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The 3 Big Myths of B2B Content Marketing

Content marketing is hot right now. According to the B2B Content Marketing: 2010 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report, 51% of B2B marketers plan to increase their content marketing budgets within the next year. That’s because publishing compelling content can help you attract customers, increase your brand awareness, promote your thought leadership and bring more visitors to your website. And that’s just a short list of benefits!

However, you may have come across a few myths that are preventing you from getting the greatest ROI from your content marketing efforts. If you’re in the early stages of a content marketing strategy, you may believe at least one of the following myths.

Myth #1: If I tweet it, they will read it

Reality: It takes more than simply publishing a blog or posting a tweet to bring visitors to your website. Sysomos recently revealed that the average lifespan of a tweet is one hour–meaning that if no one retweets you within an hour, you’ll have to either try again later or post something more compelling.

The same thing applies to the rest of your content. Only a limited number of people will subscribe to your blog or trade their contact information to download a white paper. If you want to reach a larger audience, you should make your content available in different formats on different channels. For example, you can turn a series of blog posts into a white paper or make a video of an educational presentation and share it with your social networks.

Myth #2: The number one purpose of developing content is to make search engines like me

Reality: Publishing keyword-rich content can improve your search engine rankings and bring more visitors to your website, but those visitors won’t stick around unless your content is engaging. Don’t try to get to the top of the search engines by stuffing your social media content and website with keywords. This makes your copy boring and tells your readers, “I wrote this for Google–not for you.”

Instead, write about topics that interest your readers. When readers find your content valuable, they will share it with their networks. The inbound links to your website will do more to improve your Google rankings than stuffing your copy with keywords.

Myth #3: Content marketing is a great way to sell my products and services

Reality: You have a huge opportunity to attract customers with your content. However, many marketers turn their blogs, white papers and social media messages into blatant sales pitches. If you try to pitch to potential customers before they get a chance to know, like and trust you, they will tune out. The bulk of your content should educate potential customers and help solve one of their key problems. Once your prospects view you as a trusted and helpful resource, they will be more likely to turn to you if they need your product or service.

What about you? What content marketing myths have you encountered? Feel free to share your comments below.