Content Q&A: ‘Why do I need content?’ and other commonly-asked questions
Content marketing is one of those things that most brands around the world know they need to invest in. Some are still struggling to see the point, though. As such, in my role as a content marketing specialist, I’m often faced with the same set of questions. These range from the basic ‘but why?’ queries, to those that go into a little more depth.
To provide a little more insight into the big bad world of content, here are answers to four of the most common queries I receive each week...
Why do I need content? How will it help support my SEO campaign?
There are a few simple yet crucial answers to this one, such as:
- Your website’s traffic and rankings could increase, as Google favours sites that publish high-quality, relevant and timely content on a regular basis. In fact, you could increase your visitor numbers by 55% by publishing a blog alone
- It positions your brand as an authority and a thought leader within your industry, eventually helping you become the go-to brand for your particular product or service and thereby generating conversions
- Becoming a publisher in your own right could boost your sales and profits, as over 70% of brands agree that publishing content boosts lead generation
- The quality of leads generated could rise too, as producing relevant content can help you target a niche audience
- Different types of content help you target prospects at varying stages of the buying cycle; helping to nurture your leads and, eventually, close the deal
- Your social strategy relies on the quality of the content you’re broadcasting, so by sharing valuable infographics, videos and features with your Facebook fans or Twitter followers, you could improve your chances of achieving social success
When will I see results?
As with anything remotely related to Google, estimating how long it will take after you begin publishing content to see results is tough. Google’s algorithms are constantly changing, so what goes one week won’t next week. There’s no way to beat its unpredictable nature unfortunately, so all you can do is ensure all content is unique and of a high quality.
Typically though, we recommend giving any new streams of content – be it news articles, features or videos – around three months to bed into the site. This is the sort of time Google needs to recognise your brand as a publisher in its own right. That’s not to say your rankings/traffic won’t increase as a result before this point, but do wait until this time to compile a full analytics of the content’s performance. This will give you the most truthful data regarding its real impact on your site.
Why do I need neutral content?
Perhaps the most common question I’m asked is: “Why do I need to publish non-promotional content?” The answer is this – your business prospects no longer want to be sold to. They want to be cuddled and loved; given a reason to choose you out of all the other brands on offer. Providing valuable, interesting and no-strings-attached content will really help you nurture your leads. Yes, PR has a place in your content strategy – but you must find a healthy balance.
Does my content belong to me?
You’d think that if you created content in house, it belongs to you. This is sometimes the case, but if you submit content to a guest blog, on behalf of your brand, you should read the fine print. Sometimes, the content will then be owned by the guest blog – even if you’ve put your name to it.
If you’ve outsourced your content creation to an agency, do check whether you’ll own the content with your contact before signing anything. Usually, once the content has been delivered to you, you will own it and therefore be able to use it as you see fit. If not, it might be worth considering a different supplier – you’ve paid for this content, so you should own it.