Ok, so it’s become a huge cliché. But we need good clichés, especially when they’re true.
“The reason that clichés become clichés is that they are the hammers and screwdrivers in the toolbox of communication.”
― Terry Pratchett
Thanks, Terry. We miss you.
Content is king. It’s also the kingdom and the essential means of all marketing. Without it, there’s no communication and without that, there’s zero chance of business growth and an almost certain likelihood of shrinkage. And we don’t want that now, do we?
Consider this a 6 step content marketing challenge
The reasons why content should be top of your agenda are varied and numerable. Here I’ve tried to narrow it down to 6 essential things to consider – so you can hopefully accept the content marketing challenge and start to position your brand in the right way, at the right time and in the right place. Ready?
1. Google is mainly interested in good content
Google’s level of sophistication is immense and growing all the time. This is continually reflected in SERPS. Some of the old rules of SEO are still, kind of, valid but it seems that these days top 10 results are showing a different set of rules at play:
- Recent research from Neil Patel has shown that traditional SEO techniques such as keywords within the URL are no longer as powerful.
- Google is much more interested in well-written content – as if we needed to tell you that.
- Google, thanks to its use of sophisticated understanding of language, is now more accurate at getting good answers to searcher’s questions A.I. stylee.
There are about 200 ranking factors for SERPS, and of these most leading brands will use around 40. SEO still matters and best practice is still worth following. But Neil Patel’s research shows that the sands are still shifting towards good content as the main factor in search engine success. This has always been Google’s aim, but they are now much better at this than before.
Until relatively recently the ability of strings of code to understand language has been limited to isolated sentences, rather than whole sections of language. But Google recently announced some of their findings when looking for a way to understand and be accurate with, much larger portions of language. They named this Parsey McParseface and claim 94% accuracy. Knowing, as we do now, that Google’s understanding of language is much more holistic, means that any lazy content strategy can quite rightly be consigned to history.
So for organic, expect an “SEO arms race” focussed on really useful, timely, well-written content.
2. It’s all about being in the moment
“80% of success is showing up.”
– Woody Allen
You need to show up during customers micro-moments on all platforms and all types of content from blogs to apps from social media to email and review sites. This is how consumers now behave. Google’s extensive research into micro-moments confirms this.
And here’s the thing – brands that show up, in a timely, sensitive manner on all platforms make a better impression. In a study by Ipsos and Google, 69% of online consumers agreed that the nature, timing or appropriateness of a marketing message affects how they see a brand. When you consider how understanding your customer is the at the heart of your brand, getting this right is the difference between success and failure:
3. Content increases traffic and it increases sales. Fact.
Regular, consistent content is needed to keep existing customers engaged with your brand and you need content for your social media accounts, blog and email marketing. All marketing people know this, but what about some stats? Here you go:
- Content can increase traffic by 142% in 6 months. Source: Quicksprout
- Content can increase sales by 20% in 12 months. Source: Big Star Copywriting case study
- Landing page content can increase leads by 55%. Source: Hubspot.
4. Your brand needs to be elevated, else it will sink.
Within the Google research on micro-moments, it found that some brands were absent when consumers needed them when they were on the go and using their mobiles. The best brands were not showing up nearly 25% of the time and the worst only showed up around 7% of the time – thus revealing a massive opportunity for brands willing to create the content consumers really need – across all devices and platforms.
When you consider that content marketing can lift brand awareness by over 300% (source: Buzzfeed) it’s imperative you don’t get left behind.
5. You need to grab the long tail
You need to target long tail keywords. As Google evolves, it’s easier for people to type in phrases that include much more specific requests. Integrating longer tail keywords can increase traffic by up to 80%.
6. Backlinks baby
Backlinks matter. In fact according to industry leaders Monitor Backlinks they are the #1 SEO technique.
Ok, but backlinks are easy to get right? Right. But it’s no good using a dodgy links registry – they haven’t worked for years. It’s more about having high authority sites publish your good quality content. The authority of sites that link to yours will either amplify or reduce your own ranking with Google.
That’s enough for now
I daresay if your brand has been behind the curve with its content, the 6 points above will no doubt be a challenge to get your head (and your marketing strategy) around. Adjust, get real about your content and (above all else) create a content marketing strategy that is going to make you a king (or queen) of content.
Need help with you content? Have we just traumatised you? Call us on 01803 865 025 – we know how to make you feel good again.