Content marketing is a common term in the world of digital marketing. But what does content marketing actually involve and is it important?
As a content marketer I may well be biased but with Google’s Panda and Penguin updates both placing increased importance on relevant, well-written content in search engine rankings it is a key part of online marketing.
Let’s start with content. What is content? Content comes in a variety of forms including articles, blogs, info-graphics, case studies, eBooks, Q&A’s, videos and photos.
Content marketing is the creation and distribution of relevant, valuable content. It is a way of communicating with customers and is a form of marketing that doesn’t involve direct selling. Successful content should provide useful information to a target audience on a regular basis. It is a marketing technique that helps to build a strong brand identity and encourages brand loyalty. Retaining reader’s attention and ensuring they read an entire blog post or article is the benchmark of effective and successful content.
The aim of content marketing is to educate customers and provide them with valuable and entertaining content that they want to read. When creating content for marketing purposes whether this is a blog post or a video the content must be compelling, entertaining, relevant and of value. We only want to read or watch content that interests us. The sheer scale of the internet and number of companies constantly advertising means that as a consumer we are spoilt for choice, if a blog post is boring or doesn’t interest us why would we keep reading it? The answer is we don’t.
If you post regular, entertaining content then readers will keep returning to your site and are much more likely to share your content with others and increase the readership of your content and brand message. Varying the type of content and topic is important in terms of attracting new readers and keeping existing readers entertained. Think about who will be reading your content? Who is your target audience? Who are you ‘talking’ to? You can target different readerships with different pieces to reach a wider audience.
Benefits of a content marketing strategy:
– Study found businesses who added a blog to their site saw visitor’s increase by 55%.
– Companies with blogs have 97% more inbound links than companies without.
– Builds customer loyalty and relationships.
– Creates a strong brand identity and voice.
– Increased brand awareness.
– Provides your audience with the information they want.
– Drives organic traffic and increase sites authority.
– Increase in returning traffic.
If you need any further convincing that content marketing is a vital part of any online marketing strategy then we only need to turn to Google.
The Google Panda algorithm penalised websites with low quality, keyword stuffed content. Search engines reward quality content – sites are ranked higher and have a better SERP authority if they have relevant, well-written content. With each update Google is getting more and more advanced, they can spot spam and ‘unnatural’ content a mile off. Google and other search engines are there primarily to help people find the information or services they are looking for. The purpose of search engines is to match people up with the most relevant and useful search results.
Content marketing is an evolving area of marketing – one which is only going to gain in importance over the next few years. The traditional interruptive model of advertising is dying out. Customers no longer want to stop what they are doing to read or watch an advert, we have the technology to simply skip through TV or radio adverts and we can choose to ignore print or banner advertising if we want to. Content, however, is still one of the most powerful ways of engaging, communicating and influencing customers that there is.