If you’re doing content marketing just because you know that it’s important, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.
Not having the right impetus behind your content marketing strategy can mean having an unfocused, ineffective plan that does nothing but suck away your precious time.
Here are some of the “wrong reasons” to be doing content marketing, and some of the best reasons to use content to market your business:
1. Someone told you that you need to be content marketing.
Unless that person with your marketer, simply doing content marketing because you read it online somewhere doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Content marketing can and will help every business, but if you don’t know exactly why you are content marketing, you’re not going to be able to make the most of it.
It’s very popular right now and many large brands are making use of content marketing, which is making content marketing a magnet for other businesses that want to achieve success.
The problem with choosing to do content marketing just because someone else said it was a good idea is not only will it be unfocused, it makes you a follower.
You don’t want to be a follower, you want to be a leader.
2. It’s cheap.
Marketing is expensive, there’s no denying that fact.
But marketing is also an investment—you are spending money in order to make more money in the long run.
Content marketing, unless you are outsourcing it to your marketer or a freelancer (and sometimes even if you are outsourcing it), is much cheaper than many other types of marketing.
That doesn’t, however, make it an adequate replacement for other types of marketing.
Nor does doing it yourself actually make it free.
Even if you are the business owner and you are doing all of your content marketing, you are essentially paying yourself to content market.
Picking this kind of marketing because it boasts “low investment, high returns,” without really knowing how to do it or why to do it makes it a very bad time (and money) investment.
Small and large businesses alike choose content marketing because they don’t have to “buy” anything—just create it.
But content marketing is only effective if you have the expertise to create effective content marketing.
3. You just want your voice to be part of the conversation.
Wanting to be heard is fine—but only if you have something to say.
Too many businesses follow the mindset that they have to be part of the conversation about their business, or that they have to generate a conversation, in order for anyone to be talking about them.
This creates two problems.
First, you might not actually have anything of value to add to the conversation.
That isn’t to say that your business isn’t valuable, just that if you can’t offer anything new or interesting to the conversation, you’ll effectively be that lackey that stands behind the bully in cheesy 80’s movies and says, “Yeah, what he said!” whenever the bully speaks.
You’re not really in control of the conversation and you’re adding nothing to it, except an echo of what someone else has already said.
The second problem is the commitment that “joining the conversation” creates.
If you’re not willing to keep up with that commitment and remain a part of the conversation, then content marketing is for you.
However, you can’t just join the world of content marketing and then slip away.
Once your presence has arrived, it has to stay.
1. You actually have something to say.
Content marketing is a great way to disseminate your opinions and thoughts about an industry-related topic or to have your say on a controversy or story surrounding your company.
If you’ve got thoughtful, insightful, relevant, and valuable comments to add to the conversation about your industry or about your business specifically, then you have a good reason to create and marketing yourself with content.
However, the caveat still remains that once you are a part of the conversation, you must remain a part of the conversation.
You can’t just pipe up and then back slowly out of the room, you have to be present—listening, responding, and saying your piece.
2. Your audience demands it.
There are some sectors in which a business has to be a part of the social conversation, or their customers will forget about them.
That reflects both on the business and on the customers.
If your customers need to be engaged with a blog or social media campaign in order to remember to patronize your company, then a content marketing tactic is a great idea.
Most companies do benefit from a content marketing campaign for exactly this reason: it helps them build authority and improves the “stickiness” of the brand name.
3. It’s affordable.
Yes, content marketing is affordable.
Even if you outsource it to your marketing team, your web developer, or an independent freelancer.
It’s easy to find writers, video producers, graphic designers, etc. who will help you create unique content marketing specifically for your business, targeting your customers, and capturing your message.
This shouldn’t be the only reason you choose it, however.
This is an acceptable reason, one when you know what you want to say, why you want to say it and have an audience that will actually be willing to listen and to respond to it.
So, are you doing content marketing for the right reasons or does your content marketing plan need a motivation makeover?