Content Marketing and SEO: The world doesn’t need another blog post
What is the most powerful way to improve your search engine optimization?
“Content creation works the best, but takes the most work,” Kaci Bower, Research Analyst, MECLABS, said. Take a look at the data from Kaci’s research in the MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO Edition.
“Content creation stands apart in the cluster of tactics, both for its difficulty and its effectiveness. Good content creates buzz and attracts links,” Kaci said. “For this reason, marketers who commit to the effort required in creating quality content can improve their SEO positions.”
So what makes good and effective content?
This is one of the most common questions I’m asked by marketers. Keep in mind, mine is a skewed sample. If I made plumbing fixtures, I would probably always get asked, “What makes good and effective plumbing fixtures?”
So I was very interested by Kaci’s data that, yes, marketers really do struggle with this. I’ve noticed that, when they become aware of this opportunity, marketers tend to fall in the same common trap — they focus on things, like blog posts or Facebook pages.
Instead, let me suggest you …
Focus on the message, not the medium
Blog posts, webpages, webinars, whitepapers … these are mere vessels. No one cares about your blog post. Or your webinar. Just like, in the days of traditional marketing, they didn’t care about your print ad.
So, if you’re just churning out content without focusing on customer value, then you’re just adding to the cacophony of modern-day marketing.
The world doesn’t need another blog post. Or another ad. I’m sure you’ve seen the statistics, your customers are exposed to four quadrillion marketing messages every day (trust me, I counted). But here’s what your customers, and the world, are really looking for …
Every customer wants only 2 things from your content
When you step back from the medium and focus on the message, it actually gets quite simple. Every customer really only wants two things from your content:
- Help overcoming something negative
- Help achieving something positive
You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Customers want to drive in a convertible with leather seats. Sip a warm latte on a crisp autumn morning. Wander down the beach, holding hands with their soulmate.
Here are some examples to get your creative juices flowing and help you create your own content …
- Share photos – The brand journalists at Beautylish showcase razzle-dazzle eyes with shimmering glitter
- Share videos and e-books on Facebook – The videos tab on the Centerpointe Research Institute Facebook page garnered 32,922 views when the team shared information to help its audience meditate
- Create a mobile app – Like the Calgary Flames, who created a fan app that was downloaded tens of thousands of times
… and eliminate the negative
And, of course, people have pain points. Their back hurts. Their whites aren’t quite white enough. Or they can’t send automatic (triggered) emails.
Here are a few examples of how you can create content to help these people…
- Create a tool – Like the ESPinator from ClickMail Marketing, which helps email marketers choose an ESP that helps them best fit their needs
- Produce edu-tainment videos – Orabrush gained more than 35 million YouTube channel views by teaching customers how to avoid bad breath (in a fun way, of course)
- Publish a quarterly trend report – Commtouch’s reports about the latest Internet security threats helped the company increase media coverage by 261%
And stay focused on your audience
But whatever you do … keep the focus on what’s valuable to your audience, not your marketing department. As Brian Carroll has said, “Rather than focus on being interesting, be interested.”