Although content marketing is often thought of as a “new” or “hot” trend, the reality is it’s been around for decades. Ever since there were people looking for information – be it in print through magazines and newspapers, or over search engines and social media sites on the Internet – there have been marketing agencies and PR firms trying to steer opinion.
What has changed, though, is that content marketing has gotten mixed up with search engine optimization and other online methods. And, as a result, more companies than ever are trying to attract visitors to their websites using articles, ebooks, and press releases.
Most of them never find real success from their efforts. But, while many of them will attribute their inbound marketing failures to a high level of competition or the increasing complexity of SEO, the reality is most of them are missing the point of content marketing in the first place.
To keep you from making the same kinds of mistakes, here is what you have to know…
In the minds of many Internet marketers, “content marketing” basically equates to “posting keyword-heavy articles online.” While appealing to Google’s search engine spiders is undoubtedly an important part of content marketing, coming up with posts isn’t really about keywords. Instead, it’s about building your credibility by posting messages that resonate with your most important customer base. If you can do that, then visibility often takes care of itself, on Google and elsewhere.
Just as quantity isn’t the point with keywords, it’s not enough to post lots of articles on the Internet, either. In fact, it’s better to have a handful of really good ones, posted consistently over time, than it is to put junk on your blog or social profiles every day. To be sure, it helps to have a lot of great content if you want to be successful in content marketing, but sacrificing quality for quantity is a losing proposition.
Success in content marketing should be measured in terms of leads and sales, not article views, likes, or other superficial metrics. It’s easy to get caught up in looking at these simple indicators, but the reality is that lots of people will click on something because they like a headline or photo. Unless they bother to actually respond or follow up, though, you haven’t gotten anything useful from their time or attention.
Following on the last point, it’s important to test different ideas, concepts, and even distribution methods (your own blog versus guest posting, etc.) to see where you can make the biggest impact. The more you post and experiment, the easier it becomes to find out what your buyers respond to, and which kinds of posts tend to draw in the most conversions.