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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Is It Really All About Content?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

There has been a lot of discussion lately about the importance of content and content marketing.  Since Google made their last algorithm change, more and more articles and blog posts are lauding the importance of developing unique content for the web.  But does the story of content development end there?

Based on recent experiments by The Marketing Blog, it looks like theres more to the idea of original content than meets the eye. Two factors in particular weigh into the content discussion.  They are; influence and engagement.  Last year Google rolled out the rel="author" tag and its gained wide acceptance.  Do you think they are providing extra juice to content published by influential voices in a given industry?  You bet. 

In addition to providing higher rankings to content produced by influencers, you can rest assure they are also providing additional weight to content that is widely shared among social networks and other online communities.  After all, Google's likely more interested in what individuals (especially influential ones), communities, and social networks have to say about digital content than any other type of source.

What this means for you

Depending on your role, you may want to consider how best to leverage the new opportunities inherent in a social world.  Guest posts from authoritative sources, engaging content that is designed for optimal shareability, and engaging with social networks can all have a dramatic impact on your website and website rankings.

Keep in mind however that the end goal isn't just for purposes of search engine optimization but rather building brand and generating leads for your business.  If you rank number one for a keyword or keyword phrase that no one searches on, you haven't accomplished anything.  focus on results if you want to make the most of this new post-Penguin 2.0 digital world.

The best place to start with any type of content marketing campaign is with specific goals and objectives.  What is your end goal?  Can a content marketing plan help you get there?  Probably but you need to begin with the end in mind.  I've spoken with a lot of marketing executives but many don't have a clear understanding or picture of what success looks like.  Define it for yourself and you'll be much more successful with your content marketing initiatives.

What I like about content

The one true benefit that seems to be emerging from this new world of content generation is that of creating value for your audience.  No one likes being sold... they do however like being engaged.  The most productive way to engage your audience is by giving them what they want, creating value, and getting things done in a way that excites and delights them.

Marketing to customers is no longer about selling "buy me" emails but rather engaging content that can positively engage and motivate them - building a relationship.  And a meaningful one at that.  The best place to start is with a deep understand of your customer.  What motivates them?  What do they want?  By creating persona's of your target audience you can fully understand the best content to produce and how to deliver it.

Always begin with an understanding of your customer and have the end goal in mind.  When you do, you stand a pretty good chance of succeeding in your content marketing goals.  Put in place a measurable plan and you're home free.

Please share your content marketing successes (and failures) with us on the Marketing Blog!


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