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The Content's the Thing: Content Marketing 101

Everyone knows that, to get to Carnegie Hall, you need practice, practice, practice. You also need to get noticed—because if you stay in your room practicing for 23 hours a day, how is anyone going to know you belong center stage? Luckily, the internet provides a platform for anyone to broadcast their skills to the world, provided they know how to land at the top of the search results page. So how do you draw eyes to your beautiful website full of valuable information? The answer is content, content, content.

You may have heard the term content marketing before, and dismissed it as a groovy marketing trend that would merely serve to complicate your advertising strategy. But we beg to differ! Content marketing is the key to bringing new visitors to your website, keeping the audience engaged, and rocketing your site to the top of the search results page. And we think it’s a pretty fun way to spread the good word of your business.

A quick definition: content marketing is the practice of advertising a business, service, or product through engaging and varied media like articles, videos, or social platforms. The purpose of content marketing, more than to advertise the benefits of your product, is to engage your audience with informative, entertaining, and often actionable material that builds brand loyalty.

But why might you pay someone to write a weekly blog article (or spend time doing it yourself) when a simple banner ad tells your audience everything they need to know? Because, for as many colors and puns as you can fit onto a pixelated rectangle, static ads come up short in the personality department. With that weekly blog post or short video, you reveal the smart cookies behind your business, real people who are eager to share their expertise and who’ve taken the time to attract and engage your audience. Take this article, for example: We could create a static ad reading “You Should Be Using Content Marketing,” post it on our Facebook page, and be done with it. Instead, following the wisdom (and proven metrics) of content marketing strategy, we’re covering the basics in an easy-to-follow, personable (hopefully!) way that engages as it informs. Plus, you can share it wherever you’d like, and help spread the word!

Content marketing is where SEO can really work for you. Search engine optimization is the practice of peppering your website with relevant keywords that will cause your website to turn up in internet searches for your type of business. That means that, if you’re a dentist’s office, you want to be found by people searching for “dentist,” “dentist office,” “oral care,” or “teeth cleaning” in your area, to name a few possible examples. By including these key terms on your website as frequently as you can, you improve your chances of being found organically online.

But you can’t just publish a list of key terms front and center on your site and hope that works—it might, but it could also serve to make people click away in fright just as quickly as they arrived. A much more effective (and tasteful) way to harness the power of SEO is to integrate key terms into your content, whether that be on your site’s pages, a regular blog, or social media posts. In fact, consistently generating fresh content (like with a blog) greatly improves your search result standing, as each new article that incorporates relevant keywords serves to increase the grand total of keywords present on your site.

If you do go the “fresh content” route, make sure to share each update on multiple platforms, such as including the link in an email newsletter or posting the URL to Facebook. This will draw more eyes to your content, and will begin to establish your unique voice and brand recognition. And lest you’re intimidated by having to come up with new topics related to your industry every week, you can establish brand voice and loyalty by writing about anything at all. Write a post about how grateful you were to have time off for the holidays, share your employees’ life achievements, or promote a new skill you’ve learned—as long as your content is funneled through your brand’s megaphone, and organically incorporates at least a few keywords, you’ll help to increase your visibility and hopefully gain new fans in the process.

Speaking of incorporating keywords: It can be a bit tricky to seamlessly include key search terms into your content without it coming off as clunky, at least at first. That’s where a marketing consultant comes in handy. They’re practiced at scanning content for SEO as well as readability, and can guide you in content marketing best practices. To learn how content marketing can increase your organic site traffic by nearly 20 percent, get in touch today—see how we did that?

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