Recently responded to journalist who was looking to talk about the “the rise of importance of content.”
My point was that content is an important part of a good digital marketing strategy and has been for a long time. For years it lived in the realm of PR, often in the guise of thought leadership – by-lined articles, white papers and case studies (I’ve ghost written 100’s of pieces like this for everyone from Chief Surgeons at major hospitals to CEO and Engineers.)
Or else it was part of the sales cycle, as either a fulfillment piece (“Sign up and receive our free report”) or as part of the buyer education process for products or services with long sales cycles. Tech companies frequently take this approach (I used to produce a steady stream of these types of pieces for CA.)
For a small business, content marketing can take the form of blogs, newsletters and even social media. While it is still an important part of the sales cycle, two major factors have things have changed.
1) The importance as an SEO tool, and;
2) The form factor that content takes.
Content Marketing and SEO
Content is crucial as a marketing tool for SEO reasons. Google loves fresh content. (They didn’t scan all those books for nothing) Our site consistently ranks top 3 for “Digital Marketing Boston” (even with all the big agencies in town) because we are regularly updating the site with content that is relevant and (apparently) interesting .
Customers you never knew existed can now find you based on how well your content is presented and its quality. Using social media tools such as teasers with links back to your website on Twitter and LinkedIn are great ways to promote the site and capitalize on the SEO worthiness of your content.
Content in All Forms
Some “older” people like myself (I’m celebrating the 21st birthday of my 21st birthday this month) often think of content in the form of the written word -Newsletters, whitepapers, blogs, etc. all require writing. But what is most interesting about the content revolution is that video, and audio (think podcasts) are the fastest growing and often most effective way to reach consumers across many categories.
A very smart partner of mine once told me that YouTube was the second largest search engine behind Google. Millenialist turn to YouTube almost as much as anything else when they want answers. It makes sense that a generation raised on Digital Cable and the Web would interact better with videos than the written word.
The Challenge is Time
The biggest challenge to SMB’s when it comes to using content is time. They just don’t have time to be blogging or writing. But there are ways around that.
- You can become a content aggregator and use tools like RSS feeds or Buzzfeed.
- You can outsource to someone like, oh…Bluefish.
- You can purchase and re purpose content from either trade associations, or someone like Article Factory.
Either way, the saying that content is King is very true. But it’s certainly not a new concept.