Content Marketing and Search: Best Friends Forever?
The favoured content marketing has long-enjoyed its BFF relationship with search, revelling in the advantages brought by its well-connected friend. Search too, benefits from this mutual alliance, using content to bring credibility and authority to its operations. But is it time for content to spread its wings, promoting the variety of benefits it can bring and appealing to the masses?
Content builds an audience
Much has been speculated about the demise of print media and investigative journalism, especially in the wake of the phone hacking scandal. After all, more consumers are absorbing their news and blog content in an online world that provides easily-digestible information. The move of content from print to online has been described as nothing less than a revolution, with brands and publishers vying to get their content web-savvy.
Brands have an opportunity to be at the forefront of this change, by providing their audience with regular content updates, be that in the form of webinars, news or evergreen. Brands are experts in their industry and can provide consumers with authoritative information on a product or service. Such readily-updated information drives knowledge hungry consumers back to a website to learn more, putting the brand in the minds of the consumer.
Content drives PR
As well as building an audience of consumers, content attracts attention from the wider media. By creating the latest content on their industry, brands can generate interest from newspapers, trade magazines and industry blogs. Research pieces or infographics can particularly boost PR efforts, promoting citations and links.
Content feeds social media
Social media cannot be treated like something to dabble in when the time crops up. A good social strategy requires time, effort and a plethora of well-written content. By feeding all their content to social media, brands can broadcast and engage with their audience. Content encourages shares, retweets, follows and visits to a brand’s website, so it is worth pairing the broadcast element of content with the reach of social media.
Content generates sales
The role of the salesperson has changed dramatically in recent years – rather than be a font of sales patter and product knowledge, sales now have to listen to consumers, providing them with insight over sales pitches. They must publish neutral content to educate their audience, rather than simply prospect. Sales must also pay close attention to their competitors’ content, making sure that their content is one step ahead.
It may be a longer process than the hard-sell, but content nurtures consumers for the long-term, providing the highest quality leads to a business.
Yes really, content multiplies - like rabbits. One piece of content – a news article for example – can give inspiration to a factsheet, blog, tweet and whitepaper. As well as providing a time saving way to engage consumers, repurposing content allows a brand to stay on-trend in all their communications.
So whilst search is an important benefit of content marketing - boosting SERPs and web traffic to name but a few - it is just one of an array of tangible perks that content offers.
Content and SEO may have been BFF but search is going to have to learn to share its fashionable friend.