Before Panda and Penguin updates people were creating massive amounts of content to improve their search engine rankings. The 2012 updates from Google changed the game. Rankings disappeared overnight and businesses based on merely creating content for the purpose of getting higher search engine rankings were basically ruined.
It was also a year when content marketing evolved into a specialized profession. A glimpse of this E-Consultancy survey shows that over 90% companies recognize the overwhelming importance of content marketing. Coca-Cola, the biggest consumer brand in the world, has drawn out a 20-year content marketing strategy that is being considered as one of the most comprehensive paradigm shifts in the way brands are going to promote their products and services.
But no matter how mainstream it becomes, people are still confused about how to implement an effective content marketing strategy. Many still confuse it with creating and publishing lots of content. Of course you need content, but there is more to that.
In order to implement a successful content marketing strategy, you need to understand why people would look for your content. Why they would like to read or consume what you have published, but be it video, text or images? “Why” is very important. If you understand this “why”, 90% of your problem is solved.
If you are in the entertainment industry, then people access your content to get entertained. They may also access your content to know more about the people who entertain them (for instance, celebrities and players). If you are a news agency then people will access different categories of your content according to their interests such as politics, sports, industry, technology or science. If you are selling smart phones people want to know their various features and advantages over other smart phones.
Different people have different content needs and as a content marketer it’s your job to figure out what they’re looking for. Once you have sorted that out, you need to find out what format your target audience prefers, and tools and services your target audience uses in order to find the content it is looking for.
So content marketing doesn’t just involve publishing lots of content to improve your search engine rankings. It’s primary objectives are
- Finding out what content your audience is looking for
- Creating content that your audience is looking for
- Publishing relevant and topical content as the need arises
- Making that content available in a format your audience prefers
- Making that content scalable so that it is accessible across multiple devices and platforms
- Optimizing that content so that it is easier to find it on search engines
- Making it easier and attractive to share that content on social media and social networking websites
- Streamlining existing content and producing new content according to rapidly changing preferences of your audience
These may seem like lots of points, but whether you are a big business or small enterprise, in one way or another you can implement these points to drastically cut down your costs on conventional advertising.
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