Updated: Oct 12, 2021
It’s such a bummer to find out things don’t turn out as you expect, right?
But have you stopped to ask yourself if your expectations are actually the ‘right’ things to expect?
Perhaps you have been the one constantly setting yourself up for disappointment because you didn’t realize your expectations don’t line up with the facts.
Instead of blaming the tools or the methods for your failed dream, why not learn to frame your expectations practically so they do get achieved?
This is one of the most prominent reasons why people know content marketing works but they forfeit it anyways and end up going for traditional, outbound marketing techniques - they think they aren’t getting any result. The fact is they are achieving something else which is just as, if not more, worthwhile for the long-term success of the business.
Here are the 5 most common expectation vs reality facts about using content marketing to market your brand:
i) Immediate responses vs long term repayment
More than often, businesses are rushing themselves. They want to see immediate returns; they want to see skyrocketing figures. This does happen, but they are simply looking at the wrong metrics. If you expect content marketing to deliver numerous leads into your inbox within the first month, you are simply going to disappoint yourself. But if you expect content marketing to consistently drive quality leads that are likely to be loyal with a longer lifetime value, you will be thrilled.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 72% of marketers say content marketing has increased the number of leads. Twitter’s statistic shows that 94% plan to purchase a business they follow. It takes time for people to become familiar with your brand, and most importantly, trust you enough to buy from you. But the way to make people travel down the funnel is content marketing, not one or two ads. Plus, globally, adblocking costs advertisers billions of dollars, and the losses are growing year on year. (Statista, 2019)
ii) Nonstop post creation vs milking your existing content
Many business owners or even marketers themselves get into the trap of "the more, the better" when it comes to content creation. The reality is, a smart content marketer will only produce new content after the existing ones have been fully milked out. This means the blogs have been turned into quote posts, and the youtube videos have been turned into podcasts. The key is to spider out existing topics into channel-appropriate nuggets so that the effort spent on the initial content creation is maximized.
According to SEMrush (2019), 51% of companies say updating old content has proven the most efficient tactic implemented according to and 78% of companies have a team of one to three content specialists. Your content team should be becoming experts in spotting content patterns through their daily tasks, not to become content creating machines (which, to be honest, can easily be done by any AI bot).
iii) All about storytelling vs all about content strategy
So many brands get fixated on the terms authenticity, original, and one in particular - storytelling. But instead of defining what these mean specifically for their brand, they jump into creating stories that fit their own narrative. They neglect the needs of their target audiences and soon ask themselves why they have produced such content in the first place. As a result, they say that content marketing does not work for them.
But this is simply not true.
The reality of this expectation is the lack of a content strategy. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 63% of businesses don’t have a documented content strategy. Most businesses do not have a comprehensive content strategy in place, which means they do not know who they are talking to, with what specific content, to be distributed on which platforms. Worst yet, they will just implement a storytelling element within ads and expect that to work under the concept of content marketing. DemandMetric research also shows that 70% of people would rather get information about a company or learn something from an article or blog post than from a traditional advertisement. Even if the content is well crafted, it can still fail based on its distribution method. This is what breaks or makes the whole idea of storytelling in content marketing.
iv) Viral material vs high engagement rates
Going viral is this golden nugget that everyone is trying to chase. Those shinny big numbers are just so pleasing to look at. But do these viral numbers get you business? The answer likely is no. The real metric to look at is the engagement rate.
According to optinmonster.com, the Content Marketing Institute's digital content marketing stats show that 72% of marketers say content marketing increases engagement. Higher engagement reveals higher interest in your content. If the targeting was done properly, it also means that it is likely to drive quality leads. Based on a study by Kapost/Oracle Rogue, at per dollar, content marketing produces 3 times more leads.
v) Lots of followers vs high in loyalty
We all do this. We click on a profile and first check out how many followers this person or entity has. But the reality is, if they have a million followers and very few comments, shares, and saves, what good does that do?
According to DemandMetric, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads. Content marketing strives to captivate interest first, so you’re not persuading a person to buy from you - you’re attracting them with value. They become aware of your brand, loyal to your content, and would not doubt if you are the solution to their problem. Content marketing is not just about acquiring leads but nurturing them at the same time. This is why conversion rates are nearly 6x higher for content marketing adopters than non-adopters (2.9% vs 0.5%). (Source: Aberdeen)
If you have been setting yourself up for a lot of these disappointments and am wondering how to fix it, simply book a diagnosis session with me and I'll have all your questions answered in 30 minutes!