Content Marketing and SEO can Team Up to Produce Great Results in 2015
According to Wikipedia’s definition, content marketing is any marketing strategy that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers. For the past few years, content marketing has become more prominent, especially where digital and online marketing is concerned. By 2014, the renowned business magazine Forbes had written about the seven most popular ways businesses use content marketing on its website. In it, the columnist pointed out that by 2013, the use of content marketing had jumped across companies from 60 percent a year or so before, to 93 percent as part of their overall marketing campaign. Despite the fact that 70 percent of businesses are creating content, only 21 percent of marketers think they are successful at tracking returns.
Web content development gained serious traction with businesses realizing the importance of SEO, and even these days, many big brands spend millions on developing and implementing innovative content marketing campaigns to create brand awareness and boost sales. Before the introduction of content quality guidelines by Google and other search engines, marketers generated content to impress Google and Yahoo, and not the users. It was Google that ‘encouraged’ marketers to generate content that is fresh, informative and relevant for users, and not for search engines. After the rollout of Penguin and Panda algorithm updates, online marketers stayed from illegal practices such as keyword stuffing, duplicating, publishing low-quality content, and many more.
How SEO Influence Your Content Campaign
Most industry experts advice marketers to focus on their audience, not on search engines if it is the other way round, SEO ‘pollutes’ the web and makes everything a little less relevant to the users. There are people who assume that SEO is killing content due to over-focusing on SEO results and there are others who believe that SEO and content are not very much complimentary to each other. Well, these are not very accurate and if you think that SEO is ruining your campaign, then think again, as SEO actually helps in improving your content strategy, not hurt it.
- SEO Bolster Your Keyword Research Efforts
As a person producing content it easy to think that you know the best ways. To assume you know what a person wants to read or even that you know who your audience is. However, through SEO you get to actually find out these things and then use them to better your words. Through SEO efforts, you use keyword research tools such as a Google Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest or Wordtracker to guide how you speak about the topics or issues you are writing about. This leaves you better informed about how a normal web user refers to your subject. There are some people who say believe that these tools restrict our creative writing and force content marketers to clutter their pages with clunky terms that do nothing but confuse. SEO makes sure that you are using the right words, those words that your audience searches for information.
SEO also benefits you as a developer by providing audience analysis. When you check into your Google Analytics account, there is one feature called Audience Reports that offer great insight into your audience, what they are interested in, what they read, where they go, and what they do immediately after reading your article. This gives you invaluable data about the people who read from your site and thereby you can enhance your content strategy for your audience.
- Converting Web Pages More User-friendly
Every time when Google introduces new algorithm update to its search network, the search engine reminds online marketers that it does not agree with websites that post spammy or low-quality content in this new SEO environment. Now more than ever SEO is about making pages and websites useful for visitors. But some still want to pretend that is not the case. They believe that SEO is killing content quality, forcing developers to stuff websites with garbage, and thereby diluting the integrity of the web. This accusation was somewhat true few years back, but the SEO version of these days is strongly support the values of user-centered marketing and UX. It is about making a webpage informative and useful for a visitor as possible and being the best answer. Keep in mind that the more user-focused the content, the better will be your SEO efforts.
- Helps in Organizing Your Content
Another important advantage SEO brings to your campaign is organization. For example, when you are writing a book, there are chapters and a natural evolution of information that moves the story along. The same concept exists on websites, and there is a page hierarchy and natural progression of how a user makes his or her way through the website. The information being produced for each web page should be profound of that and tell a similar story.
As a content developer and paying mind to SEO means considering website architecture and how one webpage will lead into another, and instructing the user through that discovery process. It also means not dumping everything you know about a certain topic into a single web page just because you know it. In terms of content organization, it also means knowing what content you have produced and where it is located. The audit process can help you documenting the information you have to share and keeping you better organized, and helping users in finding what they are looking for.
- Helpful in Generating New Ideas
It is well aware of the fact that longer you are tasked with writing about a topic the harder it is to generate new and interesting content ideas. For the developers, SEO serves as the ultimate generator of ideas. Content developers can use insights of SEO from analytics to come up with new topics for infographics, blog/articles, or ebooks. They can use related searches in Google, Yahoo and Bing. When you conduct search efforts in Google, you can utilize its Auto-Correct feature. They can use any one of these modern idea generating tools to get creative juices following. Thanks to SEO there are ways to solve your “writer’s block” kind-of problems.
- Creates New Opportunities
As the world of SEO witnessing new changes and developments, it has opened new opportunities for content marketers to utilize them in a more effective way. These days, businesses are consulting with experts and they ask about how content can be used to help their brands in connecting with their target audience, and to rank better in SERPs. They are interested in many different flavors of content, including articles, blogs, press releases, case studies, whitepapers, infographics, videos, animations, ebooks, slide presentations, and many more.
Business organizations are the ones asking about content marketing, which has given marketers more opportunities to invest their knowledge and skills. SEO specialists themselves are also focusing on putting stronger content on websites as they know that light, keyword-stuffed approach does not work anymore. Even they are making the case to create content that matters, that engages and that moves a reader to do something. Because of SEO, good writers are more in demand than ever before, and that is something to cheer about.
- SEO Helps in Getting Your Content Much Needed Visibility
It is true that without SEO, your great would not get found. So, you need to consider SEO as your best buddy as it does all the things mentioned above. It helps you in understanding your audience, to use the right terms, to organize your content, to know what to write about, and so on. Without SEO, content developers would be writing in the dark and hope that their work will be seen and acknowledged some day.
Content Marketing Playing a Critical Part on Online Visibility
We know that business organizations do SEO campaigns mainly for achieving better online visibility for their brands and these days, having an online recognition became important for enterprises. According to a recent study report, more than ninety percent of online research starts with search engines, and sixty-eight percent of potential customers do online research on companies using social media channels before making a buying decision. Based on Content Marketing Institute’s estimates, for building brand awareness campaigns and to create demand about 93 percent of B2B entities use content marketing strategies. In fact, these organizations that blog regularly produce more than 65 percent more leads. Here are the reasons why business enterprises investing heavily on content marketing campaigns these days.
- Businesses Embrace Content to Maximize their SEO Reputation
Business organizations that embrace content marketing will get more positive results in terms of SEO. When content marketing and SEO are combined together, it will attract more quality links, likes, shares and other SEO-relevant signals that will increase search result rankings. Long-form and high-quality content that has several social media signals such as ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ typically ranks betters with Google and Bing search engines. It has also been shown to get more attention via social media channels, which in turn also helps its search rankings. While SEO using keyword research and other tools will remain significant, content marketing will remains as the main driving force for search engine rankings.
- Businesses Giving more Attention to Customer Care
According to CMO Council’s report on B2B content marketing, about 43 percent of buyers say that they ignore hard selling and blatant advertising, while 87 percent of them say that content does influence their purchasing decisions, and this realization encouraged businesses to give more importance to fresh and relevant content in their online marketing campaigns.
According to Mike Stelzner who is the chief executive of reputed publishing site Social Media Examiner, while some forms of selling tactics can be acceptable to an extent, but there are those businesses that push their products/services which likely to be ignored by circumstances. Stelzner says that it is time for business to start caring for their customers and it can be done by dedicating more resources to things that are harder to track such as answering customer queries and offering more values online.
- More Effectiveness with Content-Integrated Advertisements
Nowadays, banner ads have become less effective and they are getting replaced by native ads such as sponsored and branded content in advertorials due to their increasing effectiveness. Native advertising has become more popular with publishers such as Forbes, The New York Times, and many others. Online advertisers will embrace ads that are strategically placed in great content. Also, advertisers and publishers will work closely to ensure that paid content includes more value to the user experience.
- More Businesses to Spend on Content Publishing
As a first step some businesses are now eager to learn publication for their content distribution campaigns. According to an article posted in Forbes websites on December 2014, about 26 percent of marketers have embraced content distribution strategies as a part of their overall marketing campaigns. Strategic content distribution will become more important as organizations competes each other to get more visibility for their content. Your content needs to be constantly improving your brand, search optimized, and ready for mobile. You will also need to focus on finding the influencers in your niche and reaching out to them as part of your marketing plan.
- Social Media Marketing Benefiting from Content
It is now a true fact that social media is a powerful medium to amplify your message to all parts of the world. According to many industry experts, more businesses will realize the potential of utilizing their social media accounts to bolster their content in the near future. This will lead to an increase of organic social media as well as social media paid advertising, and business will continue to give more attention towards promoted posts. In other words, we can say that content marketing and social media marketing will benefit each other.
- Sending Emails to Promote Your Content
Before the rise in popularity of social media, businesses relied on email marketing campaigns for fulfilling their brand awareness and website promotional goals. In those days, mail has been considered as a popular way to promote content such as blog posts, and to sell your product/service. Unfortunately, low-quality email marketing has caused many businesses to abandon the platform as Gmail and other popular email services have spam filters that block more email.
To increase customer engagement, smart marketers will begin using their content skills to improve the quality of their emails. This can be considered as an added benefit as emails become more relevant and compelling to the subscribers, and thereby decreasing the rate of emails being caught by the spam filters.
- Growing Popularity of Geo-specific Campaigns
According to many local search marketing experts, local enterprises such as real estate firms, restaurants, convenient stores and coffee shops that rely on local customers will continue to spend on geo-specific content. According to these experts, this type of content campaign is somewhat difficult at times as it is usually developed by writers residing in a specific geographical region. This can require a large number of article writers, but the results can be worth it. Google and other search engines will support the growing demand for geo-specific content strategies as this type of high-quality campaign typically ranks well in local search results.
- Personalization in Content Marketing
According to marketing experts, personalization in this field will continue to grow. As the marketing automation tools continue to improve, it will allow more relevant and unique customer engagement. This will allow businesses to focus on their target audience based upon their requirements and demands. Online marketers can then promote personalized content directly to the reader. Better personalization will lead to improved customer recognition as they are reading and interacting with informative and useful content that was specifically developed for them.
- Growing Popularity for Reusable Content Strategy
Last year, Content Marketing Institute conducted a survey asking marketers what they will be working on in the upcoming year. More than 65 percent of them said that their objective was to develop more engaging content. At the same time, 86 percent of surveyed content marketers said that they wanted to find solutions to reuse their existing content on to new channels without having to reformat or recreate.
Business enterprises are finding ways to create affordable, user-driven content that can address multiple ingredients within the purchasing ecosystem, and across multiple environments such as briefing centers, sales meetings, trade shows, training, websites, etc. The American Marketing Association also supports the idea of executing reusable content strategy in a more subtle way.
- Guest Blogging to Remain in the Content Marketing World
There are some people in the content marketing industry that say guest blogging ‘upsets’ Google especially when Matt Cutts the head of Google’s web spam division declared that guest blogging is a ‘done’ thing and said that it is ‘spammy’. This has caused a mass exodus as the content developers moved away from this popular strategy for a while. After that Matt corrected his previous statement and said that he actually tried to tell SEOs to not use guest blogging as part of their link building strategy.
Matt further stated that there are still many good reasons for marketers to use guest blogging such as branding, online exposure, community, increased reach, etc. At the time, most content experts understood what Matt was really meant to say is that there is still many legitimate ways guest blogging can add value. For your information, there are benefits of guest blogging other than simply getting inbound links to your website.
- Increased ROI via Vertical Content Channels
As businesses offer high-value vertical content mediums, it will allow them to hold on to a particular niche, according to Newell Thompson who is the VP of content marketing strategies at the TIME magazine. According to him, “a trusted, consistent, curated voice that lies inside this tidal wave of commoditized content will be where customers will turn to satisfy their passion or need for business information”. Thompson also points out that online advertiser who want a meaningful and engaging conversation with their most important customers will have to follow them.
- Budget for Marketing Campaigns will Continue to Rise
As more and more businesses embrace content marketing, it seems that budget for these campaigns will continue to grow year-by-year. According to Content Marketing Institute’s recent report, about 58 percent of B2B companies are planning to increase their marketing budgets in 2015. Out of this group, ten percent of them are planning significant increases, according to the CMI report. As more business organizations see the advantages of content marketing, it is fully expected that they will allocate more money for content than compared to their traditional SEO campaigns. This means that the budget will increase for producing content for white papers, case studies, blog posts, videos, and for infographics.
These are the reasons why businesses focus on content marketing these days and the days of hard selling and blatant advertising are replaced with this realistic approach. Business enterprises are increasing their budgets and getting smarter with their marketing plans. These techniques will improve their content marketing distribution across multiple platforms consisting of email marketing, guest blogging, social media, search optimization, and many more. When you combine this with an engaging and customized touch, content marketing will showcase better prospects for years to come.
Many online marketing companies have team of professional web content development experts who are ready to help you in creating content as per your business and marketing requirements. These experts very well know that delivering fresh, well-written, useful and compelling web content will attract more attention and high website rankings in major search engines. If you do not know how to implement a unique marketing campaign or do not have the time to do so, then you can consult with experts who are well experienced in conducting such cost-effective marketing campaigns.