two heart shaped matches represent content marketing vs product marketing as the perfect combination for effective marketing

Marketing has always been centered around attracting and retaining customers to fuel our business growth.

In yesteryears, we leaned heavily on traditional product-centric marketing strategies. We’d proudly showcase our product’s brilliance, defend its price point, and guide buyers to its purchase location.

However, the rise of the digital age, with its social platforms and mobile connectivity, has shaken things up. Today, we’re navigating a sea of content, advertisements, and yes, even those irresistible cat videos, all vying for our audience’s attention.

So, does this shift mean we should ditch product marketing in favor of content marketing? Not quite. The sweet spot is a blend of both. Indeed, content marketing and product marketing together form a harmonious duo. Let’s explore why this is the case.

Quick Takeaways

  • Content marketing crafts valuable content that educates, entertains, and connects, fostering trust and authority. 
  • Product marketing ensures the audience recognizes a product’s value, emphasizing its features, benefits, and problem-solving capabilities.  
  • Content and product marketing, while distinct, complement each other to guide customers throughout their buying journey. 
  • Prioritizing customer-centric approaches in marketing leads to success in today’s competitive landscape. 

What Is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is like telling a story, but for your brand. It’s not about pushing your products or services aggressively. Instead, it’s about creating valuable, relevant content that your audience genuinely wants to consume. Think of it as a conversation between you (the brand) and your audience (the customers).

graphic shows key elements of content marketing

Image Source: MBA Skool

Why do we do it? Simple. We want to:

  • Build trust
  • Foster relationships
  • Establish authority

When you share insightful articles, engaging videos, or even fun infographics, you’re not just selling, but rather educating, entertaining, and connecting. And guess what? People love brands they can relate to and trust.

What Is Product Marketing?

Product marketing is the bridge between creating a product and getting it to its audience. It’s your job to make sure that the right people know about your product, understand its value, and see how it fits into their lives.

graphic explains the role of product marketing

Image Source: Ahrefs

Now, you might wonder, “Isn’t that just regular marketing?” Not quite. While traditional marketing focuses on the broader brand message, product marketing hones in on:

  • Specific product features
  • Benefits
  • The problems it solves

It’s about positioning your product in the market, pricing it right, and launching it with a bang.

In essence, product marketing is your product’s storyteller. It highlights your product’s strengths, addresses potential concerns, and showcases how it stands out from the crowd. And when done right, it doesn’t just lead to sales, but also creates loyal customers who can’t wait to share their newfound gem with others.

What’s the Difference: Content Marketing vs Product Marketing

Do content marketers and product marketers operate on different sides of the marketing aisle?

Remember, product marketing encompasses all the positioning and messaging needed to launch a product with the goal of ensuring that those selling it and the market it’s intended for truly understand it. Product marketing’s goal is to drive demand for a product through a detailed explanation of how the product solves the problem.

Content marketing uses relevant, interesting content to attract an audience. It’s centered around being informative and leading buyers to the conclusion that the brand can solve their challenges.

chart compares content marketing vs product marketing

Image Source: Brafton

Are Product Marketing and Content Marketing at Odds?

Product marketing may have a slightly more direct goal than content marketing, but they don’t necessarily have to be at odds with each other. In fact, effective marketing integrates the two approaches.  I believe that the best marketing strategies seek to serve the needs of customers at every stage of the buyer journey.

Buyers need both content marketing and product marketing to make the best decisions they can about solving their challenges.

As we all know, buyers are savvier now. They crave information, and they’ll learn about your products long before they speak to a salesperson. According to a study by Think With Google, 57% of the sales cycle is complete by the time buyers talk to your salesperson. Further, according to a study by Eccolo Media, nearly half of all buyers consume two to five pieces of content before making a purchase.

graph shows that nearly half of all buyers consume 2-5 pieces of content before making a purchase

Image Source: Eccolo Media

Specifications and Features Can Be Part of Content Marketing

Every product that your brand launches will have desirable specifications and features. Rather than just focusing on these alone, content marketing can add context. That context would be in the form of defining how these specs and features provide benefits to users or remove pain points.

For example, in the manufacturing industry, facilities require a tremendous amount of equipment. That equipment serves as the lifeblood for their ability to improve throughput and meet quality standards. When they have a problem in an area of production, they are seeking answers. Yet these buyers may be very technical in nature and appreciate specs and features.

For this industry, content marketing and product marketing could work together to create assets that specify how the product works mechanically but also how it solves the problem and delivers benefits like better efficiency and reduced costs. That’s a message any buyer wants to hear. For other industries, priorities may vary:

graph highlights the most important qualities of content reviewed during the purchase-decision process

Image Source: Content Marketing Institute

Is Product Marketing Too Focused on Closing the Sale?

Many tactics used by product marketers focus on direct advertising that is focused on closing the sale, such as product sheets or spec diagrams. However, this type of content is only effective when the buyer is at the decision stage of the buyer’s journey. It’s not likely to make an impact when they are in the awareness stage because they are just becoming aware of their problem.

In these situations, product marketers should take a step back and consider how they can move someone down the funnel. And this often starts with content marketing techniques and storytelling.

Content marketing is, of course, concerned about the sale as well, but content marketers work up to that. Just as you probably wouldn’t propose on a first date, you can’t be too conversion-focused during your first interactions with a prospect.

Product Marketing Focuses More on Short-Term, Content Marketing Is a Long-Term Approach

Because product marketing uses tactics to get people to make a purchase, including coupon codes or special offers, these are usually short-term campaigns. They are filled with urgency and a desire to see a quick return on investment.

chart explores different strategies for new and existing products in new and existing markets

Image Source: SmartSheet

Content marketing is a long game. It’s a collection of tactics, including SEO, social media marketing, blogging, landing pages, and more, that work to set your brand up as a thought leader in the industry. With the approach of authentic content, buyers see your brand as trustworthy and likable. These sentiments go a long way toward developing prospects into customers. Content marketing certainly isn’t a quick win, but its performance can be measured.

By looking at the performance of certain efforts, you can learn what topics, formats, and channels deliver the best return. You’ll be able to steadily grow your audience and reputation.

But using content marketing doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for product marketing for quick wins. If you find specific channels wherein you know buyers are ready to make a purchase, use these to promote the product. Or let both areas of marketing work in tandem.

For example, you can post product-type marketing assets like a feature infographic to social media, then follow that up with a piece of long-form content that addresses how these innovative features solve real-world problems.

The Future of Marketing Is Customer Experience

Where product marketing and content marketing can have a meeting of the minds is in their focus on creating customer experiences that drive results for the brand. Both types of marketers want to understand their customers and what motivates them to buy. They want to be the solution to the problem.

They may go about this in slightly different ways, but this common ground of focusing on the customer is key to delivering a holistic marketing approach. No longer can brands be “me, me, me.” Most buyers want to work with brands that are empathetic, genuine, and dependable. And those brands that create assets, campaigns, and content based on their customers will find more success.

In the world of business, product marketing and content marketing are a match made in heaven. For brands to leverage both of these aspects of marketing, it requires being on the same page of educating, delighting, and engaging customers.

Content Marketing vs Product Marketing: What Wins?

The evolving marketing landscape highlights the importance of adaptability and integration. While the digital age has introduced new challenges, it also presents opportunities for brands to connect more deeply with their audience. By harmoniously blending the strengths of both content and product marketing, businesses can craft a comprehensive strategy that not only informs and sells, but also builds lasting relationships.

As marketers, our ultimate goal is to serve our customers’ needs, and by leveraging the combined power of these two approaches, we position ourselves to do just that. In the end, it’s about creating meaningful experiences that resonate, educate, and inspire loyalty.

Are you ready to create the ultimate content experience? Check out our SEO Blog Writing Service or schedule a quick consultation to learn more about how Marketing Insider Group can help you earn more traffic and leads for your business.

Did you miss our previous article…

mime in striped sweater thinking about content marketing vs. native advertising

I often find myself talking with fellow marketers, agency representatives, and even editors of marketing publications. To my surprise, a lot of them think that native advertising and content marketing are one and the same. Let’s set the record straight.

Content marketing wears many hats, but one thing it’s not: Advertising.

It’s not just a one-off activity like a native ad. Instead, content marketing is about consistently drawing an audience to your brand’s digital space by sharing content that resonates with them.

Simply publishing a single article on another site? That’s a paid ad campaign.

Now, native ads can be a great tool to share content from your site, especially if you aim to redirect visitors back to your brand’s hub. But to make it work, you need compelling calls to action and the right amount of internal links within that native ad.

I’m settling this debate once and for all. In this article, you’ll learn the distinctions between content marketing vs. native advertising, their key characteristics, how they function, and which strategy offers a better ROI.

Quick Takeaways

  • Native advertising blends with its surroundings, while content marketing consistently offers valuable content to build trust with the audience.
  • Studies by Fractl and Moz show content marketing has a superior ROI compared to native advertising.
  • Content marketing targets inbound traffic with metrics like leads and shares, whereas native advertising focuses on social engagement and campaign views.
  • While native ads face challenges like brand perception and high costs, content marketing thrives on quality, leading to better organic rankings and conversions.

What Is Native Advertising?

Native advertising is a form of online marketing that blends with the content around it. Unlike traditional ads that stand out and sometimes disrupt your reading or viewing experience, native ads are designed to feel like a natural part of the content. They adapt to their surroundings.

graphic shows how native advertising works

Image Source: AdPushup

Here’s what else you need to know about native advertising:

Relevant Content

If you’re reading an article about office productivity, a native ad might introduce you to a new project management tool. It’s content that aligns with your interests, making it more engaging.

Integrated, Not Intrusive

Native ads fit smoothly within the platform they’re on. Whether you’re scrolling through a news feed or reading an article, these ads appear in a way that doesn’t interrupt your experience. They’re there, but they don’t shout for attention.

According to a recent study, native ads are considered to be the least intrusive type of advertising.

graph shows that native ads are the least intrusive type of advertising

Image Source: MeetAnshi

Subtle Promotion

Native ads don’t feel like traditional advertisements. Instead of a hard sell, they offer valuable information or insights related to what you’re already consuming. It’s a softer approach, but it can be just as effective.

Clear Labeling

While native ads blend in, they’re not trying to deceive you. You’ll often find labels like “sponsored” or “promoted” accompanying them. It’s a way of maintaining transparency while offering content that adds value.

Diverse Platforms

Native advertising isn’t limited to one platform. From social media feeds to news websites, you’ll find these ads everywhere. Platforms like Outbrain or Taboola specialize in distributing native ads, ensuring they reach the right audience.

What Is Content Marketing?

Video Source: DigitalMarketer

Content marketing is the art and science of creating and sharing valuable content to attract and engage a target audience. Instead of pushing your products or services directly, you’re creating and sharing content like:

  • Blog posts
  • Ebooks
  • Podcasts
  • Case studies
  • Videos

This makes your audience more informed and more likely to engage with your brand.

Here’s what sets content marketing apart:

Value-Driven Approach

At the heart of content marketing is the idea of offering value. Whether it’s a how-to guide, a webinar, or an insightful article, you’re giving your audience something they can use, learn from, or be entertained by.

Builds Trust and Authority

By consistently delivering high quality content, you position your business as an expert and thought leader in your field. Over time, this builds trust. When your audience thinks of a topic related to your industry, you want them to think of you first.

Long-Term Strategy

Content marketing generates 3x as many leads as traditional outbound marketing, but costs 62% less. But to achieve these kinds of benefits, you need to remember: Content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.

It requires you to nurture relationships over time. As you consistently provide value, you’ll find that your audience grows, and their loyalty deepens.

Diverse Content Types

Content marketing is a lot more than just blog posts. It encompasses a wide range of formats, from videos and podcasts to infographics and Ebooks. This diversity allows you to reach different segments of your audience in the ways they prefer.

graphic shows 11 popular types of content marketing

Image Source: E2M Solutions

Owned Media

One of the beauties of content marketing is that you own the content. Whether it’s on your blog, your YouTube channel, or your newsletter, you have control. You’re not renting space, but rather building assets that can continue to engage audiences over time.

Content Marketing vs. Native Advertising: What’s Better?

Content Marketing, of course!

Fractl and Moz analyzed survey responses from over 30 content marketing agencies and cost data from more than 600 digital publishers, and they found that content marketing has a better overall ROI compared to native advertising.

How Is Native Advertising Different From Content Marketing?

While both can aim to increase brand awareness, the goals of content marketing vs. native advertising are very different.

graphic compares content marketing vs. native advertising

Image Source: Plista Blog

Content marketing intends to reach, engage and convert through inbound search, social and direct traffic.

According to the survey, native advertising aims to increase social engagement. These differences are reflected in the KPIs for content marketing and native advertising.

The top metrics measured for content marketing are number of leads, high-quality links and total social shares. Native advertising, on the other hand, looks at engagement metrics and impressions like campaign views, social engagement and site traffic.

Native ads are ads. And survey respondents confirmed this.

What Makes Content Marketing More Effective?

Kelsey Libert, Partner and VP of Marketing at Fractl, says that the ‘pay-to-play’ nature of native advertising means that native ads have to be branded, and this can be a major turn-off for social media audiences and results in lower editorial syndication.

Readers are less engaged with advertising content when compared to editorial content, and metrics show that advertising content on average has lower:

  • Social shares
  • Engagement rates
  • View counts

Libert points out several other weaknesses with native advertising on social media, including its lack of SEO benefits, high cost to scale and limited reach due to paid partnerships. Content marketing, on the other hand, “lives and dies by its merit.”

Content marketing is created based on the needs and interests of the consumers, and when done correctly it has real value for the audience it is created for. Successful content marketing earns reach and social engagement based on the quality of content, which is something very few native ads accomplish.

That’s why content marketing also enjoys other benefits like increased organic rankings and optimization for conversions.

graphic shows 6 main benefits of content marketing

Image Source: Neel Networks

To be fair, this is not to say that content marketing is without weaknesses. One of the biggest challenges content marketing faces is in securing the commitment of the brand in a long-term investment that also requires some patience to see that investment pay off.

With the new FTC guidelines, it is becoming more challenging for brands to create share-worthy native ad content. Content marketing ultimately has a higher overall ROI and greater impact on marketing KPIs compared to native advertising.

How Can They Work Together?

Now, this doesn’t mean you have to kick native advertising to the curb! Coupled together, native advertising and content marketing pack a strong one-two punch.

We mentioned a few of the downsides of native ads, like coming off as less appealing and trustworthy to viewers. This is where content marketing picks up the slack. Rather than creating traditional native ads that are branded promotionals, use the content you’ve already crafted for your blog.

For example, Zemanta is a programmatic ad platform that does just that. Zemanta gives you the tools to place your blog content in-line with other relevant content across 95% of worldwide publishers.

Say you sell fire pits. Using Zemanta, you can get your “How to choose the right fire pit for your backyard” article in line with the latest Home and Gardens “Backyard fire pit ideas.” This retargeting gets your content in front of viewers who are already interested in your product.

Valuable Content Is Still King

Content marketing vs. native advertising? The answer is obvious.

Impactful marketing means delivering genuine value to your customers. By centering your content around helpful insights and tangible benefits, you pave the way to connect, captivate, and convert your audience.

Remember, content marketing isn’t a fleeting campaign or a native ad. It’s a dedicated journey to creating meaningful content. When you consistently produce top-notch content and fine-tune for engagement and conversions, you’re bound to reap the benefits.

Are you ready to create high quality content? Check out our SEO Blog Writing Service or schedule a quick consultation to learn more about how Marketing Insider Group can help you earn more traffic and leads for your business.

Did you miss our previous article…

a paper airplane breaking away from the group to soar higher (representing your team after you employ these content marketing practices)

Everyone knows they need content.

That’s not the problem.

In fact, I’d argue that most brands publish far too much mediocre or low-quality content.

According to WordPress’s own numbers, websites publish over 70 million new posts each month.

Think you’re safe because you have a dedicated content marketing strategy?

That’s an important start. After all, 43% of B2Bs say they have a documented strategy. Brands with the most successful content are far more likely to have a dedicated content strategy compared to the least successful brands: 60% vs. 21% respectively.

But if you ask me, a documented content strategy isn’t enough either. Sure, a documented content strategy helps you plan goals, meet KPIs, drive traffic, and overall make your work appear valuable on paper. But then you can’t put a strategy in place and forget all about it.

New platforms continue to emerge, giving content marketers a wealth of ways to get their messages out. Many times, this leads marketers to forget their strategy and run after one-off campaigns.

However, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Nowhere is that truer than in content marketing. Content marketing best practices might change with the winds of technology. But their basic principles stay the same.

I’ve been covering Content Marketing Best Practices for more than 15 years! And one thing has remained constant in all those years, content marketing is still hot, growing, and working for the brands that use it.

The main rule of content marketing continues to be:

Give buyers engaging, compelling, thoughtful stories and they will gladly give you their attention, respect, and business.

So, what are the new best practices in content marketing and how should they influence your content creation and distribution methods?

Quick takeaways:

  • Content marketing shouldn’t be thought of as an isolated strategy from other marketing tactics or business objectives. Content should provide a foundation for your overall growth strategy.
  • Stop publishing mediocre content. Spend time creating content with integrity – it reflects your brand’s integrity.
  • Publish meaningful and thoughtful content. Every piece should serve a specific goal and encourage a specific type of engagement.

1. Remember, Content Marketing Is a Step-By-Step Process

10 years ago, many B2B content marketers were still product-focused rather than focused on the customer and their needs. And while we have come along way, we still see brands struggling with the true meaning of content marketing.

We have learned over the years that content marketing and product marketing can co-exist and even support each other so that both achieve business goals.

Continuously creating engaging and effective stories is the single most important element of effective content marketing. It all comes down to the art of brand storytelling and activating your employees to deliver effective thought leadership. And here are the 9 steps to do just that:

  1. Start with defining the business case for content marketing.
  2. Define your target audience and their content needs.
  3. Document the process you will use to plan, create, publish, and measure content creation.
  4. Use an editorial strategy that starts with keywords your audience uses and groups them into common themes.
  5. Map content to each stage of the buyer journey.
  6. Build a content marketing destination that attracts interested buyers to your website.
  7. Optimize the conversion paths for any new visitors
  8. Distribute your content to all the channels your audience uses.
  9. Measure your results against the business case you established in step 1.

2. Map Your Goals and KPIs with Content

Before you can place content in your growth strategy, you need a growth strategy. Most startups and enterprises have a growth strategy mapped out. Small businesses, however, should spend time developing theirs.

Plan short- and long-term growth projections and goals: monthly, quarterly, annually, five years, etc.

Once you have a growth strategy, you can develop your content marketing strategy and apply specific goals to it. Use key performance indicators (KPIs) to track the results of your content and make sure it’s serving the broader goals of your growth strategy over time.

For example, you might want to see X% of your website traffic:

  • Returning month-over-month
  • Downloading lead magnets
  • Subscribing to mailing lists
  • Following your brand on social media
  • Sharing or forwarding your content
  • Converting into leads
  • Converting into customers

Keep track of other growth metrics as well when you can attribute them to content: cost/lead, value of each sale, customer loyalty and churn rates, etc.

Understanding your goals and KPIs first helps you figure out what aspects of your content work and what parts need improvement. It’s easier to optimize when you know what you’re looking for.

3. Don’t Assume You Know Your Audience

Ask Silicon Valley about this one. Do you have any idea how many startups and tech companies have gone under simply because a market for their product never existed in the first place?

Lots of brands run into this problem. They assume they know who their audience is, what their audience wants, and which problems their audience needs fixed.

Sometimes, we create audience segments in our head that don’t even exist in real life!

These are grave mistakes to make because they sabotage your content and growth strategy before it even gets off the runway. If you haven’t revisited your buyer personas, accounts, and general audience segments with fresh research since March 2020, you might still be sabotaging yourself.

Research your audience consistently. Listen to them. Read their content. Really know them.

4. Pick Your Platforms

“I’m doing it all: email, every social media platform, Reddit, Discord, guest blogging, conferences, webinars, podcasts, videos, and then some.”

Don’t fall into the “be everywhere” trap – it can and will ruin your content and growth strategy. You don’t have the resources to be everywhere consistently and effectively. No one does except corporations with infinite budgets.

Pick platforms:

  • Where you can share the types of content you plan to publish (more on that in #6) like video, audio, blogs, etc.
  • Where you know your audience hangs out regularly – consider both firmographics and/or demographics.
  • With promising futures and opportunities for growth. Don’t hinge your growth on a platform that might not exist next year.
  • You have the resources to maintain consistently with high-quality content and engaging your audience. If you can’t reply to comments and messages swiftly, you don’t have time for it.

For example, the average person only spends one minute per day on Twitter – is that worth your energy? Even Snapchat seems more promising with Millennials and Gen Z spending an average of 50 minutes per day on the platform.

Social Insider

5. Write Content That Earns Backlinks

It’s simple: Any content you publish that other websites decide is worth linking to will encourage growth.

For starters, there’s the traffic you earn from the backlink and mention. If that link includes a direct quote or branded term, even better – it encourages brand awareness.

Secondly, Google also pays attention to backlinks. If an authoritative website trusts your content enough to use it as a source or reference with a do-follow link, that tells Google your content (and really, your entire domain) is trustworthy.

When it comes time to rank your content against a competitor’s for a keyword, guess which one Google will probably choose? Yep, the trustworthy one.

So, what makes content linkable?

  • Original research, stats, and industry reports
  • Interesting quotes
  • Infographics, GIFs, and other media
  • Anything else unique to your website others can’t replicate

6. Give People a Reason to Share Your Content

Most people struggle to create content as part of a growth strategy because they don’t consider the reasons they share content themselves. What makes you say “my friends need to see this” when you decide to share something on social media?

Valuable and interesting content gets traffic – but not shares. In reality, people only share content for a few reasons:

  • Clout or social capital
  • Unique value (unlike anything else)
  • Intriguing storytelling
  • Emotional triggers

Everything you publish should meet at least one of those points, if not more.

7. Create Content in Multiple Formats

Here’s a secret. You can publish high-quality content much more frequently if you transform it into multiple formats.

From one high-quality blog, you can create:

  • Several videos
  • An infographic or GIF
  • A podcast with a subject matter expert interview
  • Multiple social media posts and stories

As the chart below implies, interactive content is ideal but it’s not always possible or relevant. Video and audio content are the next best choices to accompany your written content for ideas people are sure to remember.


8. Add the Right CTAs to Each Piece of Content

When it comes to content for your growth strategy, your keyword dictates your call-to-action for every piece of content you create.

Why the keyword? Because the keyword tells us the reader’s/visitor’s intent.

Someone searching “what is SaaS” clearly wants a beginner’s explainer piece of content to help them understand SaaS as a concept. Content riddled with buzzwords and CTAs telling the reader to buy something are confusing at best and totally out of touch at worst. Instead, suggest a relevant eBook or email list that matches their stage of the buyer’s journey.

Meanwhile, a keyword like “best SaaS for retail e-commerce” shows that the searcher is further along in the buyer’s journey and closer to making a purchase. You might offer them a CTA for a free demo, spec sheet, or relevant case study.


9. Stick to Your Niche

You can’t be an expert in every niche or field. In fact, publishing content in every semi-relevant topic can backfire:

  • Website visitors and followers won’t be able to figure out your actual expertise.
  • Google’s bots won’t understand your actual expertise.
  • Your content will always be too generic to resonate with anyone.

Of course, each of those points leads to a slew of other problems like poor rankings, no backlinks, non-targeted traffic, low conversions, etc.

Google’s EAT – Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness – tells us that Google prefers ranking content from authoritative and trustworthy experts. Pick specific areas you can flex your muscles and stick within those for content in your growth strategy.

At Marketing Insider Group, we stay within four main topics:

10. Guest Post Thought Leadership Content in the Right Places

Too many brands treat guest blogging the same way they treat their regular content. They choose high-traffic general industry blogs to publish generic keyword-heavy content – the opposite of what you need from content for a growth strategy.

Don’t publish content where your colleagues will read it. Publish where your audiencewill see it! These are not always synonymous.

Treat your guest blogs with the utmost integrity. Imagine this one blog you’re submitting is the only material someone will associate with your brand. Are you proud of that or uncomfortable?

Stick with authoritative thought leadership. Every guest blog should give readers an idea of your brand’s expertise, values, and opinions. They should be able to tell whether your culture and knowledge fit their brand.

11. No Controversy = Boring Generic Content

You can’t (and shouldn’t) please everyone. While you don’t want to go out of your way to ruffle feathers, desperately trying to avoid upsetting anyone is just as damaging.

“People pleaser” content ends up too generic, bland, and boring to:

  • Create a loyal following
  • Earn shares and mentions
  • Build brand awareness
  • Stand out from competitors

If your content doesn’t stand for something, it stands for nothing and gives nobody a reason to follow you for more content. Your main goal of content for your growth strategy isn’t to build the biggest and broadest audience possible – your goal is to develop the right audience for your brand.

The trope stands: Just be yourself. Trust your knowledge, opinions, and expertise. Share them via your content.

People will either love you or know you’re not the right fit immediately – and that’s exactly what you need for sustainable growth.

12. Separate Your Content Marketing from Your Marketing Content

What’s the difference? Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Your content marketing includes industry knowledge, advice, news, tips, and best practices for people to share and engage with your brand.
  • Your marketing content includes strategic material teams and leads can share internally to understand how your product/service works and whether it’s right for their brand.

You need both types of content for a growth strategy that accomplishes its goals. Unfortunately, brands that publish content in isolation (rather than as one part of a growth strategy) don’t separate the two.

For example, don’t publish a case study just because you delivered incredible results. Publish a case study because the client is in your target audience’s vertical.

Your marketing content must be even more niche than your regular content. Focus on audiences by vertical, account, or job role.

13. Integrate Your Data to Track Results

Content marketing alone isn’t a growth strategy. Your growth strategy really encompasses your entire business: brand awareness, reputation, reach, sales, loyalty, engagement, etc.

That’s why content marketing metrics alone aren’t enough to understand your content’s impact on overall growth.

Instead, use tools like a CRM or content management system to provide a centralized location where you can integrate data from multiple sources.

One integrated dashboard, along with tracking tools like Facebook Pixel, helps you figure out whether your content is encouraging people to consistently interact with your brand across multiple touchpoints.

14. Use Content to Fuel Account-Based Marketing

Finding the right customers to target and drawing them in with information that helps them solve problems should be the foundation of any content marketing strategy.

However, with the advent of account-based marketing (ABM), sometimes a little product information can help your sales team carry the account over the finish line.

The way ABM works goes like this. Your content team creates valuable content that can help your target customers – let’s say a whitepaper or an e-book.

Those decision-makers who respond to the content’s call to action receive even more in-depth content. But this time, the content targets each decision-maker’s concerns.

For example, the head engineer might receive information about how your new widget can increase her manufacturing process’s efficiency by 30 percent. The chief accounting officer, who noticed that the manufacturing process for one of the company’s main products has bled red for a year, receives content showing her how using your widget has increased revenue for a similar company. And so on.

With high-value prospects, ABM has proven to boost a company’s ROI. 84 percent of all B2B companies who use ABM have discovered that their ROI has increased. 42 percent of them report a significant increase in ROI.

content marketing best practices

For B2B companies, that’s a game-changer. It’s a new guideline that needs to become part of any B2B company’s content marketing arsenal.

When you do implement ABM, take Dell’s advice and go a step further. See to it that you support the prospect’s internal teams that will put your solution to work. Provide them with all the information they need to make using your products and services a breeze.

15. Partner with Sales Teams to Create Engaging Content

Account-based marketing – or any B2B content marketing, for that matter – doesn’t work unless your sales team is on board. High-value content depends on answering the right questions.

And who knows better your prospects’ questions than your sales team? When you listen to the objections prospective customers give them, you can create content that resolves those issues.

Take that a little further and milk your subject matter experts for ideas as well. Your engineering team and your development team, as well as sales, can become a rich source of information to add needed details.

When your content answers the questions prospects ask your sales team, you’ll likely see outstanding results. Not only that but when you break down the silos that divide your teams, you’ll discover a wealth of content ideas from all across your company.

Even though we defined our original best practices for B2B content teams, many of them have always applied to B2C companies as well. Providing helpful information rather than blatant product promotions to potential customers is a good bet no matter who you’re selling to.

16. Use Stories to Capture Hearts As Well As Minds

In fact, the new content rules go even further down that road. The 12 Immutable Laws of High-Impact Messaging, for example, emphasizes that stories are the best vehicle for brand messages.

We would agree. Stories that take potential customers along a journey intrigue them.

When you make the customer, not your product, as the story’s hero, you become part of their team. As they seek to conquer whatever challenges they face, your product goes with them. It’s the sword that slays their personal or corporate dragons.

Source: InsightAgents, UK

17. Empower Internal Brand Champions to Spread the Word

Even truer today than it was seven years ago, empowering your teams to post content around their areas of expertise yields amazing results. Employee-created content receives more engagement and more shares than those blog posts that took you forever to research and write.

That’s not all. Leads you get from such content are seven times as likely to result in a sale.

18. Repurpose and Distribute on All Channels

As true today as it was in 2010, this content rule might not be shiny new. However, many of the ways you can repurpose and distribute have grown to new levels. Here’s only one example.

Back then, for instance, podcasts were rare. Only companies with costly equipment could take advantage of this content channel.

That’s changed. Just go to one of the popular podcast platforms. Then you’ll see companies small and large with successful podcasts. Mobile apps, vlogs, and webinars have exploded, along with traditional blogs.

As for distribution, there are so many content marketing platforms that can help you not only distribute content. These platforms can also create customer personas, plan, segment your audience, collaborate, schedule, create, edit, post, test, and analyze the results.

19. Emphasize Quantity As Well As Quantity in Content Marketing

Seven years ago, we were just coming off a wave of keyword stuffing that made some marketers’ posts almost unreadable. Even worse, among those of us who knew better, clients would still beg us to write stuff with keywords popping out of the text like a Whack-a-Mole game.

To ensure that content attracted readers, Google and other search engines adjusted their algorithms to discourage keyword stuffing. Along with that welcome upgrade, content marketers preached the gospel of quality alone.

However, statistics began to pop up that indicated that quantity mattered, too. Of course, quality is a vital ingredient in your content strategy.

So is quantity. Those numbers show that companies that post 8 to 16 posts a month enjoy a massive uptick in inbound traffic.

As in up to four times as much. When you publish often, with consistent quality, you, too, can get that kind of traffic.

So here’s a visual to help you achieve balance:

Use Content as a Foundation to Propel Your Growth

Whether you’re a startup, established B2B company, enterprise, or small business, your growth strategy must come first. What are your short- and long-term growth objectives? Once you have your growth strategy laid out, you can easily figure out where content fits into each objective, touchpoint, and stage of the funnel.

Following these best practices and thinking of content as part of your broader growth strategy ensures everything you publish is 100% purposeful, useful, action-driven, relevant, and serves a specific goal.

Putting these new content marketing best practices to work for you can change your marketing game forever. No more junk content. No more spinning your wheels publishing for meager traffic and sales. Just motivated and driven content.

Brands trust us with their content because we deliver long-term results. Our clients have experienced 7x ROI and 178% YoY organic growth. Check out our custom Content Builder Services to see how niche content fits into your unique growth strategy.

You’ve heard it all before: “Content is king,” “You need a blog,” “Invest in content marketing for long-term growth.”

But what if we told you that you shouldn’t bother with content marketing at all? In fact, here are 6 compelling reasons why you should steer clear of it.

But before you close this tab, stick around to find out why these reasons might be the very things that are holding you back from true business success.

The Common Arguments Against Content Marketing

Before diving into the reasons you’ve heard about why you shouldn’t invest in content marketing, let’s debunk some common myths and content marketing mistakes that often circulate in the industry.

It’s Too Time-Consuming

The Myth:
Many businesses shy away from content marketing with the belief that content marketing takes too long or is too time-consuming. The idea of consistently creating high-quality content can seem overwhelming, especially for small teams.

The Reality:
Yes, content marketing takes time, but so does any worthwhile marketing strategy. The key is to create a content calendar, delegate tasks, and perhaps most importantly, repurpose content. One well-researched blog post can be turned into multiple social media posts, an infographic, and even a podcast episode. Plus, the long-term benefits far outweigh the initial time investment.

ROI is Hard to Measure

The Myth:
Another argument against content marketing is that its ROI is difficult to measure. Unlike PPC campaigns where you can see immediate results, content marketing is often seen as a “soft” strategy with nebulous returns.

The Reality:
While it’s true that content marketing often involves long-term strategies that focus on adding customer value, that doesn’t mean ROI is harder to measure. Metrics like website traffic, time spent on page, leads, conversion rates, and customer lifetime value can all give you a clear picture of how your content marketing ROI. (Our clients see an average of 7x ROI!)

And let’s not forget the value of brand awareness and customer loyalty, which are harder to quantify but equally important.

Everyone’s Doing It, So Why Bother?

The Myth:
With so many businesses jumping on the content marketing bandwagon, it’s easy to think that the market is oversaturated. Why bother when everyone else is doing the same thing?

The Reality:
Yes, content marketing is popular, but that’s because it works. The key to standing out isn’t to avoid content marketing; it’s to do it better. Find your unique voice, target your specific audience, and offer value that no one else can. In a world where everyone is shouting, the most compelling voice is not the loudest, but the most insightful.

1. You’d Rather Promote Than Educate

Why You Shouldn’t Bother:
If your marketing strategy revolves around pushing your products or services onto people who don’t even know they need them, then content marketing isn’t for you. After all, why educate when you can hard-sell, right?

Why You Should Ignore This:
The reality is, today’s consumers are savvy. They can smell a sales pitch from a mile away. Content marketing allows you to provide valuable content your customers actually want. It also helps you establish trust, and position yourself as an industry leader. When you educate your audience, you’re not just selling a product; you’re building a relationship.

awesome eminem GIF

2. You Love Wasting Money on Ads

Why You Shouldn’t Bother:
If you’re a fan of throwing your marketing budget into the black hole of non-converting ads, then you don’t need content marketing. Keep doing what you’re doing.

Why You Should Ignore This:
Ads can be effective, but they’re also expensive and offer short-term gains. Content marketing, on the other hand, is the gift that keeps on giving. A well-crafted blog post can generate traffic and leads for years, offering a better ROI in the long run.

What Is Content Marketing? Complete Beginner's Guide
Source: Backlinko

3. You’re Drowning in Leads and Clients

Why You Shouldn’t Bother:
If your sales team is so overwhelmed with leads that they’re considering early retirement, then you clearly don’t need more content to generate interest. Most of our SaaS clients want growth like now.

Why You Should Ignore This:
Even if you’re doing well now, markets change. Consumer behavior shifts. A robust content marketing strategy can help you weather those changes and keep your pipeline full with a steady growth of relevant search rankings that deliver interested buyers:

growth of rankings from content marketing

4. Marketing Strategy? What Strategy?

Why You Shouldn’t Bother:
If you’re the kind of business leader who thinks planning is for the weak, then the strategic nature of content marketing will be a turn-off for you.

Why You Should Ignore This:
Flying by the seat of your pants might work in the short term, but it’s not a sustainable strategy. Content marketing requires planning, but that planning pays off in consistent messaging, a cohesive brand image, and long-term growth.

10 Google Sheet Templates for SEO and Content Marketing - Marketing Insider Group

Source: 10 Templates for Content Marketing

5. Paid Traffic is Your Jam

Why You Shouldn’t Bother:
If you love paying for every single visitor to your website, then the organic reach of content marketing will be a real downer for you.

Why You Should Ignore This:
Paid traffic can get you quick wins, but it’s like renting your audience. Content marketing allows you to own your audience. Plus, organic search results are more trusted than paid ads.

6. Short-Term Gains Over Long-Term Growth

Why You Shouldn’t Bother:
If you’re all about the here and now and have no interest in setting yourself up for future success, then content marketing will be too slow for you.

Why You Should Ignore This:
Short-term tactics can offer quick boosts, but they’re not a foundation for growth. Content marketing is a long-term strategy that builds on itself over time, setting you up for sustained success.

Competitive growth in content marketing chart

From our case study of regional homebuilder Oberer Homes

The Real Costs of Not Investing in Content Marketing

When businesses decide not to invest in content marketing, they often overlook the significant opportunity costs involved. Let’s break down what you’re really missing out on and why content marketing is actually a cost-effective strategy in the long run.

The Opportunity Cost of Ignored Audiences

What You’re Missing:
By not investing in content marketing, you’re essentially ignoring a large segment of your potential audience. These are the people who prefer to consume content and educate themselves before making a purchase decision.

The Comparison:
Traditional advertising often targets only those who are ready to buy now, leaving out a significant portion of the customer journey. Content marketing nurtures relationships from the awareness stage to the decision stage, increasing the likelihood of conversions over time.

The High Cost of Paid Advertising

What You’re Missing:
Paid advertising can be effective, but it’s often expensive and offers only short-term gains. Once you stop paying, the traffic stops.

The Comparison:
Content marketing, on the other hand, is the gift that keeps on giving. A well-crafted blog post can continue to attract organic traffic for years, offering a much better ROI in the long run. Plus, organic leads are generally more qualified and easier to convert than leads from paid sources.

The Risk of Brand Invisibility

What You’re Missing:
Without a solid content marketing strategy, your brand risks becoming invisible in a crowded marketplace. You miss the chance to establish thought leadership and build brand loyalty.

The Comparison:
While other forms of marketing like social media ads or influencer partnerships can boost your brand’s visibility, they often lack the depth and staying power of content marketing. A well-executed content strategy can turn your brand into a go-to resource, creating lasting relationships with your audience.

The Cost of Short-Term Thinking

What You’re Missing:
By focusing solely on short-term gains, you’re setting your business up for potential failure in the long run. Markets change, consumer behavior evolves, and what works today may not work tomorrow.

The Comparison:
Content marketing is a long-term strategy that builds on itself over time. Each piece of content you create adds value to your brand and attracts more potential customers, setting you up for sustained success.

FAQs: Content Marketing Concerns Addressed

We get it; diving into the world of content marketing can feel like a big commitment. You’ve got questions, and we’ve got answers. Let’s tackle some of the most common concerns businesses have about when considering not investing in content marketing.

Q: How Long Does It Take to See Results from Content Marketing?

A: Content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. While you might not see immediate results, most businesses start to notice increased traffic and engagement within 3-6 months. The real ROI, however, often becomes evident after a year or more of consistent effort.

Q: Is Content Marketing Only for B2B Companies?

A: Absolutely not! While content marketing is often associated with B2B, it’s equally effective for B2C businesses. The key is to tailor your content to your specific audience’s needs and interests, whether that’s industry insights or lifestyle tips.

Q: Do I Need a Big Team to Manage Content Marketing?

A: Not necessarily. While having a dedicated team can be beneficial, even small businesses can succeed with a well-planned content strategy. Outsourcing, automation tools, and a strong editorial calendar can go a long way.

Q: What Types of Content Should I Create?

A: The types of content you should create depend on your audience and your business goals. Blog posts are a good starting point, but don’t limit yourself. Videos, podcasts, infographics, and even webinars can be powerful tools in your content marketing arsenal.

Q: How Do I Measure the Success of My Content Marketing Strategy?

A: Success metrics can vary depending on your goals. However, common KPIs include website traffic, time spent on page, conversion rates, and customer lifetime value. Don’t forget to also consider qualitative metrics like brand awareness and customer loyalty.

Q: Is Content Marketing Worth the Investment?

A: In a word, yes. While content marketing requires an upfront investment of time and resources, the long-term benefits—increased brand awareness, customer loyalty, and a steady stream of organic leads—make it a worthwhile endeavor for most businesses.


So there you have it: 6 reasons why you shouldn’t invest in content marketing. But if you’ve read this far, chances are you’re not convinced by these reasons. And that’s a good thing. Because the truth is, these are all misconceptions that can hold you back from achieving your full business potential.

By not investing in content marketing, you’re not just saving money; you’re missing out on growth opportunities and long-term success. So, before you write off content marketing as an unnecessary expense, consider the real costs of not taking it seriously.

Ready to ignore the naysayers and invest in a strategy that offers real, sustainable growth? Then maybe it’s time we talk. Contact us to find out how we can help you build a content marketing strategy that actually works.

If you are ready to get more traffic to your site with quality content published consistently, check out our SEO Blog Writing Service or schedule a quick consultation to learn more about how we can help you earn more traffic and leads for your business.