Content marketing is washed up!
At least, that’s what many of the pundits were saying last decade. They were wrong. Content marketing is booming, growing in importance for small business owners every year.
Why did so many people write it off then?
Well, writing informative articles is a lot of work. Five to ten years ago, there were other ways to get your website noticed. Most of them were SEO tricks, such as spinning (copying) other people’s article, or paying people to link to your website so Google would think it was more influential than it really was. These strategies worked for a while, and they were easier than posting high-quality content.
But Google, with the introduction of the Panda and Penguin search engine ranking updates, nipped this in the bud 3-4 years ago. Since then, the internet upgraded, becoming a better place for search engine users.
It also gave away to content marketing exploding in popularity. Now the best websites get traffic, and the sub-par websites languish in the search engine rankings. Here are two easy ways to improve your content marketing strategy.
Invest in Visual Content
A blog post is great. But there are a wide variety of people in the world. Some like to read, but many people are visual learners, preferring to interact with visual media and videos as opposed to just text.
That’s why your blog posts need pictures. Even better, get some infographics. These are pictures with words on them, words that explain the text and support your article. There are free tools out there that allow you to create inforgraphics. Of course, these tools generally have certain restrictions. Use them for a while. Once you see what inforgraphics can do for your business, then consider one of the paid options.
The Power of Curation
Marketers are not just people who create their own content anymore. They also endorse 3rd party content that is relevant to their industry, blog posts that will help their target audience. Don’t be fooled, this takes a lot of skill.
It takes substantial effort and time to curate content, to find the highest quality 3rd party content to post to your website. There is a lot of junk out there. If you post it, you aren’t a good curator. The value of a good curator is not simply posting the good stuff, but not posting the stuff that has little use. You have to build trust with your customers, let them know that you are not wasting their time. The Huffington Post notes:
Customers don’t want to be [force-fed] advertising copy anymore. They are looking for information that is both informative and useful. You, as a marketer, need to find ways to locate and curate information that your clients both want and need. Forget about coming up with snappy little jingles. As [Miguel Salcido] pointed out, “Try to avoid over crowding your site with ads, pop ups, or other irrelevant information. Your site’s main focus should be the content, and other things can get in the way of the user’s experience. If a site is difficult to navigate, which Google will check with their bots, your search engine ranking could go down..”
As noted above, a good marketer is keenly aware of their audience’s time. They don’t put a lot of pop-ups or ads on their site.
At first site an ad seems like a no-risk idea. Anyone who clicks on it and buys a service from you, is putting extra money in your pocket. But you have to remember the negative side effects it could have on your brand.
Try to limit ads when you can. Customer convenience first.
Contact us if you would like to learn more about content marketing.