4 Basics of Content Marketing

Susan Melgren February 16th, 2015
basics of content marketing

You’ve likely heard the phrase content is king, and for good reason, too. When it comes to website marketing, content is the crux upon which a good strategy relies. You’ve also probably heard “write for people, not the search engines.” Too often it’s easy to forget this second piece of advice and focus instead on what we think will score us points with the engines and boost our rankings. Somewhere in between keyword stuffing and totally ignoring the search engines altogether is that perfect balance of writing for real people while still pleasing the search engines. Somewhere in that balance is content marketing.

What Is Content Marketing?

Traditional marketing has typically been a one-sided affair in which companies push their message at consumers. Content marketing takes the exact opposite approach. Content marketing is all about making consumers knowledgeable about a given industry, which then shows those potential customers exactly how they’ll benefit by doing business with you. The effect is two-fold; in the process of informing consumers, you’ll brand yourself as an authority in your field. This bolsters your credibility and establishes you as a thought leader, which can have long-lasting benefits.

Content marketing also lends itself to new ways of promotion. Instead of blindly bombarding your email list with notifications of upcoming sales, your strategy will be carefully curated to provide readers with enough knowledge to make an educated decision. From there, you can subtly show customers why your product is the best. This also goes for the content you place on your company website. The more you can educate your customer base, the more they’ll want to hear from you – and the more they’ll consider buying from you.

As you develop your brand’s content marketing plan, keep these four basics in mind.

1. SEO vs Content Marketing

It can be confusing to differentiate between these two. Is content marketing the same as SEO? Are SEO and content marketing at odds with each other? The truth is, a great website marketing plan marries both content marketing and SEO. You might have the best content in your niche, but without a technically sound website, you could be getting dinged in the results pages. And you might have a technically sound website, but without great content, who is going to notice?

2. Develop a Keyword Strategy

For a long time, keywords were THE focus of a good website marketing strategy. Keywords are certainly critical to content optimization, but don’t make them the “end all be all” of your strategy. When developing content, it’s always important to look at keywords with high search volume – but it’s equally important to understand the user intent behind those keywords, their relevancy to your site and its goals, and the competition already out there. You can use SEO principles to identify keywords and user intent, but your main focus should be on creating great content that appeals to your target audience. Top-notch content will always be prioritized by search engines, which means it’s in your best interest to always deliver the best content possible.

3. Social Media Matters

It’s not always enough to have great content. You also need to create a plan for sharing that content. That’s where social media comes in. The beautiful thing is, social media and content go hand-in-hand. Social media presence will help you better market your content and your brand. And having great content gives you more opportunities to market on social media. It’s a win-win.

You likely already have social media channels set up for your brand (and if you don’t, you should!). The key now is to develop a social strategy. Take note of your audience, what times of day they seem active, and what types of content they interact with the best to better hone your strategy. Sometimes it’s trial and error.

4. Keep the Long-Term in Mind

It’s important to remember these two crucial elements to a good content marketing strategy: time and consistency. A great content marketing plan takes time to develop and execute, and even longer to see results. Allow your plan the time it needs to come to fruition. Sometimes this can be as long as a year – or maybe even longer. Don’t get impatient and give up mid-plan.

Just as important as time is consistency. Whatever plan you develop, stick with it, even if you don’t see the results right away. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Content marketing is a lot of work, and it can be a bit tedious at times – but it’s the best way to reach people in today’s market, in which customers want to know everything about the products they purchase. By creating a knowledgeable customer base, you’ll have greater control over your customers and the way they view your entire industry.

Looking to rev up your content marketing strategy? Contact The frank Agency today!

Category: Blogging, Branding, Content, SEO
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