As many marketing managers scramble to get their work done, many look for shortcuts. Companies are outsourcing writing, or even buying machine-generated content, to meet the demand. But how do you balance the time commitment for creating content and SEO with the need to connect with those reading it? How will you make your marketing more human?
Marketing technology is always on the cutting edge. Every time you login to LinkedIn, you read reports of new services, new products, and even new kinds of intelligence that are changing the world we live in and how we market our businesses.
Think of what’s changed in the last 2 years alone!
One of the latest trends is automating content production, with companies like Persado, Automated Insights, and Narrative Science taking customers and funding and promising that the content is just as good as any human could write.
Are we for automation here at Whittington Consulting? Yes and no. Careful marketing automation can be a huge time-saver and help your customers get the information they need to make purchasing decisions. Automating lead followup — done properly — can save your sales reps time while making sure that every lead gets communication.
Machine-generated content, on the other hand, or even content from content mills, is a whole different beast. In some cases, it can help with SEO, but it can also damage your relationship with customers once they click through to your website and discover content that lacks meaning and substance.
In addition to the risks associated with using automated content to represent your company, it also inspires a question that every company needs to consider regardless of where they source their content: how do we balance the technical needs of content and marketing (such as SEO) with the need to relate to people that you sell to?
Why Balance SEO With Readability?
The purpose of SEO content is to show up for relevant, common searches in hopes that people will visit your website. It signals to search engines that your website is full of rich, informative information for the person searching.
While keywords and context are vital components of the SEO process, they must be balanced with the fact that business does and always will come down to people, not search engines.
The purpose of social media marketing is to reach people where they are. The purpose of email marketing is to reach people in their inbox. The purpose of SEO is to reach people searching for answers.
Do you see where this is going?
All of your marketing should make connections with people that might have a need for what your company sells. The content you create and the marketing strategy you implement needs to be equally human to meet their needs. The technical side of marketing — HTML tags, mobile friendliness, Google algorithms and beyond — are only valuable insofar as they help you achieve the goal of having a human conversation with other humans.
Embracing the Heart of Marketing
Human marketing that meets the Internet’s technical standards for SEO is the ultimate goal. Prioritizing one of these things over the other by focusing only on communication or only on SEO will damage your message and your results.
At the end of the day, the purpose of your online presence is to connect with your customers on a personal level so that they trust that doing business with you is in their best interest. The right copy and the right graphics communicate that unique brand offering and help customers make that decision. If you ignore the human side of marketing communications, your message will fall flat when customers arrive at your website.