Content marketing is not the same as link building. When you create content to post online, you should focus more on creating high-quality content that people want to share with their friends and colleagues. The backlinks and high rankings will come later.
Many eCommerce SEO experts will insist you create content with the idea of getting backlinks to help your website rank well in the search engines. And that’s good advice, but link building shouldn’t be your main focus when you create a content marketing plan. Content marketing is supposed to be used when you want to increase brand awareness to get more clients.
In recent times, the benefits of content marketing for SEO have been widely broadcast with a plethora of articles, opinions, and top tips, reinforcing the need for organizations to produce unique content regularly to acquire those sought after first page rankings.
What Is Content Marketing?
However, limiting the role of content marketing to SEO without first understanding how content impacts on the delivery of your commercial objectives is unlikely to yield the desired results. Developing low quality, regurgitated content from online news sources is unlikely to add significant value to your audience or significantly enhance your visibility in these post-Google Panda, and Penguin update times.
Content marketing needs to be an integral component of your digital marketing and communications strategy. It should be utilized to build awareness of your brand, stimulate user engagement, reach new audiences, increase visitor levels, improve conversion rates, and drive revenues. For most organizations, the commercial objectives will be similar, but a clear strategy that clearly outlines the process for achieving these objectives is critical.
Before Embracing Content Marketing, Organisations Should Consider The Following –
In an increasingly competitive digital landscape, organizations must differentiate themselves from their competitors to gain market share.
During the early stages of developing a content strategy, key areas such as brand values, unique selling points, tone of voice, and value proposition need to be identified, documented and issued as guidelines internally and to external agencies.
This forms the basis of your content strategy and should be utilized across all forms of digital communication, including website content, blog posts, press releases, and social media.
Developing content that is of value to your audience and stimulates a response, whether that be a comment, share, or like, is the holy grail of content marketing, with an emphasis on quality over quantity.
Discuss potential subject matters internally and seek feedback from your existing audience to determine what types of content would be well received. If you are currently writing content, review what has worked and what hasn’t worked, which platforms have been the most effective in terms of engagement, monitor your areas of expertise, and brand mentions online.
Look at forthcoming events in your sector, product launches, and seasonal trends as potential subject matters and use all of this information to plan an initial 3-6 month plan, which illustrates timings and schedules for the development and publishing of this content.
Which platforms do you intend to use for the delivery of your content strategy? A blog should be at the forefront of your content delivery plan but identify where your target audience is likely to reside online and which platforms offer the most effective route of communicating with prospective customers.
Review Google Analytics to identify keywords and phrases that typically drive visitors to your website and analyze the search queries report in Google Webmaster Tools to find keyword opportunities.
Ensure that social media, and in particular social sharing, is integrated into your content marketing strategy. Identify which social media platforms will be utilized and tailor the content specifically for each platform. If applicable to the audience, share your blog posts across the leading social media platforms and integrate social sharing functionality into critical areas of your website.
It is important to note that content, in its broadest sense, can be delivered in several ways such as opinion pieces, buying guides, reviews, white papers, video, podcasts, infographics, imagery, and more. The type of content that you publish will be mostly dependent on what your audience engages with and what level of resource you have to produce this content.
The resource is a crucial consideration when developing a content marketing strategy. Do you have the support and expertise in-house to deliver the required content and type of content effectively? Will you need to outsource elements of the content development?
In most instances, structuring your content schedule so that it can be delivered effectively in the short term is typically a good starting point. It’s important to emphasize the ‘quality over quantity’ factor, and it is often more beneficial to plan the scheduled delivery of content rather than an initial burst of activity, which will inevitably tail off through a lack of resources.
It is essential that all content marketing activity can be measured effectively, and critical metrics should be agreed and included within the content marketing strategy. Key metrics could consist of an increase in visitor levels, user engagement, and revenue and should be monitored regularly to determine the overall success of your endeavors.
The analogy’ content is king’ is still very much at the forefront of digital marketing, but ‘strategy is queen’ will ensure that your content attracts, engages, and converts.