It is our job to cut through the noise. As content marketing specialists and SEO professionals, it’s up to us to help our clients understand that inbound marketing and content marketing are more than buzz words that have infiltrated Twitter. They are real, actionable marketing strategies that can alter the way a company converts leads and saves time, money and people power in the process.
As marketing departments strive to comprehend what content marketing looks like in the 21st century, they search for straightforward advice, only to find conflicting articles claiming to outline “best practices.” The one staple they uncover in their weekend research – “produce and distribute good content.”
“Well, ok, then. That answers everything. Go forth and produce! Got it,” said the eager marketing assistant.
But, then Monday morning arrives and they meet with their team to brainstorm new content ideas. What do they come up with? More of the same: sales –speak brochures, direct mail campaigns and e-newsletters spouting off their greatness.
What is good content?
Marketing executives are still confused. Who can blame them? Much of the confusion is created because the SEO industry and content marketing world act like exes who experienced a bad break-up. SEOers need content marketers and content marketers need SEOers. We should accept this and find ways to work together. SEO and content marketing should not be mutually exclusive. One is not more important than the other.
More than once, I’ve been within earshot to hear (or someone has actually had the gumption to say it to me), “Just keep cranking out content. Get it published. We can get a good link.” Really? This type of get-it-quick content only leads to short-term wins.
No one is debating that inbound links are important. No one is debating that you have to start somewhere. Sometimes just getting into the habit of producing content is a good first step. But, you don’t have to publish everything you produce. Not until you’re ready. Not until you know your brand. Not until your messaging screams consistency.
The bigger issue: producing content that will rank for keywords, but does not add value to the lives of our clients’ customers is NOT good content.
Good Content ____________________.
- positions company experts as thought leaders.
- earns links, does not manufacture links.
- converts users into customers, does not entice a one-time visitor.
- does not include spun press releases or pushy article marketing.
- provides an answer to a visitors search.
- takes time, effort and people power.
- screams, “Share me now!”
- creates possible partnership and PR opportunities.
- increases organic long-tail traffic.
- establishes (people) credibility and (domain) authority.
When producing and distributing good content, we must remember not to add to the noise of the Internet. The advertising (and public relations) environment has become extremely cluttered. Consumers are bombarded with mass communication efforts everyday. Now, because of technology – they can simply ignore you. Don’t let them.
Content marketing should elevate your brand. It should give your brand a voice that serves a purpose. Whether it is educational, informative, entertaining or to provide customer service, content marketing – good content – delivers an amazing opportunity for our clients to have a real relationship with their customers (even before the first phone call, purchase or real-world conversation).
How do you define good content? Good content ______________. Fill in the blank.