Why Content Marketing is the Right Strategy for You
Digital marketing and SEO can be somewhat of a minefield. Implement one step wrong, and all of your efforts can potentially blow up in your face. The main challenge is that the goalposts keep shifting. Google and other search engines constantly tweak algorithms so that they get better at picking out the “right” content.
As a result, with every change, you have to prove that your site has the “right” content all over again. It also means that it is getting much harder to beat the system.
Fooling search engines used to be a matter of stuffing the site with keywords. Now, we’re not even entirely sure exactly what the ranking factors are. Google is keeping pretty quiet about its playbook, so it’s not always easy to know what it is looking for.
The most consistent advice from the search engine kingpin is to create high-quality content and to make sure that the user experience on the site is excellent.
This is probably what you’ve been trying to do already, so it’s not quite helpful advice. We are also warned against using black hat techniques like buying clicks and links, but overall, the “rules” are not all so well-defined.
You Don’t Need to Know All the Rules
Trying to figure out what Google ranks your site on can be frustrating. But here’s the thing – you don’t need to know all the rules. Stick to the guidelines that we have – great content and excellent user experience – and work from there.
When content marketing is done properly, it ticks all the boxes. This is what we’ll focus on for the rest of this post. If you’re interested in learning even more about digital marketing, check out the infographic below by Serpwatch.
To Content Marketing and Beyond
Content marketing is a long-term strategy. It’s something that needs to be done consistently over at least three to six months to start seeing results. That’s a hard sell for some companies because you’re not going to see results straight away. It’s also difficult to determine the actual return on investment because the benefits are more long-term in nature.
Why use this marketing method? According to a survey of digital marketers in 2017, social media marketing and content marketing are the top two preferred marketing methods.
Despite the work involved, it’s a winning solution. Once the content is published, your expense is over. If you’ve created great, evergreen content, it will continue to work for you for many years to come. One in ten blog posts have compounding traffic. In other words, the amount of traffic that they get actually increases over time.
To put it another way, if you build it, they will come. Let’s amend that a little – if you build it well, they will come. It may not be today or tomorrow, but they’ll come eventually.
Content Marketing Is About More Than Backlinks
Content marketing works for your business as more than just a way to get backlinks. It can help you to build your brand image and establish yourself as an expert in your field.
What Kind of Content?
That will depend on whereabouts the prospect is in the buying cycle. According to Statista, marketers in North America believe that blog posts or articles are the most effective marketing method during the early stages of the buying process.
During the later stage or evaluation phase, actual case studies are considered the most important type of content. Videos, e-books, and podcasts are also strong contenders during the early stages of the buying process.
We’d recommend to listen to your customers and their desires. What content do they want to see more of? What would they find useful?
How Do I Know if my Content Marketing is Working?
This is where a lot of marketers lose business owners. There may be no direct correlation between each piece of content and increased sales. You cannot necessarily say that Mr. X bought Product Y because he read about it in a guest post that you did. He might have used that as the starting point for his research and then conducted more research afterward.
So you might not see an immediate jump in traffic attributable to the content. According to Statista, though, there are a number of other metrics that can be used to check how well your content is performing. You’ll be able to see what these are in the chart below.
Over time, though, you’ll start getting a feeling for the type of content that works best for your market. Build on that over time.
Content marketing is a viable long-term strategy that will provide long-term benefits for your brand. Establishing the exact return on investment is not easy, but don’t let that put you off. Create great content that your target audience loves, and at the very least you’ll build your brand image.