What is Content Marketing?
You’ve been hearing about content creation, strategy, and marketing for years now. You’re told you need “it,” but what exactly is “it” and why is it so important?
Content is any text, images, or resources posted on your website that define who you are and provide value to your users. We’re not talking about social media content, but rather website content that’s published, then shared on social.
Content can include the written word, photos, videos, podcast episodes, or even downloadable files. The difference between good content and bad is how effectively it’s used to share your message. Simply put, useful, relevant content educates the public about who you are and what you do.
Additionally, successful content serves three purposes:
- Provides value to fans, followers and website visitors
- Helps people find you
- Provides something to promote.
Content Marketing Strategy Provides Value
We hope that after reading this post, you leave with a rich understanding of what content is and why it’s important.
It’s important to note that one way search engines rank your content is by measuring how long visitors spend on your site. Let’s imagine a user searches Google for services your company provides. Google then provides a list of results, and that user clicks on a link to your page. If they spend two minutes or longer on your site, Google recognizes that the user found the content on your site engaging.
Often, a user will spend one to three seconds on a site before returning to the results page and clicking the next link. When this occurs, Google concludes that they did not find what they were looking for on your site. If users consistently find your content valuable, they are more likely to return to your site or better yet, share your content with their contacts, colleagues, or friends.
Helping You Get Found—Content Marketing and SEO
Well-written content uses keywords to help search engines determine who you are. Think of keywords as phrases that a person might enter when using a search engine. If someone searches for “Portland Maine marketing agency,” we hope WeAreTrueline.com appears in the results.
There are things we can do to improve the chances of that happening. By writing text that incorporates keywords, deeper context is provided that helps search engines identify what our pages are about. When search engines understand the services you offer, they can more accurately decide when to display your site in its results.
Search engines are constantly striving to improve users’ route to useful info. Their success is measured by how often their users find what they are looking for when performing a search. Quality content is written in a way that communicates to both customers and search engines alike. Google receives over three-billion searches a day and the pages upon pages of results that it provides users hinges content.
Promote Your Content
One of the best things about content is that it is easily shared. Social media allows you to reach broader audiences and attract new customers. Quality content that provides value and helps with SEO is great, but you can maximize its effect by broadcasting it far and wide. Think of content as the backbone of and fodder for your social media and email marketing efforts.
There are several ways to promote your content. We recommend creating a content marketing strategy. This is a schedule that specifies where and when to post about your content. We start by assessing who would find your content most useful and determining where they are most likely to discover it.
For instance, a blog post that offers business tips and advice is likely to perform better on LinkedIn than on Facebook. LinkedIn attracts people interested in content that can directly affect their business. Facebook users are generally looking for a distraction rather than sage business advice.
Another aspect of a content marketing strategy is post frequency. How often should you post about your content? You want to avoid oversharing your links, but you also want to ensure that those who are interested have the chance to happen upon your content. How often you post can depend on a lot of factors. These include the type of content, where it’s being shared, and your audience’s habits. In time you can learn your users’ behavior, and this can inform future strategic marketing decisions.
What Are the Different Types of Content?
There are many types of content that you can utilize to improve your SEO, increase engagement or attract new customers. Let’s look at some different types of content.
We’ve written plenty about the benefits of having a blog. A blog is one of the easiest ways to add content to your site and allows you to react to industry news or trends in real time. Blog posts can help you gain an audience by writing posts that are either informative, useful, or just entertaining.
We recommend using at least 750 words per post in order provide search engines greater context. Keywords search engines additional information
Search engines love lists. “3 Ways to Grow Your Audience” and “Nine Successful Marketing Tips” are examples of content that answers specific questions. Sites like BuzzFeed are notorious for using lists. Sometimes referred to as “listicles”, they create content that ranks everything from best dressed celebrities to worst social habits. Not all of these lists are useful, but people continue to share them, read them, and link to them.
While a blog allows you to add content to your website on the fly, content on your static pages is just as important. The use of keywords in the body and headlines can directly affect your content’s SEO ranking. Website copy should explain your brand or sell your product while providing links to additional site content. This allows you to steer readers throughout your site by providing them with related material for them to learn even more. Instead of huge, long lists of downloaded SEO keywords, we recommend creating an organic SEO keyword list of 50-80 keywords and phrases, then using those in blog posts, as well as for descriptions of YouTube videos and the like.
Downloadable resources like white papers are great tools for lead generation. Additionally, they provide the opportunity to explain a difficult problem you’ve encountered, and the steps taken to solve it. Shorter than eBooks, white papers can position you or your company as thought leaders on a variety of subjects or services.
More than 75-million people watch one or more online videos every day in the U.S. There are many types of videos a company can use to broadcast their message. FAQs, tutorials, and employee spotlights can all resonate with an audience if the messaging is clear and targeted. Your content marketing strategy can determine video length, target audience, and distribution channels.
Just like video and white papers, podcasts provide an opportunity to perform a deep dive into a single topic. While they involve more production and planning, podcasts are easily shared through social media or by word-of-mouth. Podcasts can also spark dialog with an audience by encouraging comments, emails, and shares.
Content Really is King
Now that you know what content is and why it’s important, it’s time to get busy! If you’ve got questions or just need help developing a content marketing strategy, contact Trueline today! Our team can craft and execute a content marketing strategy to grow awareness and increase traffic.