Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 41 seconds

Content marketing is continuing to grow rapidly despite facing many challenges, such as declining engagement rates.

According to a recent Marketing Land article, content production soared 35% in 2015, but engagement fell 17%. More specifically, interactions per social media by brand have declined. Yet, brands are continuing to increase their commitment to content marketing, and by many measures, statistics imply that doing so makes sense.

According to the Huffington Post, research by DemandMetric has concluded that 90% of consumers find custom content useful and 82% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content. In addition, 70% of people would rather learn about a company through an article than from an advertisement.

With competition for readers increasing, it’s important to ensure that myths don’t hinder content marketing programs. Many firms, understandably, prefer to push their content with emails. While doing so can help target prospects based on specific profiles, some brands make the mistake of limiting their content to what can be distributed with email. Such a policy can be highly limiting.

For example, brands will typically develop policies that limit the frequency with which they will email clients and prospects. By relying primarily on email to distribute content, some firms may feel like the amount of content they produce should be limited by the frequency with which they contact clients.

The problem with such thinking, however, is that successful content marketing programs typically need robust websites or social media accounts that will engage prospects. An email announcing new content, for example, can be the start of a customer journey that involves interacting with materials that not only appear in email alerts but also exist alongside other content.

Brands may also mistakenly believe that all content should include a call to action, or in other words, a sales pitch. Sales teams may even go as far as to say they won’t use content that is directly linked to a possible sales idea. Yet, consumers are quickly turned off by sales materials and instead want content that is educational.

Rather than viewing the value of content based on its immediate value for generating sales, brands should instead assess if their materials help to strengthen their relationships with prospects and existing customers. By viewing content that way, firms will be taking a long-term approach to capturing prospects.

In a similar manner, brands need to remember that content should be created to help meet the needs of consumers or other businesses. Ideally, firms seeking to provide compelling content should ensure that their marketing teams work closely with sales and in-house technical experts to make sure that new content to relevant to prospects and clients.

Since members of sales teams are in constant contact with prospects, they often have a good sense of topics that should be covered with new content. Equipped with that knowledge, marketing teams can then reach out to in-house technical experts who can help by providing required data, industry knowledge, and other types of information that can make content compelling.

Sales team members may initially feel that contributing their time and energy to helping produce articles, white papers, and podcasts will distract them from selling, but often time, they may come to appreciate the benefits of having robust content.

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