Lee Odden

War of Words: Myth-Busting Content Marketing

Myth Busting Content MarketingWith 9 out of 10 B2B marketers counting on content marketing tactics in their mix, it’s no wonder content marketing is getting so much attention on blogs, in traditional media and on the social web.

Along with the increased popularity of content, opportunists have begun aligning themselves with the topic of “content marketing”, even though their offering is only remotely related. As it was with websites in the 1990’s, SEO in the early 2000’s, social media over the past 5 years, so-called experts have begun pontificating advice based on thin air, obscure experiences and self interest.

To help our readers distill the signal from the noise, here are 3 myths about content marketing and how they are busted to give companies a clearer picture of reality when it comes to effective content marketing.

Myth 1: “Content Marketing” Simply Means Creating MORE Content

A misperception for many marketers new to the field of content marketing is that adding more content leads to improved business outcomes. When Google launched its Panda Update to filter out poor quality and thin content from search results, many members of the SEO community clamored to produce more content for the search engine rather than information focused qualitatively on the consumer intended to read it.

Myth Busted: Quality, not quantity rules the day when it comes to high value, high impact content marketing. But there’s nothing like a quantity of quality to win the week, month and year.  Content Marketing is based on creating useful information that meets the needs of the people the brand is trying to connect with. Relevancy, timeliness, context and utility all combine to create incredibly productive content marketing efforts. More is not better.

Myth 2: Quality Content is Not Sustainable

Fear of not being able to maintain high levels of content production is a reasonable concern, but not for companies that are connected to sources that matter most: their customers.  Companies that fear running out of interesting things to say have bigger issues to solve than writing their next blog post. 16% of the daily queries on Google have never been seen before, so there is plenty of opportunity to diversify key topics with empathy towards the voice of the customer.

Myth Busted: Connect with frontline customer service and sales staff to uncover important questions that, when answered, can lead to improved consideration, purchase, retention and advocacy within your market. Tapping into the themes and topics of importance to our community means you will never run out of meaningful ideas for your content creation efforts.

Myth 3: A Content Object Has Only One Life

Many companies approach content marketing by publishing singular content objects and promoting through channels of distribution like email, RSS, PR, advertising and social media. The investment in time and money into just one instance of a key story or message is akin to throwing money away and leaving the rest on the table for your competition.

Myth Busted: Content planning should include the repurposing of evergreen and co-created content. Break big topics down into a series to attract attention and inspire anticipation for the next content object. That means a series of blog posts, infographics, webinars, whitepapers, press releases, videos or case studies. Then repurpose those content objects into new forms to give your audience information in a format that better connects with their information consumption preferences.

Content used for marketing purposes only works when it’s useful to the people who consume, share and act on it.  Without fears or misperceptions in the way businesses can achieve a 360 degree array of benefits including awareness, interest, consideration, purchase, retention and advocacy with a thoughtful approach to content marketing.

This post is the first in a three part series where I’ll touch on common myths that are polluting perceptions of incredibly effective marketing tactics like content marketing, SEO and Social Media. These posts are also a preview to my presentation at BlogWorld’s NMX conference January 8th (Tuesday) at the Rio in Las Vegas.

Here’s the official session description:

War of Words: Myth-Busting Social, SEO & Content

This just in: “SEO is Dead”, “There is no ROI in Social Media” and many other proclamations are made in industry press and on blogs just about every week. And yet investment in social, search and content are all on the rise. Why the disconnect? From pageview journalism to egomaniacal SEO superstar wannabe’s, sweeping generalizations and out of context observations have created a number of myths about these highly effective online marketing channels.

This presentation will identify and bust the most common myths about SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing plus provide attendees with examples of how an integrated approach will win the battle and the war for more customers, better engagement and online marketing success.


  • Distinguish fact from fiction about social, SEO and Content Marketing
  • Discover a model for integration that gets results
  • See examples of modern social, SEO & content in action

As always, those that liveblog the session can get a free copy of Optimize as will the top 2 people who livetweet.  I hope to see you there! (Registration info)

What are some of the biggest “myths” you’ve heard about content marketing? Any suggestions for myth-busting about SEO or social media?

PoorSo SoOKGoodAwesome (3 votes, average: 4.67 out of 5)

Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Repurposing content is a great approach. One topic can turn into content in many different formats. People consume information in different ways. Some prefer to read while others prefer to watch. Therefore, blog post content can turn into video content, etc.

  2. Repurposing is a must! Our service produces content based on a podcast model. However, our end product is a blog post based on the contents of the audio interview. By the time we get to the rewritten blog version, we have produced 3 unique pieces of content…a 5-minute audio “podcast”, a transcription of the audio (make it a PDF download, which Google will index), and a rewritten reader-friendly version of the transcript (which will be seen as unique content from the PDF).

    • That is an excellent example Dave. I think the key is that you’re repurposing effort creates value in each form. That’s the difference between repurposing and simple duplication.

  3. Avatar Keith Eastman II says

    Good Post I am glad to finally hear someone else pointing out that quality verses quanity will always succeed. Its almost like that in any form of business, social enteracation etc.

  4. Very good post. I will look forward to reading your next two articles covering the myths about Social Media and SEO. Thanks!

  5. I understand your point but surely the key to ‘marketing’ is to achieve all the known seo criteria AND the branding message

    • Indeed – optimize for customers, the brand message and the ability for discovery through search.

      To the extent that search can deliver relevant visitors to experience our content, yes, SEO criteria apply. But search is not the only way, nor always the most appropriate, to attract relevant website traffic.

  6. This: “Companies that fear running out of interesting things to say have bigger issues to solve than writing their next blog post” Well put, Lee.

  7. Hi Lee,
    Thanks for sharing an excellent article and putting a good perspective around each of the myth. I especially liked the 3 takeaways – to the point. Great stuff. Thanks again!

  8. Avatar Scott Hammond says

    I saw that another commenter mentioned repurposing as a podcast, that’s a great trick. A couple of other ways I have repurposed content for clients is video, as a shareable slide deck, both of which can cross over the podcast (you can combine podcast and slide deck and turn it into a saved webinar, and a vid copy of the webinar). Another way we repurpose is by generating an infographic. It’s really hot right now, and another way to turn a blog post into fresh content. Break the post into bullet points and just add graphics. Voila! We like to set up blogger chains to market an infographic or post (a lot of the agencies we sub out work from have us doing this). Once you break a blog post up into bullet points and create an infographic you can share with a small group of bloggers. Each can paste up the infographic, write a short post reflecting the bullets, and link back to the original blog. If all the bloggers follow each other on social channels and tweet/shoutout the links to each others articles you get a nice saturation effect with your content. Each participating blogger gets some bleedover from the others accounts, helping them increase footprint and authority within the space (“well connected” bloggers who work with other “well connected” bloggers will always be perceived as greater authorities). Long comment, but like I said, my small agency does this for larger agencies on contract a lot and it works very well for us.

  9. Hey Lee! bought your book when it first came out… my traffic is really and truly amazing today…thank you so very much!