If you pay attention to trends in content marketing, it can get pretty frustrating. It seems like as soon as you glom onto one technique, it goes out of style and is replaced with something new you have to learn how to do.
Here, we look at content marketing advice you can flat out ignore.
"You Need to Write Long Form Posts!"
There's been a trend of longer and longer content as of late. Some blog posts are upwards of 3,000 words! I don't have the attention span to sit through reading that kind of content, and your audience probably doesn't either.
While some research shows that search engines like longer blog posts, there's no reason why you need to start making all your posts read like books. Certainly, throwing a longer post in here or there to your blog might show interesting results, but do not force yourself to write longer content just because the cool kids are doing it.
When it makes sense: Long form content works best when you want to really dive into a subject and give your reader an in-depth tutorial on how to do something, or if you want to provide a detailed case study on a subject. That being said, always look at results to see how your longer posts do. If they don't generate more reads or traffic, they're not worth the extra effort to create.
"Use Keywords X Times in Your Content!"
I can't tell you how many times I've had clients that had what they considered to be a magic formula for how frequent keywords should be in a blog post, as well as where specifically they should be placed. It's really tough to write an informative article if you're trying to hit keyword count without it sounding like a robot wrote the post.
Google changes its algorithms more than Kardashians change husbands, so my advice is that you don't worry about this secret formula that will get you to the top of search engines. Because there isn't one.
When it makes sense: Now, I'm not saying you shouldn't use keywords at all. Quite the contrary. Keywords are important for telling search engines what your content is about. But that being said, they should be used sparingly. One or two times, and only where they sound natural. If you're writing about content marketing, you're probably going to use the keywords "content marketing" in your article!
"It's All About the Images."
Actually, there is some truth to this one, but people really go overboard with images. They'll spend a great amount of time custom designing a graphic for every. single. blog. post. And it's really not necessary.
When it makes sense: Including images with your content can help people remember more of the actual content (like 65% of it, as opposed to just 10% of content that doesn't have accompanying images). Include one or two professional stock photos that illustrate your post. That's it. Keep it simple and don't overwhelm the reader with too many images.