SEO is so 2010…

Content-Hug

Give free content hugs instead!

Every business faces the same challenge: finding a way to effectively communicate to potential customers that they are an expert at what they do.  Educating customers is a top priority, but what is the best and lowest cost way to do it?

Of course there are always TV, radio, magazines, and newspapers to place ads in.  For marketing online there are hundreds of websites that you could run a Pay-per-Click ad campaign on.  However, none of these compare with the long lasting, cost efficient, and customer engagement that can be achieved with Content Marketing.

Executing a Content Marketing Campaign is definitely a long term commitment.  It’s understandable that every business wants those immediate results, but that’s not the heart of what Content Marketing is about.

Content Marketing builds trust and authority with potential customers.  You don’t just say that you’re the best and expect them to take your word on trust, but you show them that you are an expert by authoring informative and engaging content.

Many mistakenly believe that Content Marketing is the “New” Search Engine Optimization.  It is understandable how someone would think that.  After all, SEO is a subset of Content Marketing.  In the wake of a well-executed Content Marketing campaign, first page rankings on Search Engines will follow close behind.

Great SEO is a consequence of great Content Marketing.

Content Marketing at its finest involves three primary factors: SEO, great content, and Social Media Marketing (SMM).  Here is a breakdown of the general process.

1.  Author content that is interesting and informative.  Try to make it as compelling to read as possible.  It doesn’t need to be formal, preferably more conversational so that it’s easy for the average user to read.

2.  Make sure that the content is optimized for the keyword or phrase that you’re trying to target.  This will let Search Engines know what you’re content is focused on and your website or blog will gain authority and better rankings because of it.

Keep in mind that if you’re trying to push a specific keyword or phrase, DO NOT allow the density of that keyword exceed 2% in any given article.  Writing a keyword more than 2% of the time in an article looks very spammy to Search Engines and they may decide to penalize you for it.

3.  Through SMM, syndicate your content over all the Social Media platforms that you can.  The idea is to increase the reach of your content as far out as possible.  The more people that read/like/share your content the better.

One of the highest priorities of Search Engines is to determine whether content is actually contributing something of value to the community.  When they see that your content is being liked and shared by an array of visitors, a huge amount of credit and authority is given to you.

So there are the basics of what a Content Marketing campaign should look like.  However, things get more when you shift the focus of the campaign to be more efficient based on the type of business.  For some business is just doesn’t make sense to push content through a bunch of Social Media if it isn’t really a referral dependent business.

For example:

A Real Estate company and a Mattress Store are naturally very different from each other, each of these two businesses will require putting more work into some steps over others.  The beauty of Content Marketing is that it can be fitted to a Real Estate business by being more active in SMM where potential clients are more likely to be.  On the other hand, the Mattress Store should not focus nearly as much on Social Media and should place more effort on optimizing their website, having dozens of five-star Google Places reviews, and ranking highly in Google search.

The goal for any Content Marketing campaign is to start the conversation with your potential customers.  Through openly providing great content to online users businesses can differentiate themselves by building trust, establishing themselves as an expert in their industry, and engaging with their audience.

Don’t worry about making your content a little controversial, it is good to do every once in a while because it provokes discussion.  Remember to encourage your readers to leave a comment and/or criticism of your content and opinion.  This just gives you another chance demonstration of your knowledge and expertise.

The end result for your business will be the demonstration to your customers that you are the leader of field of work.  Being viewed as the go-to expert in the industry and showing them your proficiency time and time again will cause potential customers to go to YOU first.  You won’t need to “sell” anyone on your good or service because they will already have learned about your industry from you, the expert.