By now, you have probably heard nothing but the fact that content – content marketing, content development, and content strategy – must be a part of your online marketing strategy. And there are many, many good reasons for that. In today’s post, we’re going to look at all of the reasons that you should start implementing content into your online marketing strategy. These reasons include but also go beyond just SEO.
Content Makes Panda Happy
Panda is a hungry bear, ready to gobble up any sites with low quality content. It’s been over a year since Google released the Panda update into the wild, taking down sites with huge losses in keyword rankings. One well-known site to get hit with the update was EzineArticles – they lost a huge amount of their keyword rankings as shown in this graph by SEMrush.
What you may note is that EzineArticles has still not managed to recover their rankings. One site that has seemingly recovered is HubPages.
They did it by separating weak content from the main domain by establishing subdomains for HubPages writers and content.
The lesson you can take away from studying these two sites is that low quality content will make you target for future Panda updates. Panda updates didn’t stop with the one in February of 2011 – according to SEOmoz’s Algorithm Change timeline, Panda has evolved from 1.0 to 3.4, last updated in March of 2012. The only thing that will save your website is removing your low quality content and replacing it with higher quality content.
Content Makes Link Building Easier
As someone who has requested links for a variety of different websites in different industries, there was one thing that was a sight for sore eyes in any link building project – a website with great content. It was always a challenge to build links to the homepage of an unknown retailer or to a boring product or service page. It was rarely a challenge to build links to pages with interesting content.
When you have useful content and resources on your website, you are bound to find others who are willing to link to it. Some ideas for various industries include…
- Calculators – Getting an anchor text link to a boring home loan provider can be a challenge. Getting a link to a useful home loan calculator, on the other hand, is much simpler. It’s a tool that you can convince almost anyone to add to a home buyer’s resource page (unless they are a direct competitor).
- Infographics – Well-designed infographics are a gem for any industry and for link building. If you can find relevant blogs, they are usually happy to share your informative infographic with their niche audience. And, if nothing else, you can always submit them to infographics directories and blogs that have high domain authority and PageRank to boot! Plus there’s always the chance that someone at Mashable will take a liking to your infographic and start the viral sharing.
- Videos – There are probably hundreds, if not thousands of “As Seen on TV” products that you never have and never will hear of. But one product you may not have missed is the Slap Chop, a little food chopper. The website for it has about 20 links, 1,000 likes, and 190 tweets. The official video for it, on the other hand, has over 500 links, 44,000 likes, and 55,000 tweets. And that doesn’t include the parody or remix videos. This means a simple little product received a whole lot of online marketing thanks to an entertaining commercial that went viral.
- Lists – Love them or hate them, lists get the job done and attract lots of links. On one site that I contribute to regularly, the post that has the most links is The Entrepreneur’s Handbook: 101 Resources for First Time Entrepreneurs.
Need more ideas? Try this inforgraphic from Copyblogger and the BlueGlass infographic team.
Content is More Likely to Be Shared
Besides just link attraction, great content is also likely to receive lots of shares on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. The latter is particularly important as Google+ results might show up in search results for people connected to the Google+ user who shares the link to the content. For example, can you imagine being on the first page of search results for a search on Yahoo? This Google+ post was, thanks to relevancy and timing, with a link to the post on Google+ and the actual blog post itself.
So be sure that you don’t just create content, but you encourage social sharing for that content by adding social share buttons. You can get the official ones from Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ or use plugins like ShareThis or AddThis.
If you don’t believe that social sharing is important, consider this. One of the ways you build links is by making people aware that a piece of content exist. Encouraging the social sharing of content will make even more people aware of that content which will almost always lead to more links to that content.
Content Helps Brands Build Authority
Whenever you read a good book on a topic, you tend to believe that the person who wrote it is an expert or authority on that topic. Producing content online helps professionals and brands become publishers. It allows them to go beyond just another name in search results and become a leading authority in their industry. Some great ways to take advantage of content marketing as a way to establish authority includes the following.
- Publishing great content on your official blog.
- Offering great content to be published on other top blogs in your industry.
- Writing articles for major publications (newspapers, magazines, etc.) in your region or industry.
- Contributing to crowdsourced posts and books in your industry.
By creating content to be published on your website and beyond, you will demonstrate your expertise to your current audience and gain more exposure to bring in a new audience.
Content Can Help Your Customers
Do you find yourself (or your customer service department) answering the same questions over and over again? If so, you might want to consider publishing blog posts, reports, or even eBooks to cover those topics and offer them on your website for your customers. These could be product manuals, tutorials, or even a easily searchable FAQ database. Customers that like to be self-sufficient will greatly appreciate the ability to get the information without having to contact you by phone, and your customer service department will greatly appreciate having more time to deal with higher-level issues than being overwhelmed with the same simple questions.
Content Can Be Repackaged & Repurposed
Last, but not least, most content can be repackaged and repurposed to further increase its exposure. Some great ways to do this include the following.
- Take your blog post content, have someone read it, and turn the recording into a podcast.
- Take data from a well-researched post or case study and turn it into an infographic.
- Take sections of your infographic and turn it into a slideshow.
- Take your slideshow and convert it to video.
- Record webinars onto video, and transcribe what is said throughout the webinar to make it into a blog post.
- Take a collection of several blog posts that have a similar them, combine them, and turn them into a report or eBook that you can giveaway in exchange for mailing list subscribers.
- Take eBook content, divide it up into logical parts, and turn it into an autoresponder series such as “7 Days to ____” for mailing list subscribers.
There are many, many different ways to repackage your content and use it to gain more exposure and entice readers to become potential clients. The possibilities are endless and only require some time and editing!
What other reasons do you have for incorporating content marketing into your online marketing strategy?