There can be no denying that content marketing is effective when done well. Research shows that content marketing costs less and generates more leads per dollar spent than traditional push marketing.
Yet some business leaders are still reluctant to embrace the practice of sharing free and valuable information as a way of attracting more business.
It usually comes down to misperception and fear. Here are 7 common reasons business leaders reject a content marketing strategy that could help them dominate their industry.
1] “It will cost us business.”
Statistics prove that fear is unfounded. It may sound counterintuitive, but the more information you give away for free, the more paid business you will earn. To cite just a few numbers:
- Inbound marketing delivers 54% more leads into the marketing funnel than traditional outbound leads. (HubSpot)
- Content marketers convert website leads into clients at twice the rate of companies that don’t use content marketing. (HubSpot)
- 87% of buyers say online content has a major or moderate impact on vendor preference and selection. (CMO Council)
Prospective customers evaluate your business online before engaging. In fact, they’ll complete up to 60% of the sales process without you.
If you’re not providing useful information to help them make a purchase decision, they’ll turn to the company that can.
So will content marketing cost you business? That’s a resounding no. But not doing content marketing definitely can.
2] “Our competitors will steal our ideas.”
Bubble-bursting time — there’s probably nothing truly unique about your offering. Your financial services or web design services or coaching services are, at their core, pretty much the same as what everyone else can offer. (The difference is in how you package and deliver your services.)
Unless you’ve got a patent, someone somewhere is likely using the same methods and ideas as you. So sharing doesn’t pose a competitive risk — not only is that cat already out of the bag, it was never in your bag to start with.
3] “People will pirate and plagiarize our content.”
But I love how business coach Christine Kane looks at it.
The people who steal your content crack me up because – try as they might – they can’t steal the energy and intention that is behind the content. AND, even if they get a client from your content, they most likely wouldn’t be able to deliver on the promise.
… Your job is to just keep getting ideas and putting them out there. Your loyal fans and readers will come to you when they find someone ripping you off. By that time, you’ll be on to something else.
Do you want to spend a bit of time now and again doing some Copyscape searches for the worst offenders? Sure. But don’t fritter away mental energy worrying about it too much, and don’t let it keep you from publishing.
The advantages of sharing information far outweigh the downside of piracy.
4] “My topic is complicated and has to be personalized.”
I hear this objection most frequently from lawyers. True, you can’t provide your client with specific legal advice in a blog post — but you can explain the five factors that affect a divorce settlement to anyone who might want to learn about them.
Besides, the same objection could be given in nearly every service industry.
Any content marketing strategy I build, for example, is unique to the client’s situation. That doesn’t stop me from talking to prospective customers about the general principles.
Hidden behind the “it must be personalized” objection is often a fear of giving away information that goes something like this: “I spent a truckload of time and money acquiring an education in this field. Why would I give away what I know for free?”
Because if you do, you’ll foster trust, build your reputation and earn that money back in increased business. See point #1.
5] “I don’t have anything to say.”
The fear: My industry is boring.
There’s not an industry out there that’s too boring for content marketing. Hey, if Fisher Tank can blog regularly about welded steel tanks surely you can do the same in your industry.
As for not knowing what to say, that’s simply a matter of training yourself on where to look for ideas. Once you get the hang of seeing content opportunities, your problem won’t be finding things to say — it’ll be choosing what to say out of the hundreds of possibilities.
6] “Content marketing is a fad.”
Yes, content marketing is very hot right now. This chart shows the rise of the term’s popularity by number of Google searches.
But content marketing is not new. Companies have been using its techniques to their benefit for well over 100 years.
And it will stick around for a long time to come too. How you produce and share content might change with the years, but the principles of the craft will remain — because those principles work.
Don’t dismiss the strategy because its name is currently a buzzword.
7] “I understand content marketing.”
Some business leaders believe they understand content marketing when really they don’t.
It’s this disconnect that leads them to dismiss content marketing as not worthwhile.
They might think they’re already doing content marketing because they send out email blasts to a list they own. They might feel social media is a waste of time. They might believe blog posts never lead to business because their idea of a blog post is a we-focused press release.
Such misperceptions make gaining support for a content marketing strategy extremely difficult. The only cure is education and dialogue.
If you suspect your boss doesn’t get it, try using a little content marketing strategy to sell the concept of content marketing!
Here’s some ammo to get you started: