Content Marketing – it is one of the most trending topics in online marketing today. Every marketer is talking about it. Definitely, it has become a hot topic on the web in the past a few months. So much so that, it is the most searched and talked about keyword on various social networking websites. So, what is it actually? Can it really benefit you, or just the hype? Find a deep insight into the topic, read on…
What is content marketing?
Yes, it is important to understand the definition before you get ahead to gear up your lions to start making your strategies. I found some of the interesting definitions while doing my research. Here they are:
Copyblogger says – “It means creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. “
Content Marketing Institute (CMI) say – It is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
One more definition that I came across at TechTarget – It is the publication of material designed to promote a brand, usually through a more oblique and subtle approach than that of traditional push advertising.
The crux which can be derived from all these definitions is that content marketing is a marketing technique that aims customer engagement and brand promotion through the creation and distribution of valuable free contents.
Very true, content marketing definitely means the creation of valuable contents and making them available free to your potential as well as existing customers through a strategy sharing method. This strategic method is aimed more on social media channels. But, does it convince you completely? At least I find it difficult to be convinced completely with these definitions. It cannot be just that, it means more in a practical scenario.
I researched on it, wrote down my past failures and success with it, retrospected, and came up with something to summarize my practical experience about it. I got an opportunity to share the same while addressing a seminar last week in New Delhi, one of the participants asked me to define content marketing, and I replied–
“It is about sharing your knowledge and the insights of your expertise with your potential as well as existing customers. It’s about giving people the knowledge to know your offerings and their benefits in a better way. It is also about giving them tips they can try and experience. In more emphatic words, it is about giving them the information, skills, and tools to know you, to understand you, and to test your suitability for their needs.”
Don’t know if it implies with you or not, but I have experienced every word of it practically. As a passionate online marketer for the last five years now, I have known it through my failures. The other significant things that I have understood from my failures and success in content marketing are:
- It’s a consistent process, so never stop
- You may need to rethink but only to strengthen your strategy
- You will need motivation throughout
- Make it the mix of texts, image, and video contents
- Spend time on research
- Use tools like Google Trends, Moz Fresh Web Explorer, Social Media Trending Topics, Moz Keyword Comparison tool etc. to find a topic you need to create contents for
- Content marketing implies the process of need creation and engagement also, so do not deviate from your target market/industry
- Keep doing it with dedication at least for six to start visualizing the benefits
- Use tracking methods to measure the progress
- Take social media marketing in line with it, spend time every day on social sharing
- Do not only copy your competitors, but also try devising new topics to talk about and share
- Don’t get afraid of failures, learn from it and start again
- It’s not rocket science, spend some time on research every day and trying coming up authentic and contents
Content Marketing Vs Search Engine Optimization
Don’t take the above graph as the fall of Search Engine Optimization; rather take it as the increasing popularity of content marketing. Remember it is now an integral part of SEO, it does not mean it is the replacement for SEO.
Does content marketing mean the end of SEO?
Many people ask me this question so often, and I reply – SEO is here to stay and it will be here forever, no matter the number of updates search engines bring. Do you have any replacement for on-page website optimization? Can you ignore the importance of SEO friendly websites? Can you ignore the importance of links? No, you can’t. To me, SEO is a broad term that includes even content marketing.
The only thing that has changed with the advent of content marketing is the way traditional search engine optimization was done. It’s more about quality and user-centric approach now. Before the updates viz. Google Penguin and Panda, there were things like article syndication, PR distribution, blog posts on free-blog websites etc. But now it is content marketing. Initially, it was about creating and distributing the same copy over the web to different websites and directories. It was like home delivery wherein you served the food at the doorstep. But now, it is more about posting a single copy of original and authentic content on your website and inviting people from every door to come, read, learn, and share it. This is the only change in simple terms.
Even then it was about links, and even today it is the same. Be sure that search engines can never ever deny the importance of quality links as it is the most important measure for them to analyze the quality of a website, and as long as there is the importance of links there is SEO.
The conclusion: Content Marketing is a future proof approach that will add more value to search engine optimization. If you are an SEO company, include it in your SEO strategy. Don’t take it as a separate thing. To give your clients the real benefits of online marketing and organic promotion, think ahead of traditional SEO and embrace content marketing.