14 Pros and Cons of Content Marketing

14 Pros and Cons of Content Marketing in 2024

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By Tomislav

Key Takeaways

Consumer Preference for Content Over Ads: Content marketing is effective as it bypasses ad-blockers and attracts proactive consumers who seek value.
Influencing Consumer Purchasing Decisions: Content that offers solutions and expertise attracts consumers seeking advice.
Enhancing SEO and Web Traffic: Regular, keyword-rich content boosts your domain’s authority and search engine ranking.
Cost-Effectiveness: Content marketing is significantly less expensive than traditional marketing methods, though it requires time and resource investment.
Elevating Branding and Awareness: High-quality, consumer-centric content marketing is a powerful tool for brand building.
Diverse Skill Set Needed: Effective content marketing requires a range of skills, including platform management, SEO, and content creation.
Time-Consuming Process: Creating high-quality content is labor-intensive and requires commitment to the creative process.
Challenges in Measuring Effectiveness: It can be difficult to track the impact of content marketing, but tracking ROI is crucial for informed decision-making.
Difficulty Generating and Prioritizing Content Ideas: Coming up with and focusing on wrong ideas will be detrimental to the results.
Balancing with Traditional Marketing: For various reasons, organizations can’t easily move away from traditional marketing overnight.

Pro #1: Consumers Prefer Learning About Brands Through Content Over Ads

We’re inundated with thousands of ads daily, leading to significant consumer resistance.

Hundreds of millions are using ad-blockers.

Content marketing ingeniously bypasses this issue.

Visitors to your content arrive proactively, through search engines, social media followings, or browsing for similar content.

Providing free value to these proactive consumers creates a fertile environment for business growth.

It might seem counterintuitive to not monetize every content piece, but long-term benefits are substantial.

Reflect on your behavior online. Notice how you respond to those offering value without immediate monetization, compared to those aggressively monetizing.

This isn’t to say you shouldn’t monetize your content.

Make monetization feel natural.

Customers will naturally gravitate towards your offers, building trust and loyalty.

Pro #2: Content Influences Consumer Purchasing Decisions

When your content connects someone with a solution, they’re more likely to value your opinion and trust your product recommendations.

With the overwhelming number of choices available, consumers often seek third-party opinions before making a purchase, especially if they can’t try products firsthand and might distrust manufacturer claims.

Filling this gap and establishing niche expertise attracts consumers seeking advice.

This approach is beneficial even for companies, shifting from a sales-first to a value-first, consumer-centric mentality.

Providing value increases the likelihood of consumers entering your funnels.

It’s crucial to not only offer quality content but to have a broad range of it, ideally covering all potential queries related to your business.

Though creating high-quality content is time-consuming, focusing on key points influencing buying decisions can streamline the process, ensuring targeted and effective content creation.

Pro #3: Content Marketing Enhances Your Domain’s SEO

Without content, search engines have no reason to direct traffic to your site.

To attract organic traffic, ranking for keywords is essential.

Keywords need to be integrated into your content.

As you rank for more keywords, your domain gains authority, leading to more traffic from search engines like Google.

Consider a case study where a company published 50 posts in 7 weeks, resulting in:

  • Website traffic: increase of 481%
  • Search traffic: increase of 427%
  • Referral traffic: increase of 440%
  • Direct traffic: increase of 570%
  • 470 more keywords indexed by Google

These results, just after 7 weeks, demonstrate the compounding nature of content marketing, with effects that amplify over months or years.

An aggressive schedule like 50 posts in 7 weeks isn’t mandatory. Publishing at your own pace is fine.

However, it’s beneficial to publish extensively initially for quicker traction with search engines.

Aiming for 50-70 quality pieces early on is advantageous. After an initial 3-5 months rush, it’s okay to slow down if needed.

Pro #4: Content Marketing Fosters Consumer Trust and Loyalty

There’s often mistrust towards businesses due to exaggerated marketing claims.

Content marketing, by focusing on the consumer, can establish trust and loyalty.

When your content prioritizes the audience, providing genuine value, it sets you apart from competitors.

While many businesses claim to put the ‘customer first’, content marketing actually demonstrates this value-first approach.

This strategy can make you invaluable to your customers, naturally fostering trust and loyalty.

Pro #5: Content Marketing Bolsters Expertise and Niche Authority

Content marketing, often informative and educational, is an excellent way to showcase your expertise.

Understanding your audience is key to maximizing authority-building. It enables you to identify and solve their specific problems.

For instance, in the fitness niche, knowing your audience segment includes mothers with young children helps tailor content to their needs.

They might be short on time, have back and knee pain, and want to lose post-pregnancy weight.

Creating a 20-minute workout routine addressing these issues positions you as an expert who provides precise solutions.

Developing a buyer persona is beneficial. This fictional character should reflect your audience’s:

  • Demographics
  • Educational background
  • Career path
  • Online and content consumption habits
  • Decision-making process

Pro #6: Content Marketing Is More Cost-Effective Than Traditional Methods

Content marketing is 62% less expensive than traditional marketing, a significant saving for those who can wait for results.

However, it still requires an investment of either time or money.

As a solo entrepreneur, you might choose to create content yourself, trading your time, or outsource and spend money.

I opted to create all content myself.

There’s no universal right choice; it’s about what suits your situation best.

Pro #7: Content Marketing Elevates Branding and Enhances Awareness

High-quality content marketing is a powerful tool for brand building.

While businesses can invest in ads for brand awareness, nothing compares to solving your audience’s problems through content. This approach fosters positive associations with your brand.

Content marketing benefits both personal and corporate brands.

The key is to adopt a consumer-centric approach and avoid making your brand the sole focus.

Consider John Deere’s strategy with their magazine, The Furrow.

In its 120-year history, they mentioned their company only about 15-20 times, emphasizing a value-first approach. This strategy significantly contributed to John Deere’s global brand status.

Their criteria for content was simple: if it benefits farmers, it’s in The Furrow.

This is a textbook example of building brand, loyalty, trust, and authenticity.

While you don’t need to follow their approach to the letter, the principle stands: the less sales-oriented your content, the more effective it is for long-term brand building.

For more insights, check out my article on content marketing for brand development.

Con #1: Content Marketing Requires Patience for Success

A major challenge of content marketing is the time it takes to see results – often months or years.

However, the timeline can vary based on content quality, frequency, and niche competition.

Patience and perseverance are essential, as this delay is typical across various platforms.

In blogging, for instance, content needs time to start ranking.

On YouTube, gaining a substantial subscriber base is crucial before the algorithm boosts your visibility.

Similarly, for social media channels and podcasts, building a significant following is key to achieving meaningful success.

This long lead time is a fundamental barrier in content marketing.

Con #2: Content Marketing Demands a Diverse Skill Set

Content marketing, whether executed by a team or individually, necessitates a broad range of skills.

Take blogging, for example.

To launch a blog, you need to:

  • Choose and set up a platform
  • Select and understand various plugins
  • Master on-page and off-page SEO
  • Develop skills in article structuring and writing

Content marketing involves significant trial and error.

Thankfully, there’s an abundance of resources available for learning.

Information is easily accessible, but the more channels you use, the more adept you need to be.

Each social media platform has its quirks.

For instance, on LinkedIn, posting external links in updates reduces reach.

However, adding a link in the comments is less detrimental.

A study found that links in comments can increase reach by 2.9 times compared to in the post itself.

In summary, content marketing requires staying up-to-date with each platform’s dynamics.

Con #3: Content Creation is Time-Consuming and Demanding

The process of creating content is often labor-intensive.

A study revealed that marketers spend an average of 3 hours and 16 minutes writing a 1000-word article.

Comprehensive articles aimed at ranking high on SERPs are often much longer.

But writing is just a part of it.

You also need to find suitable images and videos, upload them to your blog, and update content periodically.

Other mediums, like YouTube, involve extensive time in topic research, scriptwriting, and editing.

Content marketing’s reality is less glamorous than it appears, requiring dedication to the process of creation.

To succeed, you must embrace and enjoy the creative process.

Con #4: Challenges in Measuring Content Marketing Effectiveness

Measuring the impact of an article written months ago, which is attracting no visits, can be tricky.

It might seem futile, or it could be subtly contributing to the success of a related, high-performing article.

Perhaps it’s a crucial part of a content silo that, as a whole, drives significant traffic to your blog.

Or, maybe a few months simply isn’t long enough for the article to achieve its peak ranking potential.

For insights on how long articles take to reach peak placement on Google, you can refer to my detailed article on the subject.

While some aspects of content marketing are challenging to track, others are not.

For instance, you can use unique links in articles to track traffic to your lead generation pages, identifying which ones perform well.

Though tough, it’s unwise to neglect tracking the ROI of content marketing. Even partial success in tracking provides valuable data for informed decisions.

Con #5: Navigating Through Fierce Competition in Most Niches

The internet is rife with competition for a limited audience.

Yet, there’s room for everyone, despite the increasing barriers to entry.

Different channels offer varying levels of competition.

Blogging, for instance, is highly competitive with millions of posts published daily.

Conversely, podcasting presents less competition. Starting a podcast even in [year] could position you as a pioneer in your niche or local area.

Similarly, YouTube isn’t as saturated as blogging in many areas. Content creators willing to be on camera have an advantage to exploit.

On social media, platforms like LinkedIn and TikTok are gaining traction, offering substantial organic reach, even for new accounts.

But don’t shy away from competition.

Content marketing is about being the best, not necessarily the first.

While early content marketers benefited from being pioneers, continuous effort is key to maintaining a leading position.

Con #6: Difficulty in Generating Content Ideas and Knowing Which Ideas to Prioritize

You might think you’ll run out of content ideas in your niche, but that’s unlikely, even in a small niche.

It’s a common brain trick. For instance, recalling 20 movies from 2019 might be hard, but recognizing them from a list is easier.

Similarly, when struggling for content ideas, research is key.

Use free tools like AnswerThePublic, Keyword Sheeter, or Google Keyword Planner to find ideas based on your main keywords.

Or even use AI tools like ChatGPT and you’ll get plenty of content ideas quickly.

The tricky part is knowing which ideas should be prioritized because everyone has limited resources and can’t do everything at once.

Check out my article on How to use AnswerThePublic for content ideas for more insights.

Alternatively, Google itself offers many ideas. Just look at the People Also Ask or Related Searches sections in search results.

Con #7: The Challenge of Moving Away from Traditional Marketing

Thinking you can abandon traditional marketing entirely for content marketing is unrealistic.

Content marketing isn’t the only effective strategy; some traditional methods still work.

Transitioning to content marketing can be tough, especially with business financial obligations.

A practical approach is to allocate a budget for content marketing that you can afford to lose.

This means, even if the investment yields no immediate ROI, your company remains stable.

This strategy allows content creation without the pressure of needing immediate success.

Over time, as you become more adept at content creation, the cumulative benefits of content marketing will become apparent.