Disclaimer: This isn’t a blog post with an ironic title that basically sells the pros of content marketing. Sometimes content marketing simply isn’t the best strategy for your business.
This is how you’ll know.
I am content marketing’s biggest fan. I love that there’s a sub-category of marketing letting both a brand share its knowledge on its expertise and consumers become more educated buyers.
And according to Custom Content Council, 62% of buyers feel more connected to a company that delivers tailored content and 85% are more likely to purchase from that company over its competitors.
So every business should jump on the content marketing train, right?
In my opinion, no. While content marketing can be a successful strategy for many businesses, some companies simply aren’t cut out for it.
Yes, there are businesses that can deeply benefit from a solid content marketing strategy but fail to do this. And there are businesses that have the wrong expectations for content marketing before their first piece is created.
I’m not talking about those companies.
And it’s not always about the company’s industry. There are businesses that you wouldn’t expect their content marketing to thrive based on what they sell, yet they continue to pleasantly surprise all us marketers.
So, should your business develop a content marketing strategy? That all depends on your customer.
Here’s When Content Marketing Isn’t Right For Your Business
A major myth about content marketing is that a piece of content is successful because of the content. But that’s not true at all.
I’ve seen sub-par white papers get a bunch of downloads and a brilliant blog post with low page hits.
It’s not about being a talented writer, graphic designer or videographer. It’s about targeting your audience at the right place at the right time with the content they need.
Successful companies in content marketing understand their consumer’s behavior. In other words, they understand the buyer’s journey, their consumer’s research tendencies and what kinds of content they prefer at each phase.
It’s really that simple.
You can’t brainstorm viral content without knowing the reader, the viewer or the listener. If your content does not relate to your target audience—read: buyers—then you’re attracting the wrong people to your website.
I don’t need to tell you that the wrong people coming to your website increases bounce rate, decreases purchases and wastes everyone’s time. But I suppose I just did.
Before you create your content, you have to fully understand each phase of the buyer’s journey. What questions do they ask during each stage? What barriers prevent them from moving forward with their purchase?
Now ask yourself: Is this a question that I can answer? Can I change their perception of the problem?
If content plays a key role at any stage in the buyer’s journey, then content marketing has the potential of being a strong strategy for your business.
But if it doesn’t, then don’t do it. Focus on answering these questions or removing these perceived obstacles through marketing that truly honors your target audience.
Don’t jump into content marketing because your competitors are doing it. Don’t launch a content marketing campaign because Company XYZ’s video went viral. Do it because it’s right for your business and your buyers.