Backing up the cliche that causes eye-rolls in your marketing department
If you’re anything like me, you’ve heard that ‘Content is King’ more times than Bill Gates has seen the phrase ‘Windows has encountered a problem’.
But, as cringe-y as it is, understanding this marketing cliche is essential for businesses to dominate in an evolving online marketplace. And this isn’t the first time we’ve talked about the power behind cliches.
‘Content is King’ is only becoming more true because:
- Google (and other search engines – I’m told they exist) continues to update it’s algorithms
- Buyer behaviour is trending more and more towards online shopping
- Companies are searching for fresh, innovative ways to build brand awareness and improve their online marketing
And although ‘Content is King’ is the source of eye-rolls in every marketing department, the phrase is typically paid only lip service.
So are you walking the talk? Or just spouting sayings? Let’s take a look at how you can turn lip service into a solid digital content strategy.
SEO, SEM, NSEO, SERP, LSI, SRM, LSEO…..
Struggling to keep up? Here’s what you need to know (without being a snazzy content marketing agency..)
You’ve probably heard some of these terms flying around the marketing department, and wondered what language they were speaking. Search engine algorithms are complex and classified.
These algorithms updated on the regular through minor and major updates, all of which have an underlying theme: quality content published on a regular basis will get you to the top.
In other words: Content is King. *eye-roll*.
So, what is defined as ‘quality content’?
1. Keywords and phrases
When it comes to presenting its users with search results, Google’s primary focus is relevance, i.e. how relevant is a page to your search.
Google’s aim is to answer your search query in the first few results, and keywords are a starting point for how it judges relevance, and should be a starting point for your digital content strategy.
Take the search query 'cook potatoes'. This would be well served by a web page that contains the phrase 'cook potatoes' multiple times, right?
This certainly used to be the case but, like I said, the algorithms are updated more regularly than Taylor Swift’s relationship status.
2. Semantics, schmemantics
Enter semantically related keywords. In the online marketing world these are commonly referred to as LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords, which are words and phrases that are related to, but not synonyms of a given word.
Take our Potato Search. Semantically related keywords might be:
- Vegetable peeler
- Salt & Pepper
Google crawls through everything on your page (copy, image names, meta data) and makes an assessment as to what the page is about, to index it against appropriate searches.
3. Links, links, links
But it’s not just the words on the screen that tell Google what a page is about. Links within your content, and links to the page are also considered part of the context and meaning of the content.
The good news is, building links within your content is easy! You can link to virtually anything (there’s a link in this article to a list of every type of potato known to man). The trick is in building appropriate links within your articles that align with your digital content strategy.
That might be:
- links to other articles on your website that build further brand awareness,
- call-to-actions that promote readers to perform a desired activities, or
- links through to your product or service pages that convert into leads or sales.
4. Extra, extra, read all about it!
If you want to grow your audience, building links that direct to your pages is an important strategy to consider as well. Backlinking is a term that describes other articles or pieces of content linking through to your web page. At a high level search engines apply the logic ‘if someone else is pointing traffic to this page, it must be relevant’.
There’s sooo much more to talk about, but as one of my uni lecturers often told me; “that’s outside of the scope of today’s discussion.” Head here to learn the ins and outs of SEO.
The bigger picture: content strategy and brand awareness
You’ve got your keywords and links sussed, and people are finding you online... But what do they feel when they find you?
What responses or emotions come to mind when people think of your brand? Brand awareness isn’t just consumers knowing what you do or sell, but knowing who you are and what you represent.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of building an online marketing plan on simply selling your stuff, but Modern Buyer Behaviour shows that storytelling is one of the most effective ways to build brand awareness and loyalty.
The best way to understand how your clients engage with your brand is to try a few different content angles, and fail fast. Yes, another marketing cliche, I know.
Storytelling replaces the salesperson
Storytelling is about creating content that allows customers to resonate with your brand – on an emotional level. I know, it sounds like one of those bullsh*t things creatives say, but think about it, over 75% of consumers shop online, where there is literally zero interaction with a team member.
When was the last time you spent 10 minutes telling an online chatbot about your summer holiday plans? It just doesn’t happen. If you want buyers to resonate with your brand story, you’ve got to make sure you’re telling it. And for that, content is king.
Big bad buyer behaviour: why you need to concentrate on educational content
Using articles to nurture trust in your brand
Trust will be the currency of the future (sorry Bitcoin) as consumers are looking to engage with brands that are genuine, authentic, and socially aware. A great starting point for building trust in your audience is to position your brand as an expert and an authority in your industry.
To do that, you need to focus on educational content. Nearly half of buyers view 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep (or buying directly).
Consider the questions your buyers might have (a good starting point is the ones you get asked regularly), and look at incorporating articles that tend to those queries into your digital content strategy.
Now get the content out there
The great thing about educational articles is they sit on your website and serve as an organic way to generate leads and sales, as well as build brand awareness.
If you really want to leverage buyer behaviour trends though, consider other avenues for getting your educational content is front of potential buyers. Email marketing and social media posts are a great way to get started and to engage an already captive audience.
Content is King
And Queen, and President, and Prime Minister
Hell, I’m calling it. Content is the Supreme Leader of the Internet.
With search engine algorithms evolving well beyond keywords, it’s important that your marketing department has the expertise to write engaging, authoritative articles that educate your customers, and cater to Google's bots. After all, you are writing for humans as well as robots.
In many cases, your online content is your first customer interaction (and in some cases your only opportunity to communicate), so it’s crucial to ensure your brand story and message is ingrained in the content you create, by publishing articles that: instill trust, educate the buyer, and feed your top-level marketing goals.
Now you just need to find someone who can help you turn those actions to words. Luckily, we know some people.