With the numerous Google updates over the past few years, the term “content marketing” has become more popular as businesses have realized the importance of investing in quality content to build a successful online marketing strategy.
True, quality content has been preached for years. But in the old days (like before 2011), Internet marketers could get away with taking shortcuts to manipulate Google’s algorithm. This meant posting cheap content and/or spinning hundreds of versions of the same article in hopes of building a bunch of unique backlinks quickly.
The problem is, nobody ever really read any of these articles, and they were really only there to make the search engines believe that you had numerous content pieces out there, all with your targeted keyword phrase integrated several times and linked back to your main web properties. This really amounted to little more than spam – with millions of web pages littered with unreadable garbage.
From 2011 through 2013, this all began to change. Google launched a number of updates with the primary goal of weeding out those who had been manipulating the system, and rewarding those that have been doing the right thing. The end result: those pages with quality, relevant content are ranking higher in the search results, while those with poor content are falling by the wayside.
Video Content Marketing
A successful content marketing strategy includes more than just text. Consumers are increasingly demanding more video content as well. With most Americans now equipped with high-speed Internet connections, this trend is not going away anytime soon. Another reason video is becoming more essential is the rise of mobile devices. Nearly 40% of web searches are now conducted on tablets or smartphones, and these are devices that are much more conducive to video than text. So to be successful in 2014, video must be an integral part of your content marketing strategy.
As with text, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about creating videos. Since YouTube videos tend to rank well, some marketers have become fond of producing a bunch of cheap videos and throwing them out there online. You know the ones I’m talking about. They are usually nothing more than a slideshow, background music, and maybe some text mixed in. The problem with cheap videos is they tend to reflect badly on your brand. Remember, real people – your potential customers – are watching this stuff. Make sure your videos are professionally produced and show the level of professionalism you want your company to be known for.
The most popular type of content marketing is blog postings. These are timely articles about your business that should be centered on keyword phrases your target market is typing in to find you. The idea is to provide some free information that is valuable to the reader and helps educate them about your business or industry. After reading the post, the reader should feel like they know a lot more about what they are looking for, and they will also know that you are an authority in the industry that could help provide what they are looking for.
Telling a Story
Whether through video or text, one of the best ways to stand out among the competition in the content marketing arena is by telling the readers a story about your business. This could mean a case study about another customer that had a problem and was able to solve it by using your product/service. This could also mean a press release highlighting a new product, anniversary, or some other recent newsworthy event. A press release can bring in a lot of publicity, as well as establish more industry authority in the mind of Google and the other search engines.
Content Diversity is Key in 2014
So as you plan your online business strategy for 2014, realize that content marketing needs to play a major role. For the sake of your customers and the search engines, create quality, relevant content in a number of forms – text, video, audio, etc. And lastly, make sure to distinguish yourself and your brand by producing content that takes a unique angle and/or tells a story about your business and why you are the best solution for their problem.
Content Marketing Strategy