This is a guest contribution by Ruchi Pardal of ResultFirst.
Some people believe that content marketing means multichannel, and seemingly mechanical, publishing of anything, anywhere. Their goal is to gain links and rank well (of course, momentarily) using thin content, spinned content, keyword-rich content or unnecessary press releases. That’s the kind of content marketing that brings very short lived benefits (if any). True content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.
What’s Content Marketing?
Content marketing creates valuable, sharable content published on multiple channels to attract readers and hopefully customers. Content marketing builds a community. Content marketing gains exposure. And, of course, content marketing markets your brand. But true content marketing taps into people’s desires and grabs their attention by wowing them. Bewitching them. Making them learn something they didn’t already know or were seeking. It hooks them in not just once, but time and time again.
Your Content Marketing Weapons
- Blog posts
- Guest posts
- Video content
- Open discussions
- And counting…
Questions for Long Distance Content Marketing
Content marketing, if used smartly, can help you gain things you never even knew you could get your hands on. Kissmetrics skyrocketed its traffic and got 3500+ unique domain links using by creating 47 infographics. In fact, it’s one of the greatest examples of content marketing done right. Even Mashable believes that.
So, here are the questions you should (and must) ask yourself if you want your content marketing to work for you in the long term:
Is there any meaning to the content I’m creating? Content marketing with an ambiguous objective is the worst of them all. So, first off, think about what you want to achieve and how that impacts your different audiences. Then track back to how content marketing can bridge the gap. Choose the right content marketing weapons for your audience and your objectives and before jumping in feet first, work out how your content can stand out.
Is it relevant to what my audience wants? Anything that gives your audience, or their network, real value is relevant. Instead of wasting time thinking about how to convert them as a subscriber, think what they need to learn and what they’d love to learn.
Is it mostly about myself, my company, my team? That’s okay – but only sometimes and it’s important that content that’s just about you, with no value to your audience, is in the minority
Does it add any value to or challenge traditional wisdom? Nobody loves rehashed content but yes, if you can give an old topic a new angle or your take then it can feel like a brand new idea.
Does it sound robot-generated? Try to make your content interactive as hell. If it sounds robot-generated, it’s drab, irritating and repelling, your readers won’t read beyond the first paragraph.
Will my audience link to it and share it socially? One of the qualities of content marketing that lasts the distance is its ability to resonate with large audiences and that means making it sharable! Sharable content also helps you in your SEO efforts, too.
Am I just adding to the sea of crap content that’s already on the Web? Please don’t! It’s our Web and it’s up to us whether we make it all the more exciting or filled with full, lifeless, boring content
Have I chosen the right channel for publishing my content? The right channel leads to the right audience so it’s quite an important decision. If you’ve been doing content marketing just to get links, well, that won’t help you now. Google values not just hard-earned but relevant links from trusted sites. Moreover, this I-want-that-link behaviour is disturbing and somewhere undermines what we put into getting one. Time to get over this, right?
Last and the most important: Is my content marketing based on a content strategy? Solid content marketing needs a solid content strategy, one that must answer how you’ll take care of creating, marketing and governing content over time.
A footnote about SEO
“If your content is the best thing since sliced bread, you’re going to rank well. We are focused on what searchers are engaging and how we can deliver them better results.” – Bing’s Duane Forrester
“Don’t think about link building, think about compelling content and marketing.” – Google’s Matt Cutts
If you still think that SEO is all about rankings and traffic, don’t do content marketing for SEO, at all. However, if you understand that content marketing is about creating and sharing value that helps you build great communities, well the SEO benefits will come as a result.
In summary, I’d reiterate that you can’t win the marathon and gain loyal followers with short sprints of content. You need a content strategy and consistent effort.
So, how do you make sure that your content marketing lasts the distance? What is your favorite content marketing weapon and why? Shout out below.
Ruchi Pardal is Director of ResultFirst, a firm that works on pay-for-performance model, helping businesses get found across search engines and give an optimal experience to their audience. She’s been into digital marketing for well over 10 years. When she’s not busy with her work, Ruchi loves to spend every moment with her awesome family.
thanks for the great information, i want to write guest posts,and i know all that matters is content trying to do hard.!!
Content Marketing is actually a very good phenomenon. I make my living from this marketing.
Content marketing is definitely about creating useful and valuable content that serves people’s needs, but optimizing them a bit for better SEO can help on a long run.
Spot on, content should be king and if done right and consistently it will generate the links and traffic you need.
Thank you for sharing this.
Fabulous post. This line.. ” However, if you understand that content marketing is about creating and sharing value that helps you build great communities, well the SEO benefits will come as a result. ” inspired me so much. I mean its just a great sentence.
So from now I am going to stop thinking about SEO ( most probably ) and will try my level best to offer best user experience to my readers.
Overall CONTENT is king and Google is trying their level best to prove it.
Another great post. Learn lots of new things about content marketing. Thanks for sharing.
A really helpful article. We are a new start up with a lot of good content to share. This puts things into perspective.
What a lovely post about content marketing, i really did learn alot from this great post. Content marketing is one great way to bring traffic and at the same time sales. Content marketing should be taken seriously. Thanks
content is king, if done correctly and consistently will generate links and traffic you need..
And SEO is easy, but seo process is hard..
It was indeed a very much comprehensive article about the long term benefits of content marketing. Thanks for telling that the temporary marketing will not help for a long run.
Exciting, quality and unique articles is what is my main weapon for content marketing. Though there are various sources of making content marketing happen.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Cheers! :-)
This is a great article – I’ve been trying to explain the entire concept of content marketing done the right way to my clients for a while now using a consistent strategy, and they are beginning to see the value of providing valuable information to their own clients and customers, without constantly feeling the need to sell to them all the time. Thank you for sharing this!
The best thing that could happen to you, is for you to know your audience and tailor your posts according to their needs. Writing without focus amounts to sheer waste of time, energy and other resources.
Great points made here!
Content for contents’ sake is just a big waste of everyone’s time and clutters up the glutt of internet content available already. Speak with your own voice and have something valid and relevant to contribute- this is how you will gain loyal followers!
I’m glad you reminded me about all of the other types of content that you can include in your blog. Have to remember to mix it up.
Several aspects of development of blogs is related, seo, guest article, social network, content marketing,etc. The contents of these areas overlap. If you can do one thing well, others will be improved, too
How I make my content marketing lasts the distance? I believe we need to identify the goal posts. As with anything to do with strategy, we need to identify our goals first and then work backwards from there. We also need to realise that the goal posts are going to move as we go along. By trial and error we’ll learn what works, what doesn’t and what we need to change. Often our main objectives will shift as you go along and learn what is possible. Thus, I do agree that it’s a marathon!
very good blog. thanks for sharing your ideas.
Content is the king. If it is unique and innovative then you can rule the world with your words. Thanks for the wonderful posts trying little hard to product financial algorithm related contents however the problem is sometimes it sound robotic when i try to post regular postings repeating the same sort of methodology again and again. Anyhow after reading this trying to overcome such issues.
Thanks once again for the information!
Awesome post, I appreciate informational posts like this.thanks
Really, I think the title should be – Can You Go the Distance with Content Marketing.” The problem most people run into is that their marketing plan is unsustainable. They have big plans to post content here, content there and it just burns them out. It takes time to get results and by going full steam into it and not seeing results quite a few fledgling marketers drop out right before they have hit the sweet spot.
I think the trick is to come up with a content marketing plan that is where your intended audience is going to see it and speaks to their needs and able to be consistently produced over the long haul.
I have been attempting to elucidate the whole construct of content promoting done the correct thanks to my shoppers for a short while currently employing a consistent strategy
Great analogy. You are only hurting yourself and damaging your brand by taking content marketing shortcuts. Take the time to write quality content (or hire someone to do it) or don’t do it at all. Poor content is worse than no content.
Well hello Ruchi, as you rightly point out our content marketing plan needs to be focussed on the the needs and desires our prospects in the long term but balanced by getting to the point they are seeking quickly. No one wants to read a post that ends with “well that was the intro and come back next week for the point you were expecting…..”. Create the content and then consider whether you get to the point quick enough and then edit like a lunatic with a weed whacker.
Many content marketers focus on short-term goals by putting content on high traffic generating keywords. Others try to bank on their technical expertise, paying little attention to what is being published and what relevance does it hold.
Long distance content marketing, I would say, is about a vision to stay connected with the audiences. This can be done only when the content carries value and resonates with the expectations of the audiences.
Unless a post is not being talked about on the social networks or is liked by a significant number of members, followers, it may not hold any substantial value despite being informative.