Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on delivering valuable and regular content to followers within a target market. The goal is to drive the target market to take an action which is profitable to the content producer.
Content marketing covers all types of content, but a few of the more common content channels include:
Many companies host their own blogs as a way to drive traffic to their site and create excitement around a brand or product. For example, HootSuite, a B2B social media scheduling tool, hosts a blog focusing on B2B social media tips and tricks. The quality content and useful tips encourage visitors to stay longer on the HootSuite site and build trust with the brand.
YouTube is a huge source of potential site traffic, and interesting video content can entice visitors to your site. Kraft uses YouTube well with their cooking school channel, which provides valuable content to viewers whilst driving product sales.
A listicle is an article in the form of a list, usually giving a series of steps, tips, facts or quotes (eg. “5 Ways to Drive Traffic to your Site” or “8 Things You Didn’t Know About Apples”). They have been a hot content marketing trend for the past few years as they are both easy to write and easy to read, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down.
The podcast market is exploding, and anyone with knowledge or tips to offer can benefit from content marketing with podcasts. A great example is Rosie Waterland’s podcast, Mum Says My Memoir is a Lie, released after her book Every Lie I’ve Ever Told. She uses the podcast to give readers deeper understanding of her personal life, simultaneously encouraging book sales from new listeners.
Books and eBooks
Nowadays, self-publishing has made it easier than ever to become a best selling novelist. Tim Ferriss’s famous book, The 4 Hour Work Week, catapulted him to stardom in the business world. From that single book, he went on to bill six figures for consulting and speaking work, and nowadays runs a sleuth of other wealth creation businesses.
TYPES OF DIGITAL CONTENT YOU CAN USE TODAY
Content Marketing and SEO
It is predicted that more data will be created in 2017 than in the last 5,000 years of humanity. In response to the demand for constant, up-to-date data, Google modified its algorithm to prioritise fresh content from trustworthy sites.
A solid content marketing strategy is a proven method to lift your freshness rating and rank higher on Google’s SERP. Posting regular, relevant content ensures that Google’s bots recognise that you are sharing new and timely information.
An easy way to achieve a high freshness rating is through a blog on your website. Posting weekly or fortnightly content related to your niche is enough to ensure that your site is kept fresh, and has the added benefit of encouraging visitors to stay longer on your site, thereby reducing your bounce rate.
Quality content that adds real value for the visitor can be a great source of backlinks to your site. Once you have a valuable piece of content, you can reach out to other companies, bloggers and influencers and request them to share your link on their site. Alternatively, guest blogging for established publications is a great way to gain link juice and enhance your SEO.
There are four main strategies to encourage other pages to post backlinks to your site:
- Write guest blogs for other companies and sites
- Target influencers within your niche by signing up to industry-specific forums and LinkedIn groups and posting your content there.
- Research writers who work in your niche, then pitch your products, services or website directly to them with some sort of added benefit for their subscribers.
- Create valuable, shareable content (eg. infographics or videos) and pitch to blogs with similar audiences in exchange for backlinks.
An effective content marketing strategy makes good use of keywords to ensure that Google bots are able to define the topic of the site and pages. Posting regular content allows the site owner to expand their range of keywords, increasing the opportunity for high SERP rankings. For example, a dentist may have a keyword strategy to rank for “Dentist Santa Monica CA”, but by writing a blog post on “5 Foods That Can Damage Your Teeth” they may also rank for the long-tail search term “Foods that can damage your teeth”.
Content Quantity vs. Quality
There’s an ongoing discussion as to whether the quality of content or the quantity of content published has a greater effect on SEO. In reality, there is no clear answer and the best strategy depends on the goals your business.
For businesses that rely on advertising for income (eg. news sites, affiliate marketers, bloggers), the number of site visitors is often the largest indicator of success. These businesses may benefit from a large number of articles focusing on long-tail keywords to drive traffic from niche markets.
In contrast, businesses selling goods and services have a better chance of attracting followers by publishing valuable, meaningful content. How-to guides or in-depth product feature explanations can be used to build trust with site visitors, ultimately increasing sales.
Other Benefits of Content Marketing
Aside from the above-mentioned SEO benefits, content marketing has other advantages for both web-based and physical businesses. Regular, valuable content helps build trust with your audience, at the same time giving the business owner access to their data through email or website subscriptions.
Furthermore, content marketing offers a compounding rate of return on investment. If you post one piece of content per week for one year, each of which gains an average of 100 visitors, that’s 5,200 visitors in the first year. Publishing the same amount of content in the second year, by the end of the year you would have 104 pieces of content with 10,400 visitors, and so on.
At the-oop.com we provide standalone content creation services, and include both long-form and short-form content in our monthly digital marketing packages. Contact us for a free consultation to find out how content marketing can help to get your business moving.