9 Hard Truths About Content Marketing and How to Face Them

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Whether you’re a small business looking to start content marketing or an established company looking to pivot your marketing strategy, there are hard truths about content marketing across the board that should be addressed. You know you want to find an audience based around your niche and become influential, but exactly how to do that is allusive. You need to know how to manage issues like this when they arise. Here are nine realities you will deal with in content marketing and how to handle them.

1. Your Online Audiences Are Hard to Locate

Normally, when it comes to advertising, a bigger reach is better. This is very much the case for digital marketing as well. But with such a large reach online, it can be harder to know who to reach. Wasting marketing resources on the wrong audience can be detrimental. Plus, figuring out which demographics are where online can be an enormous obstacle.

That’s why it is crucial, before pushing out your digital presence, to determine exactly who your audience is. From there, you can conduct the necessary primary and secondary research to discover which sites, formats, and platforms appeal to your specific audience. By doing so, you assure that your digital marketing reaches an audience interested in what you sell.

2. Gaining Brand Awareness Isn’t Easy

Before the Internet age, it was said a person needed to see an advertisement three times in order to truly remember it. Today, so many advertisements are thrown at us constantly from the minute we wake up. Therefore, starting out your initial digital marketing with repetitive, strong ads that are simple and clear is crucial. Otherwise, if you start promoting your brand with complex, multi-faceted advertisements, it’ll be too much all at once to really make consumers care. They’ll just scroll past it, forgetting your brand completely. 

3. People Will Judge a Book by its Cover

When it comes to digital marketing, what’s on the outside really does count. People will give you and your brand very little time before making a snap judgment. Plus, that judgment is usually solely based on the look, aesthetic, and style of your marketing. No matter who your audience is, the best marketers are the ones that maintain a consistent style. Also, they keep a certain look across all social media and online platforms. A uniform brand image gives consumers a better sense of your brand and your degree of professionalism. 

4. Being Influential Takes Time

To many, it seems ridiculous just how successful online influencers have become in recent years. Seemingly, they think “just” for posting simple pictures online. But the hard truth is that these influencers did not all become popular brands overnight. It took constant posting with a strategic plan for content and captions and more over a long period of time for them to gain a following. In doing so, they literally created a brand out of their own personalities. Though many mock these “influencers,” marketers need to take a page out of their book in order to achieve that same level of online popularity for their brands. 

5. Your Audience Doesn’t Care 

Even if you are reaching the right audience online, your audience is still likely to disregard your advertisement. Self-promotion and obvious ploys for the consumer’s business are going to cause people to click out of/scroll away from your marketing immediately. This might be one of the hardest truths about content marketing. So, in order to avoid this, marketers must ask themselves, “Would I want to interact with this ad? Would I share this?” With these questions as a guide, you can avoid the types of advertisements that do nothing but annoy and turn away consumers. 

6. Self-Promotion Is Boring

Unless your brand is well-established enough to have a dedicated following, audiences do not care what your product is or how good it is. Instead, in order to win an audience over, you need the truth of your brand to connect with the truth of the audience’s life circumstances (i.e., how your brand/product is going to make their life better/easier). They don’t want a list of how great your product is; they want to know what it’ll actually do to affect their lives. By focusing on them, instead of what you’re actually selling, you can win them over. 

7. The Same Style Doesn’t Work on All Socials

It would be amazing if one format of advertising style worked across all social media platforms. But the truth is, most sites have a unique way of doing things, and if you don’t fit with that, people assume your brand is outdated and out of touch.

For instance, an informational, formal video on YouTube could be widely successful if done in a professional, classy way. However, that same video would be a major failure on a site like TikTok, where most audiences want short, flashy, and entertaining clips. Catering your content to each site is crucial to any online marketing success. 

8. People Are Only Going to Remember You If You’re Bad

Don’t panic if you’re not getting the talk and buzz you hoped you would from your digital marketing. In reality, unless your brand is incredibly well-known and admired, people are only really going to talk about you if it’s for something negative. In short, less online chatter about you means better for you in the long run. 

9. Scheduling Is Everything

It may seem a bit absurd, the idea of scheduling out your social media or digital activity. However, inconsistent posting and marketing is a surefire way to fail. This is one of the truths about content marketing. Because ultimately, audiences won’t remember you if you’re only producing content at random, unknown times. In fact, audiences are likely to be annoyed, because they have no idea who you are. If you maintain a schedule of when/where you post, audiences can get to know you and your objectives much better. 

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