Daniel Burstein

Content Marketing and SEO: The world doesn’t need another blog post

February 23rd, 2012

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.


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“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 …


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… 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…


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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.”


Related Resources:

Content Marketing: Focus on value, not length

Content Marketing: Case studies are stories — so be a storyteller

Content Marketing: Videos attract 300% more traffic and nurture leads

Daniel Burstein

About Daniel Burstein

Daniel Burstein, Senior Director of Editorial Content, MECLABS. Daniel oversees all content and marketing coming from the MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa brands while helping to shape the editorial direction for MECLABS – digging for actionable information while serving as an advocate for the audience. Daniel is also a speaker and moderator at live events and on webinars. Previously, he was the main writer powering MarketingExperiments publishing engine – from Web clinics to Research Journals to the blog. Prior to joining the team, Daniel was Vice President of MindPulse Communications – a boutique communications consultancy specializing in IT clients such as IBM, VMware, and BEA Systems. Daniel has 18 years of experience in copywriting, editing, internal communications, sales enablement and field marketing communications.

Categories: Search Marketing Tags: , , , , ,

  1. February 24th, 2012 at 02:02 | #1

    Great tips! I totally agree with your line “rather than focus on being interesting, be interested.” In today’s market if you have an online business you need to be listening to your potential consumers. Find out where they are, hang out or chat and develop a dialog. Determine their concerns, problems, hopes and wants and create a solution to solve them. Have something to offer them on your site that’s of value to them and free. If you listen and follow through with your potential consumers putting their needs first, you will start an interaction that will lead to attention and over time trust. The Henry Ford days of manufacturing-oriented marketing are over today it’s consumer oriented, just listen!

  2. February 24th, 2012 at 11:12 | #2

    Thanks for the comment Cheryl. And funny you use that Henry Ford analogy, I’ve used it as well myself. Great minds think alike… Social Media and the CEO: Does Twitter know more than Henry Ford?

  3. February 28th, 2012 at 14:26 | #3

    Thank you Daniel for helping to make sense of the information about content management. I keep reading and listening and there are days when it escapes me. The way you presented the report and the other ideas clicked for me. It did not overload my senses which gave me a great example of how to present on my blogs.

    Again thank you. Posted the story to my blog with the link to this page. 🙂

  4. February 28th, 2012 at 20:45 | #4

    Interesting that the way a copywriter begins a good story is to “remind of pain” and/or “hint of pleasure” — the same 2 elements you’ve listed for good content.

    Another reminder that content is nothing without: 1) a logical plan behind it (based on delivering what each Buyer Persona needs at each Buying Stage), and 2) a great copywriter to create compelling content.

  5. March 2nd, 2012 at 22:49 | #5

    This is a great post! Absolutely agree that people are too focused on the medium/channel rather than the message and value of what is being posted.

  6. March 20th, 2013 at 22:00 | #6

    Have you ever considered writing an e-book or guest authoring on other websites?
    I have a blog centered on the same information you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information.
    I know my audience would appreciate your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free
    to shoot me an email.

  7. August 4th, 2013 at 05:04 | #7

    this post is really great

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