As an SEO company, we get asked the question time and time again.
That is because content marketing might seem like a lot of hard work initially, but it’s actually an essential form of digital marketing that can help get your name out there and get people interested in whatever you have to offer.
So, why do so many people still shy away from it?
We think it might have something to do because it seems like a lot of work and doesn’t automatically translate into sales.
But, do bear with us as the effort and expenditure needed to create content does pay off in the end – especially if you want to improve your organic search ranking and ensure your website is SEO-optimised.
It also helps with customer retention. If they feel like they are actually gaining something from your content, they are likely to be much more interested in sharing their personal information with you.
Now, we all know that this is likely to become even more vital as we move into the cookie-less world.
What’s content marketing?
Content marketing, you see, is what can take your bare and boring website from 0 to 100.
It’s all to do with writing or creating content that has little to do with your products and services – content marketing has to be all about your customers.
That’s not to say you don’t want to ensure your content is actually aligned with your broader philosophy, but you don’t want it to be over‘ sales.
Consumers are hyper-attuned to this kind of tactic, and they will turn it off completely.
Ask yourself what they want to know? If you don’t know, actually get out there and ask.
You want to create and distribute valuable content that actually adds value to your customers’ real lives.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t actually pay to promote the content itself.
And, before we get ahead of ourselves, it’s not only about the writing. It’s got to do with everything that is on the page.
Well, as I said, content marketing is not only about articles.
It can be anything, from video marketing on YouTube with how-to product demonstrations or recipe videos. The important thing to remember is that it cannot be advertorial but rather educational or informative for viewers.
Articles are obviously the easiest way to begin when it comes to content marketing as they require the lowest budget to write and publish as they can just be hosted on your own site.
However, if it’s not your thing, you can hire a freelancer who can write for you when it comes to writing. Similarly, if you were looking to create a video segment and video is not your thing, find a video editor who can help.
Podcasts can also be used – but these are very much a higher budget and more difficult to produce. However, when done well, these can be insanely great for helping to reinforce your content strategy.
Just ensure you’ve got something great to say!
If you want to go all-in, you can self-publish an ebook, book, or magazine.
These need to be filled with actionable and evergreen content that is not going to age quickly – otherwise, by the time it gets to customers, it’s likely to have lost much of its appeal.
SEO and Content
Well, these two actually need to work well together.
Just because your content is interesting does not mean that you should not ensure it’s not optimized for SEO.
Ensure you’ve done your research on what keywords you need to optimize for. You can use whichever keyword planner you prefer. As always, an SEO tip is to focus more so on long-tail ones as these are more specific and therefore easier to rank for.
When it comes to the actual content, ensure that you split your content into digestible chunks. Long articles and briefing papers are fantastic, but only if they’re presented in a readable format. Remember, many of your customers will be reading on their mobile phones, making it even harder to read lots and lots of unbroken text.
Lastly, people’s attention spans are just getting shorter and shorter.
Then, there are the technical aspects like linking to authoritative sites where you got your statistics from.
The thing is – content marketing is most definitely for you. It’s actually a strategy every brand can benefit from.
After all, there’s no point in having an incredible product if you get onto your website and find there’s literally nothing there for users to read.
The only thing to remember is that content should not be about you – it has to be interesting and informative for your users.
Give them something they want, rather than a hard-sell article that can be sniffed from a mile away.
Lastly – have fun with it! Content marketing should not be scary or difficult.