Unmasking The Misconceptions: What Content Marketing Is Not

content marketing misconceptions

It is no surprise that content marketing is the rave and seems to be on everyone’s lips despite numerous content marketing misconceptions that exist. According to HubSpot’s 2021 State of Marketing Report, 82% of companies actively use content marketing in their marketing strategy. 

What is content marketing? What is not content marketing? In a world saturated with information and filled with buzzwords, it’s time to unmask the truth about content marketing. 

Buckle up as we look at common misconceptions and reveal what content marketing truly is – and, more importantly, what it isn’t. 

What Is Content Marketing?

content marketing

There are different interpretations of content marketing, which often leads to misunderstandings. Some believe content marketing is simply creating and sharing content online, while others think it’s only about developing long-form articles or blog posts. The reality is that content marketing is much more than that.

At its core, “content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” – Content Marketing Institute

As a result, it requires a solid understanding of your target audience and business goals. Remember that content marketing is not about selling, even though it’s a part of it. Rather, it’s about giving value to your audience. 

So, if you’re looking to use content marketing to boost sales, focus on creating helpful and informative content that will build trust with your audience and lead them to take the actions you want them to take.

Common Content Marketing Misconceptions

Misconceptions about content marketing spread rapidly, obscuring the real purpose and capacity of this comprehensive strategy. Let’s look at some of the widely held false beliefs about it and discover what content marketing is not.

Misconception 1: Content Marketing is Just About Blogging

content marketing misconception

Even though blogging is at the center of content marketing, it isn’t entirely accurate to describe content marketing as “just about blogging.” As mentioned above, content marketing is about consistently creating and distributing valuable and relevant content. Hence, this can take many forms beyond just writing blog posts. 

Sudhir Khatwani, founder of The Money Mongers, lends his voice to explain this better. He says, 

“Content marketing extends well beyond the realm of blogging. As a content marketing expert, I can attest that it covers an array of formats, including videos, podcasts, webinars, infographics, ebooks, and social media posts, among others. The objective is to deliver valuable, pertinent content through varied mediums to captivate a defined audience and drive meaningful customer interactions.”

Creating content in various formats helps you capture the attention of your target audience in diverse ways. Videos, for example, are great for communicating complex ideas with visuals and sound effects. On the other hand, audio is helpful for delivering information on the go while offering an immersive experience. 

Let’s end with Anna Koval, Co-Founder and CMO at Tarotoo, “Content marketing is about crafting an orchestra of content that harmonizes with your audience, resonates deeply, and sparks meaningful connections.”

Misconception 2: Content Marketing Has To Be Free

misconceptions in content marketing

While it is true that content can often be accessed at no cost, creating high-quality content in various formats comes at a price. This content marketing misconception arises primarily from the prevalence of freely available blog posts, articles, and videos online. 

On average, small and medium-sized businesses should expect to spend from $2000 upwards on their content marketing efforts. While this is the average, the cost of content marketing for your business will depend on several factors. These include:

  • The volume of content you want to produce
  • The content formats you want to embrace
  • The content distribution and promotion channels you will be employing
  • The content creation tools you will need
  • The consistency of content creation 
  • The content production approach you will use – in-house or outsourcing to a team. 

Creating content is not free, but successful brands understand that investing in high-quality content yields significant returns through customer engagement and lead generation.

Gregory Rozdeba, the co-founder and President of Dundas Life, believes you can offset some of the costs associated with content marketing if you develop your content and utilize free or economical promotion and distribution channels. 

Misconception 3: Content Marketing Is Only For Big Brands

common content marketing misconceptions

One of the most prevalent content marketing misconceptions is that it is reserved exclusively for large corporations with extensive budgets and resources.  

Abhishek Shah, the founder of Testlify, argues this isn’t true. He says, “Content marketing is a versatile strategy that can be tailored to fit the needs and budget of any business, regardless of its size. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can leverage content marketing effectively by focusing on niche markets.” 

Vikrant Shaurya, the CEO of Authors on Mission, echoes the above. He says, “Content marketing is just as, if not more, beneficial for small businesses and startups. It allows them to build their brand identity, engage with their audience on a personal level, and compete in the market. Content marketing can be a cost-effective way for smaller companies to get their name out there and establish authority in their niche.”

The key lies in understanding your target market intimately and delivering high-quality content consistently across various channels, regardless of company size or budget constraints.

Anna Koval commented that it doesn’t matter “whether you’re a scrappy startup or a renowned enterprise, content marketing provides a gateway to unleash your creativity, captivate your target audience, and forge genuine connections. It’s not about the size of your brand but the size of your ideas and the value you bring to the table.”

Misconception 4: Content Marketing Is Solely About Promoting Products Or Services

misconceptions in content marketing

People often misunderstand content marketing as a strategy solely focusing on promoting products or services. This content marketing misconception fails to capture the true essence and potential of this powerful marketing approach.

Joanne Schneider, CXO of Oula Health, proclaims that content marketing is more about building your brand reputation and identity than promoting your products and services, as that is oftentimes what turns leads into customers.

According to Lindsey Chastain, a content marketing expert who also serves as co-CEO at The Waddle and Cluck, 20% of your content marketing efforts should be geared towards purchase intent, while you should focus the remaining 80% on providing valuable information for your clients and customers.

She reiterates, “The customer journey, on average, has six touch points with your brand before purchase. By creating content that provides value and instills trust, clients and consumers are more likely to choose your brand or company over another that doesn’t provide that level of value.”

In the same vein, Michael Alexis, founder of Team Building, warns businesses against exclusively developing promotional content as search algorithms can often detect it, which can lead to readers leaving the website. Alexis says, “Content that overtly sells is unlikely to rank consistently high, as search algorithms can often detect promotional content, and readers are more likely to bounce if they feel that they are being pressured into a sale.”

Misconception 5: Content Marketing Is A Quick-Fix Strategy For Immediate Results

content marketing misconception

A common misunderstanding in digital marketing is that content marketing is a fast solution to generate instant outcomes. This content marketing misconception is based on an overly optimistic view of how content can rapidly increase traffic or produce leads.

Jas Banwait Gill, the Growth Manager of SwagMagic, proclaims, 

“Content marketing aims to build credibility, trust, and brand authority. And that’s just not something you can achieve overnight. That’s why it’s a long-term strategy that requires consistent production of valuable and relevant content. It may take some time for your audience to discover, consume, and engage with your content. But with patience and persistence – and a good deal of A/B testing – you can establish yourself as a trusted and authoritative voice in your industry with a loyal following.”

Supporting the above, marketing consultant and founder at Dash of Social, Ashley Mason recounts her experience where customers opted for her services only after following her content for several months.

In her words, “It’s the idea of planting seeds now that may come to fruition months or even years down the line as you continue to build trust and visibility. I’ve had several business owners finally book consultation calls with me after saying, ‘I’ve been following you for two years now, and I’m finally ready to reach out.’”

You need to be patient and persistent as a business owner when it comes to content marketing. Prepare to invest time and resources into crafting compelling narratives that resonate with your target audience while allowing sufficient opportunity for organic growth.

Misconception 6: Content Marketing Is Separate From Other Marketing Efforts

misconceptions in content marketing

Content marketing is often treated as separate from other marketing efforts, leading to the content marketing misconception that you should pursue it independently. Content marketing is an integral part of any comprehensive marketing strategy. It seamlessly intertwines with various channels and tactics, amplifying their effectiveness while delivering value to target audiences.

Tayler, a marketing consultant and founder at Enji warns that one of the biggest errors you can make with content marketing is to view it as an isolated effort rather than part of your overall strategy. She emphasizes how crucial it is to share content via all available channels when so much time and energy has gone into creating them.

Erin Banta, co-founder at Pepper, echoes the same thoughts. She adds that content marketing works hand-in-hand with other channels of your marketing strategy to create an overall image and identity for the brand.

Misconception 7: Content Marketing Is A One-Time Effort

content marketing misconception

Rather than being a single campaign or isolated activity, content marketing is a long-term strategy for building brand awareness, establishing thought leadership, and nurturing customer relationships. It is an ongoing and dynamic process that requires consistent effort and attention to thrive.

Anna Koval urges business owners to view content marketing as a delicate dance between providing value and building relationships consistently. She says, “It’s about nurturing your audience, understanding their needs, and delivering content that genuinely enriches their lives. By offering educational resources, entertaining stories, and thought-provoking insights, you establish yourself as a trusted ally and a go-to source of expertise. And this naturally paves the way for organic business growth.”

Michael Alexis also warns business owners about getting complacent with content creation due to early wins. He emphasizes that “Content changes over time. Even if you do rank high on initial publication, there is always the possibility that competitors can post better articles and outrank you or that ranking factors can change. Updating and adjusting articles is a smart strategy for continuing to draw traffic.”


If you’re here with me, you understand by now that content marketing is not a mere guise for cheap advertising, nor is it an avenue solely focused on driving sales. 

Instead, it establishes trust, fosters relationships, and positions brands as thought leaders within their industries. As a result, it requires meticulous research, innovative thinking, and an unwavering dedication to delivering high-quality content that resonates with its intended recipients. 

In essence, content marketing is the bridge between brands and consumers, closing knowledge gaps while fostering organic connections built on shared values and interests.

Latifat Abifarin

Latifat Abifarin

I am passionate about growth for businesses through creative and engaging content.

I specialize in creating custom, creative and engaging content for businesses. My goal is to help entrepreneurs and businesses increase their brand awareness, brand reach, visibility, and sales through creative and engaging content.

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