This article and expertise was originally published on Forbes.
Content marketing is becoming increasingly popular with each passing year. Businesses see the benefits that competitors are enjoying from publishing highly valuable content, and are looking for ways to do the same themselves. Churning out great ideas of often more difficult than anticipated and companies that enter content marketing for the first time often have some unrealistic expectations for the type of results it will provide as well as how quickly those results come.
There is a lot of information out there that can help businesses to set realistic expectations for themselves when they first start content marketing. Unfortunately, most businesses don’t take the time to truly learn about what they can expect when they first start publishing content, how long it can potentially take to see positive results, and how much time they can expect to put into the creation of that content. If you’re one of those company’s that is venturing into content marketing for the quick payoff, then I’d recommend spending your time on another marketing medium. Tactics like PPC and email marketing are much better at driving immediate results than content marketing. But when done correctly, content marketing can be a game changer.
So, if you are going to venture into the content marketing arena, make sure you don’t buy into these common expectations.
Creating top tier content is easy
I don’t want to burst anyones bubble, but coming into content marketing with no experience and setting the expectation of creating “amazing” content is a bit of a stretch. That’s not to say that your business shouldn’t strive to create strong content, as that is what will ultimately drive your returns. However, you must know that creating great content is a process.
It starts with finding great writers, graphic designers, and video producers. As with any working relationship, figuring out what works for your company could take some time. You may find that the people that you chose to work with were not a good fit for one reason or another, and have to go back to the drawing board in some regard.
Instead of focusing on creating a new “top tier” blog post every single day, most companies would be better off taking their time in the creation process and spending a lot more time promoting their content. Too many businesses get into content marketing and get bogged down in the creation process.
More content, more reach
Many companies still have older SEO practices ingrained into their minds and figure that the more content that they are able to produce, the larger their reach will be. While this is true in some cases, sacrificing quality for quantity is actually going to hinder your content marketing efforts.
Don’t push out content on a daily basis just for the sake of doing it. One blog post that reaches 100,000 people is always going to be more valuable than 100 blog posts that reach 1,000 people each.
The best advice that I can give to businesses that are new to content marketing is to slow down and plan. Often, a blog post can be improved upon if you spend a little extra time researching the audience and the way they are searching for information. This could lead you to tweak a headline or add some content, which in the end could end up providing you with thousands of more eyeballs discovering you via the search engines.
Finding great writers is easy and inexpensive
A lot of businesses have unrealistic expectations regarding what they need to spend to produce great content. They find content mills, low cost freelancers and content production companies and automatically assume that they represent the price range for all content. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.
If you want someone to invest their time into producing professional level content for your content marketing campaigns, you need to pay them accordingly. Lots of businesses will find a low-cost writer who is able to produce some impressive pieces initially, but find that their quality quickly drops off.
When you don’t pay people professional rates, it’s hard to keep their attention. They don’t feel the loyalty from you and in return they won’t be willing to give it back. When you pay low rates, you’ll cycle through writers who don’t know how to market themselves well enough to command higher rates and in turn are jumping from one job to the next, trying to climb the rate ladder.
With content production, like many other aspects of business and marketing, you really do get out of it what you put into it. Thus, if you’re looking for a bargain, you’re probably going to get bargain basement content in return.
It’s best to keep content on your own website
It does make sense to post content on your own website. You want to give people a reason to visit. However, some of the most successful blog posts that I’ve ever written were guest posts and content posted on other sources. You’ll find that splitting your content among sources will almost always have a much larger impact and simply dumping every article onto your blog and waiting for the visits to start rolling in.
There will always be bigger brands than your own out there. There is nothing wrong with, and in fact you should, try to have your content featured on those larger brands. It exposes you to new audience, attracts clients, and helps you to secure new opportunities.
Content marketing drives revenue quickly
Content marketing is a long game. You certainly won’t see the type of results that you hope to achieve overnight. When working with companies that are just getting started with content marketing, I often suggest that they spend just as much time promoting new content as they do creating it.
There are multiple reasons for this. To start, it helps businesses to drive those initial surges of traffic and get an idea of the type of results that content marketing is capable of producing. Additionally, it sets the right expectations from the get-go. You can post the greatest content in the world, but if you are not out there actively promoting it, you’ll have a hard time getting anyone to take notice and only shoot yourself in the foot.
The longer the content, the better the results
In recent years, it has become a trend to focus on producing extremely long pieces of content in favor of shorter, more devourable articles. There is a good reason for this too – long articles are generally more informative, cover a subject more completely, and give readers a resource that they can keep coming back to. Plus there is mounting evidence that Google and other search engines are giving more love to longer form content.
However, it is important to know that not all subjects actually require 10,000 words and a handful of infographics to cover appropriately. Many of the longer articles that I see being published would be more effective if they were broken down into chunks and published separately. Then, you can tie those posts together in a summary post.
Content marketing is probably the best long-term decision that any business with an online presence can make, but the benefits do not come easy. There are a lot of misconceptions regarding the time and effort required to produce returns and keep people coming back to your content every time that you hit that publish button.
This article was written by Mike Templeman from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Twitter or its affiliates.