4 Important Content Marketing Facts You Should Wrap Your Head Around

Content Marketing FactsSimply put content marketing is the process of creating content with the idea of indirectly promoting a service or a product that you might have.

It might not even be one of the two – content marketing can be about marketing yourself, your skills or in other words building a personal brand. 

So it basically turns out that blogging and content marketing are the same thing, right?

Well not exactly.

Content marketers are only those bloggers who actively work on producing content AND spreading the word about that content i.e. promoting it.

And in order to be a successful content marketer, you need more than just SOME content. To make it work you need the RIGHT content. It’s about having material that your target audience can relate to.

With that in mind, in today’s article I would like to focus my (and your) attention to four of the most important content marketing facts that you should have a clear understanding of if you would like to maximize your marketing results.

Let’s get started:

1.Never Focus Your Blog Posts Around Length


Importance of Article Length
There have been a lot of different opinions, concerning how lengthy a blog post should be…

There are those, claiming that long articles are a proof to expertise and therefore are the better content strategy. On the other hand some bloggers claim that shorter posts, make for a more engaging read with readers participating further and taking more action.

So what should you do – short or long articles? 

Well my simple advice is to never measure your content by how much words it consists of. Yes, sometimes when you are writing for clients, the word count matters, because that is what the final price is based on.

The fact however is that you can easily write a 2,000 word-piece with a lot of fluff and a lot of the same conclusions. But you can also produce a shorter say 1,000 word-long post that actually presents and details a unique and effective strategy.

What I want to tell you is that you shouldn’t tie your posts around reaching a specific number of words. Instead of setting the goal of writing X number of words today, set yourself the goal of writing one full article, regardless of its length.

As an additional argument, a recent research by Chartbeat showed that there is NO direct relation between how much time visitors spent reading an article and how many retweets (and social shares for that matter) the article ends up receiving.

Relationship Between Reading and Retweeting

2.Know that NOT Only Articles are Considered Content


The Shift to Visual Content

If you are into blogging for more than a couple of months and you’ve only been publishing articles and nothing else, you are missing out!

Remember – the word “content” does not relate to articles only. 

And there is no denying that if you want to improve your blog’s search-engine rankings, you need to have articles. After all without the words, your blog will pretty much be empty in the eyes of the search bots, crawling its pages.

However there is nothing bad in spicing things up a bit every once in awhile! 

With the rise of platforms like Pinterest and Instagram, visual content is now on the piedestal. And although the “boom” is over, infographics for instance still pack quite a punch. I incorporated that type of content at the start of this year and the results have been more than good!

The thing about an infographic is that it isn’t word-intensive and it relies more on “picturing” the story rather than telling it. That way the visitor needs far less time to digest the information and that often times results in A LOT of social sharing.

SlideShare is the other big thing. HubSpot for instance seems to have success with them, as they’ve been publishing a lot lately. Over at SlideShare, their team has uploaded dozens of presentations, which they also share on their blog. The latter results in a ton of retweets and likes.

Something else you could do (and I’m considering) is video blogging!

Right now YouTube is the third largest site, so that’s a huge potential traffic source!

All in all the idea is to not make your blog boring. The more types of content you embrace, the more engaging and interesting it will all be. And after all that is one of the keys to turning first-timers into loyal readers!

3. Quality Material Doesn’t Necessarily Guarantee Social Sharing


As we all’d like to think that quality is what determines how much social sharing a post will receive, that doesn’t quite correspond to the truth…

Having a really high level of expertise in a certain field of knowledge is one thing. Being able to translate that knowledge into content that provides useful information is second. And turning that content into a magnet for social sharing is third. 

Unfortunately what often times happens is that someone might really be good at the first two parts of the process. The guy has a lot of knowledge and produces some really interesting pieces of content.

What he lacks however is a marketing approach.

Even though in its niche, his content is tough to beat, he just doesn’t do anything to promote it. And if that’s what YOU are doing… Well you are relying on a miracle.

The first thing you should do if you want to draw the attention is go out there and start promoting yourself!

Here are several articles, all of which packed with practical tips, to get you started: 

4. Content Marketing Won’t Improve SEO and Traffic Right Away


One of the reasons why a lot of companies create a blog for their business is because they have a static site that doesn’t drive much organic traffic.

You see if you have a site that consists of just a couple of pages and several hundred words, you really don’t stand much of a chance ranking for keywords that are related to your business.

So what happens if you add a blog as a subdomain to your site is that now you have a source of fresh content on monthly or weekly (better) basis. Each article you write adds another page to your site, which is one more reason for the search bots to come and crawl your site. Each article also adds more words to your content, helping crawlers determine better what your site’s focus is….

Or at least that’s what the theory says. 

Well in fact fresh content is just the starting point. Simply adding page by page to your site, won’t necessarily help your site show high on the search-engine result pages. That’s the simple truth.

Without guest blogging (for both link building and audience building purposes) you will just be burning tyre and standing still.

You see back in the days when Buffer was just making its first steps, I was approached by Leo Widrich. He is basically the guy behind the whole promotion of the social media scheduling app. He was pitching a guest post that covered seven really cool Twitter tools, among which he had included of course Buffer. The post had turned out pretty good, so I agreed. It was a win-win. I got content for my blog and he got links back to Buffer.

Leo continued working on that same strategy of providing content for other blogs and including a sentence or two about Buffer…

After just a couple of months of following that strategy, the app was already drawing a lot of attention. At one point pretty much everyone in the blogging and social media world was talking about it. Now hundreds of guest posts later Buffer has long crossed 100,000 customers.

At the start they didn’t even have a blog.

What I’m trying to tell is that adding a blog to your business is a step in the right direction. However you should NOT solely rely on writing and publishing content to make the cut for you. You will hardly get traffic and SEO benefits without reaching out to other bloggers, giving guest blogging a go and actively engaging within the community of your niche.

In Conclusion


I really hope you liked what I shared in the above paragraphs! Don’t ever let length decide your articles, embrace different content types, work on getting social shares and consider guest blogging. All in all those are what I believe the four basics to successful content marketing.

Now it’s your turn! 

What do you think about length – is it a decisive factor? Have you tried publishing infographics or SlideShare presentations? And what about guest blogging? 

Please take a minute to share your comments! 

6 Types of Content You Absolutely Should Embrace as a Marketer

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  1. Hey Daniel,
    This is a very factual article! Really enjoyed reading it and completely agree with you that quality content doesn’t always get shared. Here is something that I like to do to create quality content that gets shared!

    I engage people without making them feel like they are being sold. Anytime we feel like we are being sold we go to what many call ‘the lizard brain.’ This makes people feel suspicious and in charge of watching for danger and confrontation. Instead we need to get people into the buying part of their brains. When we are in buying mode we are more likely to ask, for instance, “Does this come in my size?” and follow the salesperson eagerly. I call this part of my brain ‘my purring cat.’

    Thanks again for a great article,
    ‘TC’ Teresa Clark

  2. Hey Daniel, horrible post as always ;> I have also been dabbling in other content forms lately. I added a video to a post later, with a quick tutorial. i also did a very time consuming Slide share which I really enjoyed and has over 500 views. But it has not really gotten many people back to my blog yet. I think there is definitely potential there for both of these media, and I really want to keep trying as the numbers are on their side. I also got into Pinterest which I think I mentioned on my last visit here. Still at low follow numbers, but it’s growing and I am posting more on the topic as I learn. We gotta keep expanding my friend!
    take care
    ashley

  3. I agree with everything you have to say about content marketing. But I agree most with the point you make that good knowledge about a topic and writing good blog/article on that topic doesn’t entails that your content will become viral. This remind me of one of your previous post wherein you rightly mentioned that content isn’t the king but right way to promote and market your quality content is the key.

    You always come up with relevant posts Daniel. Thanks for your musings :-)

  4. Jeevan Jacob John says:

    Hey Daniel,

    Totally agree with your points! All the talk about the article length, it doesn’t matter. Our readers will read the post, as long as we provide value. Sure, we should try and avoid fluff and make our posts more scanabale.

    Loved your second point about experimenting with other types of media :) I believe that we should try and mix them up; for instance, I am planning to include bonus tip boxes for some of my articles in my upcoming blog (and these bonus tips would either be delivered in audio or video :D). It’s also a great way for me to become more skilled in the area – without investing too much into it.

    Infographics is a medium I haven’t played around with. Do you create infographics, Daniel? Or do you hire someone? I am already trying to learn Photoshop and other digital painting/drawing methods, perhaps I could learn to create infographics :D

    Third point – Indeed. I have seen many bloggers saying that content itself will bring traffic (I used to say that too). Never forget marketing! Marketing is perhaps more important than content generation itself.

    Anyways, thank you for the tips, Daniel :)

    Appreciate it!

    • Hey Jeevan,

      Your idea about the bonus tips sounds interesting. It seems like a great way to improve engagement on your blog. Would definitely like to hear your results! :)

      As for infographics – no, I don’t create them. I find them on the internet and share them. Of course I always give credit to the authors. Lately I’ve been getting requests by email of folks, asking me to publish their infographics. That’s pretty much how I do it.

      Thanks for stopping by! :)
      Daniel

  5. Hi Daniels.
    Very nice post, you just reminded me my usual mistake, i always concentrate on counting word for all of my single post and choosing word. It takes me a lot of time and i know that’s very hard to break this habit, I will try to nail it.
    Thanks for your information,

    Stephan Wu

    • Hey Stephen,

      I remember back in the days how I used word counter tools to know when I’ve reached 800 words and conclude my article. It’s just ridiculous. Definitely try to focus on value and not words. :)

      Daniel

  6. Hey Daniel

    Good write up right on the money about length and the fact that just having good or even great quality content is not enough, it’s all about promotion and networking.

    I want to add that anyone considering content marketing should really focus on writing great pieces and spend a hell of a lot of time promoting them.

    Content is all about people. Getting them to read, like and share you work is the most important part of blogging or content marketing.

    I have achieved more success by writing one email people that I want to collaborate with then spending weeks writing 10-20 articles or paying someone to do it on my behalf.

    Its great to see someone who really gets it and isn’t scared to share the knowledge around.

    Paul Back

    • Hey Paul,

      That’s exactly how it is man! Both promotion and quality should be considered. The fact is great content will be left unnoticed without promotion and bad content won’t bring engagement (at least positive) even with a ton of sharing.

      Thanks for the comment! :)
      Daniel

  7. This was really a nice read Daniel! Regarding the length, I would say that yes, of course, word count seems to be a restriction, at times, and definitely you shouldn’t bother about that unless you have been given any specific requirements. What you should take care of is that the flow of the article must not be disturbed and yes, info graphics are always a personal favorite.

  8. Hey Daniel,
    I believe humor can be a useful asset in content marketing, allot of people only focus on standard social-media like facebook and Pinterest and they are too serious and focus on just branding their product etc..
    but we forget fun sites like trolled and 9gag where we have millions of people there too, it’s the age memes now and everybody enjoys a little laugh. use memes in your content marketing, you’ll be surprised how much it will affect your stats.
    create fun memes scenarios where your products is also included and submit to memes sites!
    and watch the magic happens! :)
    Many thanks and Best Wishes!

    • Hey Mitch,

      That’s a sound advice indeed. 9GAG is one of my favorite places and I agree that marketing should be too serious and we should also look at the fun side. On my Google Plus and Facebook pages I always try to mix up my shares with some humorous comics, images and jokes. People like it when you show them your other side.

      Daniel

  9. I think I’m consistently falling into this trap myself where I focus too much on trying to reach a specific word count for each post. It’s hard to break that habit, but your post is a good reminder that there are more important things to focus on.

    • Hey Josh,

      I’d say just go with the flow. If you feel like it would be better to include a detail – do it. If you feel like it’s unnecessary – don’t. Words don’t matter – it’s the value that does. :)

      Daniel

  10. Hi Daniel, Another great post. You’re a great resource. I started writing and promoting articles on a site called Seekyt but I’m not getting the views that I would like to get. I came across an article about video-blogging and started turning my articles into video blogs on YouTube which turn out to be more profitable than the articles that I created them from.

    • Hey Eddie,

      I am considering video blogging for some time, but I definitely don’t believe it’s going to happen in the coming months. Will have to go through a bit learning curve with YouTube marketing. Great to hear the approach is working out for you though!

      Daniel

  11. A 2000 word post without fluff, now THAT makes heads spin. Great points here Daniel.

  12. Matthew Brun says:

    Daniel,
    I just started blogging in the last few days and found your post to be very helpful. What I like best about this is the piece on length. As I wrote my first blog I was wondering if it was too short or too long. Should each post be consistently approx. the same length.

    Not only did you answer that question but also answered another one which was about adding other types of content into the blog.

    Thanks for the info!

    Matthew Brun

  13. Hi Daniel,
    You’re an impressive young man with a brilliant ability to communicate clearly. I appreciate your content and style!

    Question: What are some effective ways to approach other bloggers in my niche for guest blogging? Do I invite them first? Send them articles of mine first? The ones I’ve reached out to simply don’t respond.

    What are your thoughts on effectively engaging others in guest blogging?

    Thanks,
    Steve

    • Hi Steve,

      I know the comment was directed at Daniel, but I hope I can be of help to you. How does your email come across? As someone who has been a professional guest blogger here are some things that can help:

      - Engage with their blog (commenting, sharing, following their social networks etc.) before pitching
      - Include your social networks in the email (this shows that you are a real person. There are so many spammers that use persona accounts to do “guest blogging”)
      - Reference them by name to make it personal
      - Make a list of suggestions for potential topics that are relevant to their site
      - Reference previous articles in your suggestions (this shows that you actually took the time to read their site and aren’t just a blatant linkbuilder massmailing prospective blogs)
      - Avoid using cheap compliments such as “your blog is the best ever”, “i love your blog” etc. Although these sound nice, I get guest post submissions on one of my sites all the time with them and they are clearly scripts written by spammers who are just trying to butter me up for landing their pitch.

      I hope some of these help. The problem I found is that you have to stand out from all the spammy guest bloggers out there who send out templated emails. You may want to read some of the ones that these guys have written and make sure that your pitch distances yourself from them.

      Kalen

      • Hey Kalen and Steve,

        First off, thank you for the very comprehensive reply Kalen, that is much appreciated! :)

        The first point is an important one. Also most of the times before getting in touch with the blogger via email, I like to use Twitter to ask them if they’d accept a guest contribution from me. Once I get the green light, I open up my mail and go through the topic I’m thinking of covering.

        Referencing the person by name is an absolute must. Almost daily I am receiving requests from “bloggers”, who simply say Hello or Hey without mentioning my name. It just feels like they are on a hunt to find blogs that accept cheap content, whose only purpose is to generate backlinks.

        That’s pretty much it Steve, I hope my and Kalen’s suggestions were of some help to you! :)

        Daniel

  14. Daniel, great article. As regard long versus short article long article carries the day in the eyes of google. However of utmost importance is the quality of the article. As you said an article shouldn’t be written for the purpose of length but the info provided.

    Considering the above article you have written. The word count is on a high side but the quality of the info can’t be disputed.

    So my advice is write credible content. If you feel it’s too short- spice it with the appropriate image that is properly optimized. Then share the ish out of the article.