When it comes to online marketing, there is a lot of confusion as to what the best tactics are. Often times this is due to a lack of understanding of what a full-funnel inbound marketing strategy may entail, and pitting complementary strategies against each other. This is especially true when it comes to Content Writing and Search Engine Optimization.
Rather than focusing on which tactic is superior to the other, I think that highlighting how they compliment each other is vastly more important. I aim to do just that.
What is Content Marketing
Essentially, content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
The word “content” is a very broad term that can mean anything ranging from written content like educational blog posts, videos dealing with past clients or products, to photos and graphic design.
That being said, there are many ways that your company or organization can implement into your content marketing strategy.
How useful is Content Marketing?
Content is the foundation of any Inbound Marketing Strategy. It is key to driving inbound traffic and leads to your website. For Social Media Marketing, content comes first. If you don’t have relevant content that your audience wants to read or watch, your social media strategy will fold. Public Relations strategies will address issues readers care about and PPC campaigns that want to be successful will need strong content to back it up. Even for SEO, search engines reward businesses that are publishing great quality, consistent content.
What are the different types of Content Marketing?
Content type #1: Infographics
An infographic is the presentation of information or data in a visual way.
Infographics get shared and viewed more than most other content types. They are a great way to get your information to your audience in a visual format. Infographics are liked and shared on social media up to three times more often than other content.
Content type #2: Memes
Memes are easy to mentally digest and are enjoyed by nearly everyone. Especially if they are funny. If you can make people laugh, you have made something very shareable that people may let their friends know about through social media.
Content type #3: Videos
Video content converts better than nearly any other content type. There are so many ways that you can implement videos into a content strategy for blogs, social media, and more. Whether you are making a how-to video for your DIY savvy audience, showing off your latest funny commercial, or wowing your viewers with incredible visuals, videos can be helpful for any company’s marketing strategy.
Content type #4: Guides
A guide is a detailed, longer piece of content that aims to walk your audience through intricate processes. These are a great place to use infographics!
Content type #5: Book reviews
Book reviews are used to discuss a book, as well as your opinion on it. This is a great way to position yourself as a thought leader in your field.
Content type #6: Opinion/Rant Posts
People love controversy. While opinion blog posts are not necessarily educational or well researched, you can get a lot of exposure by expressing controversial opinions.
Content type #7: Product reviews
Just like a book review, product reviews can help you establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. By providing positive and negative feedback on the various products in your industry, you may gain industry-wide respect.
Content type #8: How-to
How-to guides are incredibly effective. People are constantly using Google to figure out how to solve their problems. Find problems that your target audience are having and use how to guides to answer their questions. This can drive traffic and leads to your website.
Content type #9: Lists
Lists are an extremely popular type of written content that people have consumed for centuries. If you scroll through Facebook, chances are you will see an article that starts with something along the lines of “10 ways to…”, “5 steps for…”, etc. If you can segment your advice for your audience into a list format, you will have a better chance of it being read and shared.
Content type #10: Link pages
Link pages are useful for many reasons. First, you are providing your audience with helpful outside resources that you have aggregated into one place (i.e. your blog). Secondly, you spread link juice to other websites that provide your website with more domain authority and help your website rank higher on search engines.
Content type #11: Ebook
I love ebooks. If they are addressing issues that matter to your audience, they become the perfect incentive for building email lists. You can do this by requiring their email address be submitted into a subscription field before they are able to download the book. They are often in PDF format so that they are easily downloadable. By creating relevant ebooks, you can share your expertise and position yourself as a thought leader in your field.
Content type #12: Case Study
Case studies explain how your products and services helped your client. They are great for providing examples to leads on how your business could impact their lives. You want to tell your audience what you do, how you do it, and your results.
Content type #13: Podcast
Podcasts are my favorite type of content. They are simple to make, they bolster your authority in your field, and they’re easily consumable by your audience. People listen to podcasts while they’re on their morning commute, or lifting in the gym. This is a great way to get your message out to the masses.
Content type #14: Interview
A great way to bring more traffic to your site is to interview prevalent thought leaders in your industry and to post them on your site. You can do this by transcribing the interview for your audience to read, recording it on a podcast, or shooting it for a YouTube video.
Content type #15: Research and original data
Numbers hold a lot of value for people in highly technical fields. Sharing your research with others is a great way to drive traffic, build trust, and establish your authority.
What is SEO?
SEO (short for Search Engine Optimization) is the art of leveraging Google’s (or other search engine’s) algorithm to get your website more exposure.
Essentially, search engines are trying to provide their users with the most relevant information to their search as possible. This means that when someone types questions or a combination of keywords Google will take websites that have most likely provided the information needed to help the user and have it listed on the first page of the search.
As businesses, SEO campaigns are relevant to us because we can find ways to answer the questions and pain-points of our customers or target audiences and get our products or services in front of them.
SEO and Content Marketing
An important distinction to make is that SEO and Content Marketing are not two different techniques that you are trying to determine which is better than the other.
SEO and Content Marketing need to be used in tandem to attract visitors (with SEO) to valuable content that they want to consumer (using any of the above-listed Content Marketing methods depending on your audience).
Imagine this: You are the owner of a new plumbing company that is trying to acquire new customers online. You discover one of your potential customer’s pain points: Their sink is broken.
As a result, you decide to start a DIY blog on your website that deals with plumbing and other related fields. You use the right keyword and link tactics and your articles start ranking for things like: “Why is my sink clogged up?” or “How to replace my faucet?”
When they see your expertise and your helpfulness through your blog content, you have a fantastic chance of gaining a new customer if you are in their area.
Let’s try another example.
You are starting an online marketing company and you know that people are confused about the difference between different online marketing techniques like SEO and Content Marketing. As a result, you begin to do keyword research and notice that a good number of people are searching for “Content Writing vs. SEO.” You write a blog differentiating the two while explaining that they aren’t opposed to each other, but actually go hand-in-hand. You get ranked on Google for the article and your readers determine that you are an expert in your field and hire you out to run their SEO and Content Writing campaigns.
We here at Hone use the same strategy to attract leads online, bolster our expertise and to make acquire new customers online.
Essentially, if you are solving problems with your product or services, Content Marketing with proper SEO techniques will change the game for you.
Boost your Business
The reality is that people are going to Google or other search engines before determining how to solve a problem that they’re having. Don’t make the mistake of focusing on an isolated part of the sales funnel. Address your audience’s problems online and use SEO to get exposure. Your bottom line will thank you.