Content Marketing: Expectations vs Reality
The one thing that has always mattered when it comes to content marketing is quality. But nowadays, quality alone fails to fetch the desired results. Search engines have become extremely stringent when it comes to competitions, thus making it all the more difficult to get an appreciable ranking on the search results page.
Enters content marketing services, the profession of promoting and popularizing web contents for business purposes or personal ambitions. Whether you want to earn a revenue or just reach out to your target audience, content marketing strategy always helps you in reaching your desired goal.
Recently, however, there’s been some misconceptions regarding how content marketing works. This has unfortunately created a striking contrast between a lot of people’s expectations and the outcomes they get in real life.
Let us identify the expectations set by bloggers and website owners and what they should do to convert them into reality.
Situation 1: Being Unique
Expectation: It has become a popular conception that unique contents sell the most. Millions of people strive to make their content as unique as possible. Phrases like “be unconventional”, “think out-of-the-box”, “come up with what no one has ever thought of” has flooded the market. It has thus become a consensus, that the only way to effectively market your product or service and stand out in this excruciatingly competitive digital economy, is to make it as unique and off-the-chart as possible.
Reality: Your product or service fails to fetch the desired result. After all the blood and sweat into making it “unique”, you end up with fewer customers, traffic or conversions. Your content has failed to meet the expectations.
Solution: Focus on what people need. Identify what they want or are looking for. Provide solutions to a problem faced by people or offer a service they need so that they are naturally drawn towards your content. You can also generate content that adds value to the world and impact lives for betterment. Being unique comes second. Your priority should be creating value, satisfying needs/desires/wants or addressing problems people are facing in daily lives.
Situation 2: Content Production
Expectation: Most people think mass-producing content every day is the key to optimum search engine performance. After all, more content per day means a higher rate of push notifications.
Reality: Although websites like TechCrunch, Mashable, etc perform well by posting innumerable contents per day, you find yours going in the opposite direction. You strive to meet the self- imposed deadlines and exhaust yourself, only to find your stats under-performing.
Solution: Focus on polishing the quality of the content, instead of quantity. Do your research well, insert anchor links of websites with heavy traffic, work on the SEO content strategy, check for errors, improve readability, proofread, check for plagiarism, incorporate affiliate links, try guest posting your content on popular websites, etc. Do everything to make your content as informative and engaging as possible. One quality content can fetch far more traffic than ten hurriedly finished ones.
Situation 3: Content-Length
Expectation: You prepare a content of five pages with a word count of over 3000. You believe that with heavier content, comes better the traffic, reader engagement, conversions, etc.
Reality: To your disappointment, very few traffic turn up, let alone conversions and reader engagement. You keep wondering what could have possibly gone wrong and eventually find out that people are no longer buying into lengthy content.
Solution: In this fast pace world, people neither have time nor energy to invest in humungous content. They require shorter, easy to read write-ups that create, impact and save time simultaneously. Go for short articles, snippets and blog posts. They are far more engaging than one big chunk of exhaustive content.
Situation 4: Keyword Stuffing
Expectation: You’ve learned from “SEO gurus” to insert a variety of trending keywords and use each of them as many times as possible. You are under the impression that more keywords would make your content stand out and eventually occupy the most favorable position on the search engine.
Reality: Your content along with your website gets banned by the search engine authority. You’re shocked! You know you’ve done nothing illegal, shared any explicit content or made something viral that doesn’t comply with the search engine guidelines. Yet, your content gets penalized. All your efforts boiled down to nothing.
Solution: Keyword stuffing is out of date and is strictly prohibited by search engine authorities. Repeating the act ends up in your website getting banned or penalized. Instead, incorporate your researched keywords in the most natural way possible. Make sure each keyword is repeated per 500 words, not more than that. In this way, you’ll be able to evade such search engine compliance issues, as well as maintain the optimum keyword density required for marketing your content.
Situation 5: Advertisements
Expectation: Suppose you run a travel blog and are incorporating ads related to travel products and services. You insert as many banner ads as possible and make sure they’re visible on your content. After all, ads are one of the primary sources of revenue for a website owner.
Reality: The traffic number gets reduced over time. You find that people are no longer interested in reading your content. You have done every possible thing on your part and has left no stone unturned. Yet, it all appears to go downhill.
Solution: While advertisements are needed for creating conversions, overdoing it can backfire on all your hard work. You see, no one likes to be bombarded with flashy products all the time or get distracted with fleeting ads while reading your content. It hinders smooth navigation through your website. Instead, incorporate affiliate links naturally within your content and reduce the perpetual dependence on ads. Affiliate links are becoming popular as substitutes for advertisements.
Expectations don’t always meet reality. Same goes for content. While creating a blog post, you should be aware of all the buzz words and over-the-top suggestions that fuel wishful thinking, ultimately leading to disappointment. Instead, think real. Focus on what people love to read, research the keywords, maintain clarity and continuity, etc. And most importantly, ensure quality content.