Content marketing is any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers. This information can be presented in a variety of formats, including news, video, white papers, e-books, infographics, case studies, how-to guides, question and answer articles, photos, etc..
A problem many small businesses face is that they lack the resources to compete head-to-head with large firms. This inarguably sets limits on your activity, but it doesn’t have to hold you back in all areas.
For example, are you possibly approaching content marketing and SEO as two separate and independent efforts when in fact they’re closely connected?
The tangled web of Internet marketing
Anyone that’s been in the Internet marketing arena a while understands how interconnected all these areas are. Whether you’re talking about social media marketing, ad campaigns, content marketing, or SEO, everything is ultimately related — and that’s particularly the case with the last two.
While the connectivity is convenient and helpful, it can also make things unnecessarily confusing. Lines blur, target audiences commingle, and businesses are left wondering how best to pursue their efforts.
The value of SEO
The problem is that SEO takes time to master, and the rules are constantly changing. Staying on top of the game requires that you learn the tricks of the trade and follow the rules.
These rules, though, are the same rules your competitors are following. As a result, everyone is left following the same advice, tackling the same strategies, and hoping for better results. That’s where the need for content marketing comes in handy.
Content marketing and SEO
Content marketing is one of most effective ways to differentiate SEO activity. Content marketing — the art of producing fresh, original, insightful information that attracts readers and drives traffic — is SEO’s best friend.
It enables you to add value to your current SEO efforts without compromising them. According to Kissmetrics, “Since nearly everyone is following the technical SEO rules, you have to do something different in order to differentiate yourself and gain traffic.”
Content marketing is that something different.
Combining content marketing and SEO
Anne Francis of Searchenginejournal.com contends that content marketing and SEO should work together, rather than being separate efforts, or even foes. She says there should be no showdown or battle between the two.
You should do your utmost to make sure the two work in concert if you want to boost your marketing efforts. In her opinion, “No business should be choosing one over the other.”
Here are some ways you can bring them together to maximize results:
- Utilize SEO data. Do you ever feel as if you have access to tons of SEO data, but you don’t know what to do with it? One of the most effective ways to put powerful data to work is by utilizing keyword research to develop rich content your audience hungers to read.
- Write fresh content. The newest Google algorithms absolutely love unique content that answers questions. According to Magicdust, a full-service Internet marketing company, “From a more organic and authentic perspective the content of your website should be rich in valuable and useful content that relates to the target market and industry…” That means your efforts to produce high-quality content will simultaneously drive organic search rankings. While you still need to focus on SEO techniques and strategies, investing in content marketing will make things easier.
- Focus on authorship. Google claims that having a Google+ profile has no effect on your rankings, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that it increases exposure and drives people to your site(s). Spend time developing your authorship and you’ll notice that SEO rankings inevitably rise.
So instead of looking at SEO and content marketing as two unique entities battling for your time, start seeing them as symbiotic entities that feed off each other. By learning to use them together, you’ll get the most out of each.