the first business to be trustworthy.

A good example of this includes ‘clickbait’ articles designed to just get people to click on the link without providing anything useful. (For Example: “Girl jumps in a pool – you won’t BELIEVE what happened next!”)

The lesson? Content marketing isn’t all about traffic; it’s all about the audience. If you can connect with them, increased traffic will be a happy result.

Myth # 2: People Don’t Focus Long Enough to Read Anymore

While it is true that attention spans are getting shorter, that does not mean that people don’t read articles or blogs. Think about it: there are millions of pieces of data every single day. They have no shortage of sources to choose from.

The result? They’re still reading content, but only content that they perceive to be worth their time.

This ties into the quality over quantity conversation. You want quality content, pieces that will grab the attention of your audience and turn them into fans of your brand. This includes articles that provide value to your target market, solve problems, and doesn’t feel promotional.

Content isn’t king, ladies and gentlemen – your audience is.

Myth # 3: I Can’t Prove the ROI Of Content Marketing

If a marketer tells you this, run as fast as you can in the opposite direction. It is simply not true.

It’s also an indicator that you may be dealing with a less than reputable practitioner.

The truth is, there are many ways to track the return on investment (ROI) of your content marketing strategy. Your campaigns should be based around your organizational goals and objectives.

Using those goals, you can verify how your audience is responding to your content. Shares and “likes” are part of this process, but are misrepresentative of your results. What you’re really looking for is actions taken on your page that actually help you reach those goals.

For example, if your goal is to increase traffic to your website, you can see how many of your visitors originated from your social media outlets. If it’s leads you’re after, you can track how many email subscribers you’ve attracted from your campaigns.

You can even track how long people are on your website or blog. You can also see how many times they return to your pages.

All of these are valuable pieces of data and provide an accurate snapshot of the efficacy of your content marketing strategy. Your time and money is precious, especially as a small business owner. Protect your investment and ask how progress is being monitored in your campaigns.

For a free analysis of your content strategy, contact Heeren Content & Strategy!

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