Content marketing is a contentious subject in some circles. A quick Google search turned up all sorts of hatred toward a marketing method that is surprisingly effective. While, in the words of Taylor Swift, the haters are gonna hate, hate, hate – and make excuses, I’m happy to shred these excuses and explain why there’s no time like the present to set them aside and create a content marketing strategy today.

Content marketing doesn’t directly sell to customers.

The whole point of content marketing isn’t to sell. It’s to raise awareness for a brand, develop thought leadership (yes, I don’t like that word, either), and establish your company as the solution to customers’ problems. You can’t do that if you’re pushing products.

You’re not “listening” to the audience.

Unless you’re performing on stage, you’re not “listening” to the audience at all. Traditional advertising doesn’t provide a “listening” experience; the only “listening” is on social media, but your content isn’t always there. It’s in the hands of salespeople, on your website, on YouTube – you get the idea. You’re not always going to know the exact reaction a prospect has to a piece of content, but you’ll always have your sales force to let you know what pressing issues customers face and if they’re responding to your white papers, case studies, or blog posts.

Content marketing is a “sloppy” concept.

This belief is held by those that haven’t formed a content marketing strategy (see my next excuse). Content marketing isn’t about throwing every type of content in a bucket and churning out endless blog posts. It’s a deliberate exercise using different content formats and mediums.

There’s no strategy or real marketing.

Actually, content marketing done right has a carefully planned strategy behind it and is actual marketing. It has a pattern and utilizes different media to get the job done. There’s a roadmap and cycles, and the strategy is revisited and revised as the company strategy around products themselves change.

It’s just a buzzword.

Content marketing is not a fad. It’s not just a buzzword. It is a real marketing method that rolls the best of journalism, marketing, and sales into a tidy package and helps customers make informed decisions.

You can’t measure content marketing ROI.

Actually, you can. You need to know what you’re measuring, and you need to know what to look for. There are people far more qualified than me to tell you how to do it. All I can do is tell you what your content needs to look like.

It’s just SEO with a new name.

SEO is not a content strategy, and content marketing is not SEO. Yes, it’s good for SEO, but it’s not all about SEO. You’re writing for people here, not Google zoo animal algorithms.

Content marketing is old.

And it works. Just ask John Deere or Michelin. It’s evolved to include electronic communication and social media, but content marketing is something that has worked for a very, very long time. Old isn’t necessarily bad.

It’s storytelling.

Storytelling is a part of content marketing, but that’s not everything. Case studies in particular are storytelling, but white papers are not, at least, not in the traditional sense.

It’s not sustainable.

Producing a lot of content takes time and resources, which is why you may think content marketing is unsustainable. But you don’t have to produce boatloads of content to have an effective content marketing strategy, and you don’t have to ever have a single piece of content in isolation. White papers and case studies can be repurposed. Videos and webinars can be used as fodder for more content. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel every time.

What are your excuses for eschewing content marketing?