There’s a big push these days toward content marketing, but many people don’t quite understand the connection between developing great content (blogs, white papers, SEO — Search Engine Optimization — pieces, directory articles, and press releases) and seeing an increase in site traffic. It does seem a bit abstract: How does blogging improve a company’s bottom line? The answer is complicated, but at its core is one very simple answer: social media. Social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and a host of others, is essentially a vehicle for your content marketing pieces. By blogging, you provide opportunities for people to read (and share!) new information posted on your website. Not only does this keep your company’s name in front of your target audience, but it also increases your search engine rankings because Google, Yahoo!, and Bing all keep tabs on how frequently you update your site with new content. Blogging enables you to offer frequent updates without bringing in your site developer for an actual site update, so it saves you money while also satisfying the search engines’ ever-increasing demands for more new content.
But blogging alone isn’t enough. Whether your blogs are SEO pieces or truly substantive articles about the topics most relevant to your business and your core audience, your content will not, on its own, do much for your business if the quality is lacking. Blog content must be dynamic, engaging, and of value to the reader. The tone, voice, length, and topics must all be cohesive with your brand image. The articles you post must be able to stand alone when shared via social media or within article directories, yet they must also easily mesh together as part of an ongoing collection of information. So, engaging in content marketing is a tall order, and that means it’s not something to hand off to a bored intern. Here are a few tips and examples about the basics of content marketing:
SEO Content: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a method of writing web content such that the text contains the most appropriate, effective keywords and key phrases for your products, services, or organization while still reading clearly and naturally. Creating a truly productive SEO campaign requires front-end SEO analyses to determine those key terms, and from there, you can determine the topics and content. Search engines look for updated content, and they love good keyword integration through content and meta data. This means SEO content is a must-have these days.
Remember, even if you’re ranked #1 on Google for your top keywords, you can still increase your traffic!
Corporate Blogging: Corporate blogging is what most people think of when they consider content marketing. Your company’s blog is one of the most dynamic ways you have of reaching new potential clients and customers, so your blog needs to be of value. It must demonstrate your thought leadership and knowledge while emphasizing your willingness to share information with the public. And, of course, it has to be engaging.
Social Media: If your office is your factory and the internet is the mall, social media platforms are the trucks that get your product out to market. When you blog, a certain amount of people will see your content when they browse your site. But by pushing your blog articles out to Facebook and Twitter, you’re delivering a very real product to your audience. Better still, because they’re seeing your content on social media, people are more inclined to share it there, too. How often do you log onto Facebook and see that a contact has posted an article with a personal comment about it? This is free advertising, and it’s an opportunity companies miss when they fail to blog or share their blog sufficiently.
Getting your message out to the public is far more complicated than it was in the days of paper brochures and ads in the Yellow Pages. It’s a constant effort that requires sophisticated tools and outstanding writing. Next up on the JBM blog, I’ll share some content marketing examples of my own!