Content in 2018 is big business. Content marketing can be the critical factor that takes potential customers away from your business and into the hands of your competitors.
According to Hubspot, 77% of B2B customers insist on conducting online research before consenting to speak with a salesperson.
What is the difference between Content and Content Marketing?
Content is information, it’s everywhere and comes in many forms, such as visual and aural. Content marketing, on the other hand, is a subcategory of inbound marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (think of blogs, white papers, infographics, eBooks, videos and posts on social media). Content marketing does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services. Bill Gates famously published an essay on the Microsoft website entitled “Content is King”, and this still rings through today.
One of the main reasons for creating content online is to ensure your business can be easily found by customers who conduct online research when they are making their purchasing decisions. Search engines, such as Google, love content, especially content that is constantly updated. To attract people to your website, providing fresh content that people are looking for is essential.
Essentially, content marketing involves publishing a vast amount of useful, relevant content that can help customers and clients. This will in turn develop a level of trust that will hopefully develop further into a sale.
Providing your customers with quality, relevant content is what can ultimately set you apart from the competition online. The success of any website is determined by its content, and how relevant it is to potential customers.
John Mueller, a Google webmaster, recently confirmed that recent updates to Google's algorithm was primarily about relevance.
Google is constantly trying to improve the amount of relevant information people search for is displayed by their server.
What does Google consider when ranking your content?
There are 200 ranking factors (as of June 2018) but some of the most important are:
- The overall relevance and quality of the content uploaded
- Keywords and phrases used in titles and body of text
- Content length
- Social Signals (Social media shares, likes and links)
- Quality Backlinks
All these powerful factors can be achieved through content marketing.
How Content Marketing Improves Your SEO
- Publishing relevant content that solves problems that clients and customers have
- Churning out quality content on a regular basis constantly feed search engines with new information which improves your overall ranking. Hubspot’s recent findings suggest that businesses that publish 16 blogs or more per month get almost 3.5 times more traffic than those who publish on a weekly basis or less often.
- Being strategic about content marketing forces you to create relevant content around keywords and key phrases on a consistent basis.
- Valuable online content is often liked or shared on social media platforms, not only does this improve your ranking, but also provides validation to others.
- By consistently publishing quality content on a specialised area of expertise, your company will become know as a thought leader, which is when your business is recognised as an authority in a certain field. This status is highly sought after and can be rewarded in the form of increased sales.
- Creating valuable content on your website has the potential to be shared by other websites, often linking your content with theirs which again improves your SEO.
- Improving your SEO makes it easier to access it, view it and potentially share it, improving SEO considerably.
- Incorporating Link Building, which are actions that are aimed at increasing the number and quality of links to a webpage with the goal of increasing its rankings online, is a great way to help increase web traffic and will improve SEO.
Topic Cluster Models
Hubspot have recently introduced their Topic Cluster Model. This is where a main page or “pillar” page acts as the main hub of content for a principal topic. Multiple content pages that are related to that same topic then link back to this main “pillar page” and to each other.
This linking action indicates to search engines that the pillar page is an authority on the topic, and over time, the page may rank higher and higher for the topic that it covers. The topic cluster model, at its very core, is a way of organising a site’s content pages using a cleaner and more thoughtful site construction (Hubspot 2017).
Promoting your Content
Ironically, it is important to market your content which was designed to market your company in the first place. According to Forbes, grinding out content on a regular basis should lead you to three main objectives:
1. Maximise Visibility: if your content lies on your website without being promoted, the chances of people finding it is unlikely
2. Self-sustain a Content Feed: When you have a collection of newer and older material, you can establish a self-sustaining “feed” of content in which you can use to promote your business.
3. Revive Interest in Older Works: Attracting attention to your older pieces of content allows your best content to get new eyes looking at it
Creating quality and relevant content online can be the deciding factor for a customer when deciding what company to go with. Often, it’s the company that puts the effort into creating genuine quality and relevant content online that ultimately attracts customers and increases sales.