More and more, the big brands are taking to content marketing in a big way – creating offsite blogs that deliver brand experiences in new and exciting ways. Here are some great examples of how the big brands are tackling content marketing and curation, as well as some tips for implementing great content marketing campaigns of your own.
Google has been saying for years that the best way to rank is to create great content. While anyone who has spent any time thinking about SEO knows that this is a bit oversimplified, the basic principal remains sound: In order to attract attention, drive links and rank, you’ve got to be doing something pretty special.
Usually, this is providing a service (whether that be information or a tool) for a user whose needs are highly relevant to your business.
The content you create, then, is an extension of your customer service model.
When you think about content in this way, you can refine your content strategy to align with a specific purpose or purposes.
This content can, and should, take many forms. This includes blog posts, infographics, social media posts, podcasts, and mobile apps, to name a few.
Consider a mobile app that that offers functionality that your customers need; a blog post that answers a question; an infographic that explains a complex idea; a social media post that shares timely information; a podcast that informs and/or entertains.
Think, for example, about the apps you have on your smartphone. You likely have a banking app that allows you to deposit checks, a fitness app that allows you to track your goals, and/or a recipe app that allows you to browse recipes, read reviews and create a shopping list.
These apps weren’t created out of benevolence. They were created to offer added value for existing customers, lure new customers, and engender brand loyalty.
Consider how your content can do the same.
Whether it’s an app, blog post, infographic, social media post, podcast, or video, your content should be created with your customer in mind.
So, before you create another piece of content – before you think about targeting keywords or sourcing images – take a step back and look at the big picture. What do your customers need? How can you help?
Across the Internet marketing landscape, you’ve probably seen other blog posts with titles along the lines of “Content Marketing vs. SEO.” At some point (perhaps after some algorithm updates), people made SEO into some bugaboo — when it’s actually a potent ally to content marketers everywhere.
Thinking of SEO as a bad thing is a common misconception, likely brought on by high-profile examples of black-hat SEO. As with any industry, there are ethical and unethical ways to conduct business. While SEO has its fair share of shady characters, it’s far from an inherently underhanded business.
Following that portrayal of SEO, marketers sing the praises of content marketing — us included. Well-written content is an excellent basis for building links to your website and establishing your company as a thought leader in your respective industry. However, if no one can find your great content, it’s not really doing you any good. That’s where SEO comes in.
The purpose of SEO is to take your content and present it within a framework that makes it accessible to search engines and users alike. By using white-hat SEO services, it’s possible to get great, long term success from your content marketing efforts. To be successful in Internet marketing, you can’t have one without the other.
Of course, we can not forget to mention that SEO goes beyond content marketing to address important technical issues, such as Google+ authorship or tag markup, metadata optimization, schema.org implementation, XML sitemaps, and much more.
While content marketing is heralded as the end-all-be-all of Internet marketing, the reality is that it’s only a part of the equation. To be the most effective, content marketing needs SEO to be polished, popular, and profitable. That’s an important concept to remember when designing your future marketing campaigns.