Nowadays, a higher proportion of the population is hyper-connected. These individuals have access to massive amounts of information such as instant news via their mobile, home, or office devices. They also spend quite a considerable amount of time online.
Therefore, companies have realized that to capture the interest of customers, they need to enhance and add value to a consumer’s online experience instead of interrupting it. They do this through the use of content that’s specifically designed not to focus on their products, but, on the informational needs of the consumer.
What is Content Marketing
Content marketing is a long-term marketing strategy that focuses on creating and developing a strong relationship with your target audience by giving them high quality content that’s relevant to them on a consistent basis. Often times, businesses leverage it to directly or indirectly promote their business, service, and product through the use of meaningful content geared towards keeping customers informed or helping them reach purchase decisions.
It’s imperative that the content remains the mission while promotion takes a back seat or is minimized. Content marketing is a broad term that encompasses a range of marketing activities such as social media marketing, PR, inbound marketing, and SEO which is an important part of content marketing.
Objectives of Content Marketing
Content marketing occurs both online and offline. However, the internet has provided a majority of simple and free tools that companies can take advantage of to create their voice and drive influence. Most companies leverage digital channels such as websites, social media, blogs, newsletters, and video-sharing sites, among others.
The main objectives of content marketing include:
Content Marketing Channels
The list of potential content marketing channels is massive and grows longer every day thanks to technological advancements that create new ways for marketers to develop and disseminate content. All these channels have their share of advantages and disadvantages, different barriers to entry, different targeting potential, and benefits depending on the needs and focus of the brand. Many brands find that using multiple channels simultaneously is most effective for them.
A few of these digital content marketing channels include:
Social networks have become increasingly many and useful in content marketing. For instance, through the use of social networks, marketers are capable of sharing links to external websites which boosts traffic. They act as the bridge between the brand and an audience that lacks knowledge of the brand. They also provide media coverage for the brand while at the same time incentivizing engagement and feedback.
Blogs are the most popular channels of content dissemination used by marketers all over the world. They are usually engaging as they are often made up of meaningful content. Moreover, they can range from any kind of genre including reviews, opinion posts, commentaries, news updates, product announcements, etc. Blogs are also multimedia platforms, meaning they can deliver content in different ways such as audio and video.
A website acts as the center of the brand’s marketing activities. It’s where most customers can get information about brand products and services. It’s also where most sales take place. Therefore, it’s critical to have a well-designed website with all relevant content displayed.
These channels can be used to offer content in the form of:
- Blog Posts and Articles
- Press Releases
- Videos and Presentations
Content Marketing and SEO
The sheer volume of content created on a day-to-day basis coupled with the explosive growth of websites accessed on the internet is overwhelming. Search engines index billions of sites and web pages. For instance, Google handles about a billion searches every day.
What is SEO?
SEO is a process whereby content gets tagged and labeled through correctly placed keywords and page elements to make content easily found by search engines. A vast majority of a search engine’s content is made available to consumers via algorithms.
Google shows search results based on the content’s freshness and whether it’s new (among other things). For instance, fresh content has a higher chance of getting rapidly indexed and dominating the SERPs compared to older and low value content.
Google also seems to penalize sites that overdo SEO optimization or underperform. For example, sites that have too many keywords in the text often get penalized. The same happens to websites that are too slow, have concise content, and lack social media integration. A proper word count for a blog post is around 500-800 words. However, more can be added as long as it’s meaningful.
What Do SEO and Content Marketing Have in Common?
There exists a large misconception of what SEO and content marketing is all about. In fact, to most people, SEO and content marketing are two separate fields. What most people don’t realize is the fact that SEO and content marketing tend to overlap, bind, and blend… a lot. They’re actually two sides of the same coin. Yes, there are differences here and there, but, the two need each other, and they always complement each other. For instance, there is no such thing as SEO existing without content. To apply SEO, you need content, something that content marketing is all about. In reality, the only way to ensure that content marketing succeeds is to leverage SEO tactics in the actual content.
One technique of SEO implementation in content is the use of keywords. The only approach to use keywords is to strategically deploy them within your content. Obviously search engines will penalize you for keyword stuffing. Therefore, it’s extremely important that you use keywords and content in perfect balance to ensure that search engines accurately index your content. The only difference here is that SEO is narrower and way more technical, while content marketing is more holistic and broad. However, the two still merge and complement each other. SEO cannot exist without content marketing and content marketing cannot succeed without SEO.
Even though content marketing is a widely recognized industry, a majority of companies and individuals neglect the SEO part of content marketing. A majority of them have content but, they lack the knowledge to optimize it. SEO is an integral part of content marketing that gives a company, brand, or individual the ability to become an industry expert in the online landscape.
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