If you’ve been keeping up with online marketing trends then you’ve no doubt come across the term ‘content marketing’. It’s the latest buzzword to be bandied about by Internet marketers like some kind of hot potato and you might have wondered exactly what it means.
Well, the good news is that, if you’ve been handling your online presence properly, then a content marketing strategy is nothing new. It’s simply the creation and publication of content of any format used to acquire and retain website visitors and turn them into customers. With the increased accessibility of different content types over the past few years – blog articles, videos, podcasts, eBooks, emails, etc. – the phrase has found itself in popular use.
Developing a Content Marketing Strategy
The great thing about so many different kinds of media being accessible online – text, audio, video, image, etc. – is that it allows marketers to target content towards different pockets of their audience. Perhaps you have a new product launch that you want to shout about – years ago you might have written a blog post about it, and perhaps sent a link to your mailing list.
This is great, but it would only have reached people who were actively searching for the product, or who were on your mailing list, saw your email, opened it, and clicked the link. You would have missed out on reaching a large part of your potential audience.
Today we can address that by targeting different audience segments separately. A blog post is great for those who have the time or enthusiasm to sit and read 700 words, but for those with less time on their hands, a podcast announcement that they can listen to on the bus on their way to work is ideal. Or perhaps you could film a product demonstration for those more visually inclined and likely to check their YouTube subscriptions before they check their email. There are three questions to ask yourself when it comes to content marketing:
Who is your audience?
Which platforms and formats are the most likely to engage with?
How can you get them to engage with your content?
Using a Content Marketing Strategy as an SEO Tool
Your first thought should always be towards your audience and the value that your content is providing for them, but it’s worth noting the impact that content marketing has on SEO. The advantage of this multi-platform approach is that you will have inbound links and traffic coming from a number of different sources (emails, blogs, social media, YouTube, media hosting sites, etc.) which will strengthen your linking profile and therefore your Google ranking, resulting in a long-term source of traffic.
Social media can also be a valuable asset when it comes to online content marketing. The idea is to create highly valuable, original content with viral potential; materials that users will naturally want to share with their friends or colleagues.
This will have a dramatic impact on your website traffic and linking profile. The challenge is in selecting the right social channels for your business and writing headers and links that have a high click-through rate.
Different Types of Content
As well as having various content formats at your disposal, this content can also be used for a wide range of purposes. You can use it to generate traffic, build trust with your customers, repeat contact with your audience, or push sales. For example, a tactic that many marketers use is to create video tutorials for their customers. You will see a lot of these on YouTube. It might seem a bit counter-intuitive to give this kind of information away for free, but it builds trust with your customers, who are then more likely to come back to you when they have a bigger issue. Embed the video in a blog or webpage, and you can also try to rank on longtail keywords – “how to set up a WordPress account”, “how do I add a contact in Skype?” – bolstering your rankings and organic traffic.
You can also create video marketing demos to sell a product, write an article recommending useful tools to your users to keep your company fresh in their minds, or maybe even share videos or images from an event to demonstrate your knowledge and reputation. It’s all about creating valuable content and understanding where and how to market it.
Different SEO trends will come and go but a strong content marketing strategy will always be valuable because Internet users will always want quality content. In order to get the most of out of yours, it can be beneficial to seek the assistance of a marketing agency. Contact us today to find out about our content marketing services and how we can help you build your audience and increase your sales via quality content.
Tom McSherry is the founder and chief strategist of Premium SEO NZ. Tom has been in the digital marketing industry for 8 years providing digital copywriting and optimisation services to businesses in New Zealand and around the world. Connect with him on LinkedIn here.
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