Content marketing is increasingly important in a world dominated by the Google algorithm and for good reason. Google’s constant tweaks of its search algorithm seeks to present searchers with the most relevant, timely, and valuable content and defeat the aims of techno-nerds who try to game the system to get their crappy content to rank well. Bing does a similar thing with their algorithm.
In fact, in a recent post, Rand of MOZ (formerly SeoMOZ) made some great arguments in favor of content marketing — not the least of which is that content marketing uses multiple search and social channels to build your online reputation and is thus less at risk from Google’s whims. Check out their Blackboard Friday on Link Building versus Content Marketing implications for SEO.
Why content marketing ?
This presentation contains some great data supporting the use of content marketing including:
- 70% of consumers prefer to hear about your products/ services through articles than advertising.
- 55% increase in web traffic when a company adds a blog to their website.
- 97% more inbound links (the most important element of traditional SEM campaigns) when a company adds a blog to their website.
- 60% of consumers feel better about your brand after reading your content.
Implementing content marketing
These are great arguments for a sound content marketing strategy. But, how do you implement a content marketing strategy?
- Identify your target marketing and their pain points.
- Discover who’s already talking in this space. I use SocialEars and SproutSocial to help me hear conversations out in Cyberspace. Share their content on your own social networks and gather ideas to support your content marketing strategy. Link to these sources liberally. SocialEars has a unique feature allowing you to upload your content and search for additional links to similar content. Remember, content marketing should be about both creating and curating valuable content for your target audience.
- Plan an effective content marketing strategy that keeps creating fresh content for your blog on a regular basis. This is really important for SEO. Curate content from trusted sources on a daily basis. Be sure to share this content in a format appropriate for each social platform — Twitter works best with links, Facebook with images, Pinterest with images, YouTube with video, etc.
- Vary content types. The Internet is increasingly visual so be sure to include a variety of visual format types. Create a YouTube channel and produce videos on a regular basis. Embed them on posts, but be sure to summarize the content as there’s little SEO value in just embedding a video. Create a Pinterest account. Currently, more traffic comes to websites from Pinterest than any other social network.
- Ensure quality content by researching each post and writing carefully. Edit your posts before pushing the publish button. Create a voice that resonates with your target audience and avoids jargon unless your target audience shares your vocabulary. Don’t write “teaser” copy that promises solutions that the content doesn’t provide — I find Hubspot particularly guilty of this.
- Write great headlines and snippets to entice readers to read your posts. On Facebook, don’t use the easy link sharing. Instead, upload your feature image and write a short description that makes fans curious to read the entire post.
- Craft each post around SEO keywords. Use Hashtags on Facebook and Twitter to make your posts more findable. Use effective on-page SEO (I use the Yoast plugin to help with this).
- Follow-up by answering comments and thanking folks who share your content. Your content marketing should be the basis for building your online community.
- Measure. Analyze. Decide. Don’t just post content and hope it resonates with your target audience. Analyze posts to determine the best times and days to post and which content resonates most.
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