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5 wrong expectations people have about Content Marketing

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

Frustrated man - 5 Wrong Expectations People Have About Content Marketing
5 Wrong Expectations People Have About Content Marketing

Is Content Marketing worth it?

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?

What is Content Marketing?

Fast Fact

Key takeaway

What are the 5 essential elements of a Content Marketing strategy?

A successful content marketing strategy is built upon five essential elements that work together to drive results and engage your target audience. These elements provide a solid foundation for creating, distributing, and measuring the impact of your content. Let's explore each of these elements:

  • Clear Goals and Objectives: Define your content marketing goals and objectives. What do you hope to achieve through your content? Whether it's increasing brand awareness, generating leads, driving website traffic, or nurturing customer relationships, setting clear and measurable goals is crucial for guiding your content creation efforts.

  • Target Audience Research: Understand your target audience inside out. Conduct thorough research to identify their demographics, interests, pain points, and preferences. This knowledge will help you create content that resonates with them and addresses their specific needs, capturing their attention and building a connection.

  • Compelling and Valuable Content: Create high-quality, relevant, and valuable content that provides solutions, insights, or entertainment to your audience. Your content should align with your audience's interests and deliver value. It can take various forms such as blog posts, videos, infographics, podcasts, or interactive content. Consistency and creativity are key to capturing and maintaining audience engagement.

  • Effective Content Distribution: Develop a strategic plan for distributing your content across various channels. Identify the platforms where your target audience is most active, such as social media, industry publications, or email newsletters. Utilize SEO techniques, social media advertising, influencer collaborations, and other distribution strategies to maximize the visibility and reach of your content.

  • Metrics and Analysis: Measure the performance and impact of your content marketing efforts. Track relevant metrics such as website traffic, engagement rates, conversions, and ROI. Analyze the data to gain insights into what's working and what can be optimized. This information will guide you in refining your strategy, improving your content, and achieving better results over time.

What are the KPIs for a Content Strategy?

KPIs by Content Type - Content Marketing Institute
KPIs by Content Type - Content Marketing Institute

Hopefully, this is not too much of a surprise. But vanity metrics such as followers and likes take up a minute slot in the sea of KPIs that should be used to measure content success. Not to mention, revenue and sales are not metrics to prove the success of content marketing.

How Content Marketing helps businesses

Meeting - How Content Marketing helps businesses
How Content Marketing helps businesses

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:


1. Immediate responses vs long term repayment

Goals Enterprise Marketers Have Achieved by Using Content Marketing Successfully in the Last 12 Months
Goals Enterprise Marketers Have Achieved by Using Content Marketing Successfully in the Last 12 Months

Source: Knotch, Pros & Content

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)

2. Nonstop post creation vs milking your existing content

Woman working with computer - Nonstop post creation vs milking your existing content
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).

3. 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.

Do also note that a content strategy document is different from a content calendar. At best, a content calendar is merely a plan of content publishing dates; a content strategy is why and what content needs to be created to attract your target audiences.

Only implementing a storytelling element within ads and expect that to work under the concept of content marketing is also setting yourself up for failure. 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.

4. Viral material vs high engagement rates

Woman on mobile phone - Viral material vs high engagement rates
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. That is why content marketing is not about generating viral materials. At the least, it should never be the predominant goal.

According to, 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.

5. Lots of followers vs high in loyalty

Woman reading on computer - Lots of followers vs high in loyalty
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? Do make sure to understand that a content marketing strategy, compare to business strategy, should be measured against how content is successfully attracting leads, not just fulfilling arbitrary business goals set to fulfils stakeholder desires.

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)


Content Marketing is best described as a commitment, not a campaign

Female entrepreneur - Content Marketing is best described as a commitment, not a campaign
Content Marketing is best described as a commitment, not a campaign

Content Marketing is the long-term, strategic method of doing marketing today. Content marketing looks beyond ads and social media posts. Content marketing is the creation of relevant and timeless content, tailored to attract specific target audiences across different stages in the marketing funnel. That is why it can guarantee justifiable content and predictable content performances, eliminating the need for team members to waste time and effort on content execution without clear frameworks and guiding insights. It can take any business closer to success. If you are only looking for a marketing strategy that can be used for selling, perhaps it is best to consider demand generation and lead generation strategies instead. While others struggle and waste time creating ineffective blog posts, video content, and infographics, and remains stuck on executions and repeatedly executing promotional marketing campaigns, you can understand how to use social media marketing and search engines to your advantage.

By building content tailored to your target audiences and distributing them on different marketing channels such as online marketing, social networks, or landing pages, you attract potential customers to action, optimizing your content into lead-generation tactics that can truly justify your marketing efforts.

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!


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