Written by: Caitie Parten
Let’s start with the basics. Search engine optimization (SEO), according to Hubspot, refers to techniques that help your website rank higher in organic (or “natural”) search results, thus making your website more visible to people who are looking for your product or service via search engines. Everyone in marketing knows that SEO is important for ensuring that your product or service is ranked high enough to create traffic to your website.
However, it gets a little deeper than that. SEO is part of the broader topic of Search Engine Marketing (SEM), a term used to describe all marketing strategies for search. SEM entails both organic and paid search. With paid search, you can pay to list your website on a search engine so that your website shows up when someone types in a specific keyword or phrase. Organic and paid listings both appear on the search engine, but they are displayed in different locations on the page.
So, why is it important for your business’ website to be listed on search engines? On Google alone,there are over 694,000 searches conducted every second. Every single second! Woah, that’s a lot of searches! Think about it. Every second that your website is not indexed on Google, you are potentially missing out on hundreds, if not thousands of opportunities for someone to visit your website, read your content, and potentially buy your product or service.
Before jumping onto the bandwagon that content marketing is just another cost, however, understand that Americans spend over 10 hours a day consuming content across media platforms, according to a recent Content Marketing Institute article. To reach your target audience, it’s critical to be where they are. Creating content across a variety of media formats that are integrated into an overall marketing plan can efficiently meet a range of prospect and customer needs while eliminating duplicate efforts and reducing costs.
It’s difficult to estimate specific cost reductions content marketing can bring to your company because every company’s structures and spending habits differ. However, here are examples compliments of Content Marketing Institute that show how content marketing provides lower cost alternatives:
Regardless of where your content appears, it supports your branding efforts, often with lower creation costs and lower media costs. To this end, it’s important to have branding guidelines and integrate your content marketing needs and plans with your branding initiatives.
EXPANDS AUDIENCE FOR YOUR OFFERING
Whether your content marketing appears on your internal media, third-party media sites or social media sites, it extends your potential market reach. Even better, it can be enhanced with the use of social sharing to yield earned media impressions. Of course, this strategy yields the greatest savings when the content is self-hosted since it reduces the cost of third-party media.
SUPPORTS PURCHASE PROCESS
Wherever they buy, most consumers do some form of online research before purchasing. Detailed product information, instructions and related content give customers answers they’re seeking to make a decision. If you don’t provide this information, your competitors will.
AIDS SEARCH OPTIMIZATION
Keyword-rich content marketing such as expanded product descriptions, FAQs, blog posts, photographs and videos with related descriptions is an integral part of most search marketing plans.
Support your best customers by giving them additional ways to interact with your product. Options include providing more information about your products that have an understated selling message.
LEVERAGE CUSTOMER-GENERATED CONTENT
To enhance the authenticity of your content, add customer-created content. Since only a very tiny percentage of consumers participate, use formats that require limited customer input while also limiting potential negative feedback.
Examples include customer galleries for photogenic products like travels and scrapbooking and customer reviews that can leverage third-party technologies.
GIVES PR EFFORTS ADDITIONAL MEDIA ENTRY POINTS
By placing content on a variety of vehicles such as blogs, LinkedIn and Twitter, content marketing provides additional ways for journalists to contact your firm about a variety of topics.
Keep in mind SEO and content marketing strategies have changed significantly over the past 5 years and will continue to evolve significantly in the future. As the technology progresses, the opportunities to drive revenue through content marketing will likely continue to progress as well.
Are there other ways your company is using content marketing to drive leads, conversions, and ultimately revenue? We’d love to hear how your company or brand is finding success.
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