Ever wonder why some of world’s biggest marketing failures are also campaigns launched with the greatest fanfare? Sure, size is part of it. The bigger the attempt, the more underwhelming the possible downturn may be, but there’s more to it than a matter of scale alone. In 1985 Coca Cola introduced ‘New Coke’ to one of the most scathing market reactions a major brand has ever seen. With diet soft drinks eroding its marketshare and its nearest rival Pespi growing rapidly, the move was meant to reinvigorate drooping sales. Turned out, this was an ‘innovation’ that customers hadn’t really asked for, and the Coke was straddled with the image of being the brand that blinked first, in the cola wars. Within three months the original formula was reintroduced as ‘Coke Classic’. By 1992 ‘New Coke’ had been renamed ‘Coke II’ and by 2002 it was discontinued completely. The brand took a hit that lasted more than a decade.

So how does referencing this humongous setback for an iconic brand relate to content marketing, you ask? Well, it certainly underscores confirms how easily bad assumptions undermine good intentions. Content marketing has been a hot topic for many years now, but being in vogue doesn’t mean an innovation is always used effectively. While most brands realise the importance of content marketing, only some execute the strategy effectively – as few as 42%, according to the Content Marketing Institute. Hubspot reinforces the point by pointing out that while 92% of businesses realise the value of high quality content, only 54% think they have a strategy they are satisfied with.

So why are only around a half of the businesses trying, able to do content marketing right? Perhaps even more damningly, why are so many of them unsure of their initiatives and grasping in the dark? One of the biggest reasons that strategy is undermined in content marketing, is the many misconceptions that surround it. Let’s learn to identify some of these myths and put them to the test.

– Myth #1 – Content Marketing can be fully automated
Chatbots, social aggregators, automated mails, etc. are a lifesaver, but relying on them as a sole strategy is destined to fail. Too much automation is not just impersonal, but also unprofessional. The trick is to keep content creation totally human, while streamlining secondary processes with these helpful tools. You will need to dedicate time and resources to create good content. And only creative professionals can do that – whether it’s writing blogs or making videos

– Myth #2 – Only long-form articles and blogs work
While long form pages have resulted in better Google rankings for brands, they also tend to overwhelm audiences. Short form content will ensure that the users will read the entire piece, leading to better engagement and conversions. There are arguments for both types of content, listen to your audience and identify what they respond to best.

– Myth #3 – Content Marketing is separate from other campaigns
Content marketing cannot work in a silo, nor should it be tasked with replacing other branding campaigns. The key is to look at it as a deeper engagement that reinforces other aspects of your outreach. For this to happen, your online and offline campaigns need to be synergistic. Keeping your message consistent can also help save you time and effort, by being able to repurpose content across platforms.

– Myth #4 – Emails are dead
Believing this myth can one of the most dangerous mistakes you make. While social media and messaging apps have dented the popularity of email, it is not obsolete yet. According to Adobe, people in offices spend about 2.5 hours everyday checking their mails. Content Marketing Institute says that around 40% B2B marketers think e-mailers are the most important aspect of their content marketing success. Emails have continued to provide great ROI for brands in recent years. Ignore them at your own risk!

The right presumptions lead to the right results
It’s easy to be swayed by a convincing argument, however real world outcomes should be the ultimate arbiter. Think of your marketing as a relationship with your audience. Content marketing is an opportunity to speak to your customers at more of a length than the average tag-line or advertising copy. For this to be effective you need to have established a baseline in the relationship, its human element should be apparent, and all available channels should be leveraged for their unique and specific strengths. Don’t be misled by myths or hype, build from basics that have stood the test of time. Let innovations be add-ons, and put them to the test of real world outcomes.