What the hell is content marketing?

September 6 2011

I’m glad you asked.  Content marketing is the production and publishing of topical information relevant to the business you are in. This can come in many many forms such as slide shows, white papers, video, e-books, blog posts, webinars, podcasts, etc. The purpose of these publications is to get found by your prospects, inform them and build credibility for your company. It also helps with search engine optimization.

Content marketing 300x192 What the hell is content marketing?

In the old days (like last year and all the years before) if you were in business, your web strategy looked like this:

1. Step one – Build a cool website. You spend a few thousand on a great website that shows everything you can do for other businesses or consumers.

2. Step Two: Wait for the phones to ring. And you waited, and waited and waited for the phones to ring. Sometimes they did, sometimes they didn’t.

When Google became the number one search engine and a household name, companies scrambled to get found. There were all kinds of strategies to boost that Google ranking, some were effective, some were total junk. Have you ever accidentaly mistyped a website and get a directory page? That was one of the early tactics. Links to your page are very important for web page ranking, but directory links are the lowest form SEO. (If you are talking to an SEO company and they claim to be able to boost your  page ranking through directory links, then run the other way). The Google algorithm has become very sophisitcated and can sniff out short cut page ranking gimmicks like directories. When the Google web crawler evaluates your site, its looking for the following things:

1. Key words. These are the words that people type into their search browser such as “cake recipe”. Your website needs to have tons of keywords and on each page.

2. Page count. The webcrawlers are looking for lots of relevant content. If you have a ton of pages in your site that contain the keywords you want to rank for, you have a much higher chance of getting found and determines where you rank.

3. Links. Backlinks and link building your site are important to the web crawlers because they view them as votes for relevancy. If you are generating a lot of links, you mush be of value.

4. Fresh content. This is what this blog post is all about. “Content is King” in the world of web searching.

Ok so what do I mean by content? Each business has something they sell. And that something (say electrronics for example) is where your content marketing expertise begins. If you are in business then you sell something (products or services), you can get found and beat your competiors by blogging regularly and consistently. Just add a blog tab (ideal), or a subdomain to a blog site like word press, and start talking. More imortantly start teaching. If you sell electronics start talking about how to choose the right tv, or stereo, or whatever. Then move on to the next topic of interest to your customers. Include as many keywords as possible and go in search of bloggers to link to. You will begin to build a following. Also be sure to post each blog post to your social media channels. We’ll talk more about that in future posts.

The creation of valuable content can come from inside your company if you have the right staff, or if you have the budget for it, you can outsource this to a competent contnet marketing agency. A contnet agency will have the staff and resources and story teling expetise to easily produce the kinds of content that will get your company noticed.  A really good agency can help make that happen quickly.

We’ll dig deeper into the art and act of contnet creation in the following blog topics. But for now your homework is to identify a few topics that you think your customers come to you looking for answers the most. This will be where you start your contnet marketing strategy.

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