“Why do I need to focus more on content?” has been a question asked by more and more business people nowadays. It makes sense. As of now, SEO used to be keyword-oriented and content was given little (if any) attention. Personally, I have written hundredths of articles and blog posts with serious mistakes and not much significance; I was simply told to write content with specific keywords that lacked articles, pronouns, subject etc., only because website masters did not care about nothing else, other than how to fool search engines with keyword-stuffed content.
Grammar errors, stuff that did not mean much, content that was not the least bit interesting or sharable and content writers writing for search engines rather than humans was the typical picture. And now? Now, all that has changed with Hummingbird’s grand entrance last September. Now, good content is rewarded. And the reward, is higher rankings, with everything that comes along!
In order to familiarize ourselves with the importance of content, let us start with some basics. Contrary to the real-estate market, or any physical commodity for that matter, the online world does not revolve around location. In fact, when was the last time you used a URL directly when searching for a product? Unless it is a name brand, or a specific store, chances are that you didn’t. You were more likely to enter your search term in a search engine. Well, these search engines are not built on finding locations, rather than CONTENT. With the constant search algorithm updates by Google, and Panda giving its place to Hummingbird, to God knows what next, it becomes obvious that content is of great significance when targeting highest rankings in search engine results.
Your typical consumer judges a website on its appearance and how informative and helpful he or she finds it. Unconsciously, people are also influenced by how well the material is written and the ease of access. Surfing online is exactly that—surfing. When surfing, one glides from one place to another, not staying too long in one location, often going wherever the waves go. Browsing online, another term which is very true to the actual experience- includes short-term visits to different web pages. When you only have about a minute to impress a potential client, you had better make sure that everything you want them to know is there, clearly and concisely, and if possible, aesthetically pleasing. Just as in a supermarket, the owner places strategic items in different locations (like the chocolates near the register, or the on-sale items in the back so that you have to go through the whole store and hopefully you will decide to buy other things as well), a website must place strategic information items in key locations. And if these items are not interesting or informative enough, your product may be the best in the world and your prices the lowest- you will still miss out on a lot of business.
What is Content Marketing and Why do I need it?
Content marketing is the process through which a supplier provides customers, and hopefully customers-to-be, with valuable information, in order to build trust, transparency, branding and creating awareness of and positive sentiment towards the product. A content marketing strategy usually involves the following platforms: blog posts, email newsletters, podcasts, e-books, live presentations, webinars and power point presentations.
Several trends have been indicated regarding the use of content marketing in businesses worldwide: a better understanding of the term, increased resource allocation towards this role and function, the use of content strategy in the mobile world, dedicated software, location-based content marketing and the importance of the human touch.
‘Content marketing’ reloaded
Though there is an increasing number of businesses utilizing content marketing services, very few are able to precisely define the term. It seems that with the growing use of content marketing throughout business areas, businesses should have a better grasp of the term, its place among their business goals and its significance within the organization.
Dedicated content directors
Continuing the above idea, as the number of departments within the company will be utilizing content specialists, the need for support in this field will require investing more effort and resources into content marketing and content services in general. Seeing as this is a highly specialized field, companies will be wise not to add this area as another “hat” for an existing employee, but rather seek out experts. Indeed, by investing in content marketing, the company decreases its customer acquisition costs. Another major fact contributing to the shift towards a new and experienced role is the expected change in the Google algorithm, as Google Analytics will no longer include keyword data. Thus, old-school SEO efforts will be obsolete.
Go Mobile or Perish
As the mobile platform is expected to take over the desktop usage within a few years, companies are compelled to incorporate mobile platforms. To this extent, Google had recently rolled out its Hummingbird algorithm, alongside the removal of keyword data. Mobile-friendly formatting, shorter and more actionable blog posts and the incorporation of mobile devices in customer communication considerations will be a must.
Content marketing calculation
The results of marketing in general and content marketing specifically are difficult to calculate since they are spread out over time, therefore requiring a holistic approach aggregating results. Consequently, SAAS software and companies will offer solutions and may become an invaluable part of any self-monitoring business.
The human touch
Content marketing can never be fully automated, at least not in the foreseeable future. The human behind the words remains a vital part of the operation, avoiding the bad reputation resulting from poor content.
B2B or not to be
The use of social media is rapidly increasing in the B2B marketing business. Seeing as Google bases its rankings on authorship, this is expected to grow and become more prevalent. Among the platforms often used are Google+ and SlideShare.
Location Location Location
As the mobile is becoming the new black, so to speak, GPS-enabled smartphones will serve to personalize marketing messages to-a-tee. Actual stores, known as brick-and-mortar businesses, should use this technology to launch location-based content marketing.
In conclusion, in order to survive in this new world, companies need to be content-aware, technologically-savvy and up-close and personal.