Content marketing is one of the hottest things in digital marketing right now. There is a good reason for that. As Google and its competitors are faced with sorting out an ever-growing mountain of online content, they need better ways to serve the helpful content users want. This fundamental principle is something every SEO company should know.
As for helpful content, it is so important that Google has published multiple updates to help creators produce what they are looking for. When Google gets what it wants from creators, search users are better served. That is what you want as a marketer. Happy Google users are users you can market to.
If you are searching for an SEO company to partner with, make sure every agency on your shortlist offers content marketing. Ask them to explain their content marketing strategy as well. Every SEO company should know the seven things discussed in the following paragraphs. They should be able to articulate them, too.
1. Content Marketing Is Relevant
A key component in Google’s definition of helpful content is relevance. Relevant content is content consumers can actually do something with. It is not fluff. It’s not immaterial or useless. Even if a piece of content is designed only to make consumers laugh, it is relevant to their daily lives.
Another aspect of relevance relates to an organization’s primary focus or industry. Here at Webtek, our focus is digital marketing and SEO. We would not publish posts discussing the five steps for achieving a perfectly manicured lawn. Such information might be relevant to certain types of consumers, but it is not relevant to our products and services.
2. Content Marketing Adds Value
Hand-in-hand with relevance is value. The thing about content value is that it is relative. That previously mentioned piece designed to make consumers laugh has value in the sense of creating a good impression along with a positive emotional response. But value goes further than that.
Let’s say a Google user wants to know how to do something. A piece of content with real value lays it all out. It provides tips and advice. It might offer a detailed, step-by-step process. The value of that content is found in directly answering the user’s need.
3. Content Marketing Is Authentic
Another thing every SEO company should know about content marketing is that it needs to be authentic. This could be a tricky proposition, given the fact that the concept of authenticity means different things to different people. It is hard to find a black-and-white definition of it.
In the content marketing world, authenticity dictates that an organization’s content reflects its brand, values, voice, etc. Authenticity is not trying to create an image strictly for promotional purposes. If a company claims to support sustainability but doesn’t really practice it, promoting content around sustainability is not authenticity. It is smoke and mirrors. Customers will figure it out soon enough.
Being authentic with your content marketing requires being open and honest about your organization’s core values. If ownership and management truly believe in those values, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Create content that reflects them. It is far better for customers to know exactly what they are getting than have them looking at a mirage they will eventually see through.
4. Content Marketing Is Consistent
Every SEO company should know that consistency is the key to success. Consistency is as important to content marketing as it is to keyword research. Organizations need to consistently publish a steady stream of helpful content if they hope to keep their brands at the forefront.
Consistency establishes trust. It increases a brand’s online authority. It even helps to build loyalty among a target audience that continually comes back for more. These three things combined can do more for a company’s marketing efforts than all the paid advertising in the world.
5. Content Marketing Is Divergent
Every SEO company should know that content marketing must be divergent to reach the largest possible audience. Divergence in content marketing is achieved by producing different forms of content to reach different sections of the target audience where they are. A successful marketer will create:
- blog and guest posts
- informational articles
- case studies and white papers
- videos and infographics
- press releases.
Each type of content reaches audiences in a different way. The real trick is figuring out which types are best suited to reaching a particular audience with a particular message.
6. Content Marketing Should Engage
Reaching an audience with your message is important. But reaching them is not where it stops. To build loyalty, promote the brand, and drive sales, audience members need to be engaged. This is yet another thing every SEO company should know. Engagement is gold in the marketing business.
What does engagement look like? It looks like consumers who actually go looking for a brand’s content. It manifests itself in consumers responding to content, whether that means liking a social media post or leaving comments at the bottom of a blog post. Engaged consumers respond in some form. They do not just consume and move on.
7. Content Marketing Should Be Measurable
Rounding out the list is the idea that content marketing should be measurable. Like any other form of marketing, there are goals behind what an organization does with its content. An organization cannot know if its goals have been achieved without measuring results.
Every SEO company already knows this in terms of search engine results. SEO providers know enough to track everything from keyword performance to where website visits originate from. If they offer content marketing services, they should also be tracking the effectiveness of every piece of content they publish.
Content marketing is not negotiable anymore. Google has made it clear that quality content is a primary ranking factor. Likewise, internet users do not have any patience for junk content. They want relevant, valuable content they can use. Provide it and you will be marketing to consumers in ways that paid advertising and baseline SEO simply cannot touch.