What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is the creation and sharing of original media and publishing content aimed at acquiring and enlarging customer base by providing valuable and entertaining content. It’s widely gaining acceptance and usage as a crucial marketing method. As per Content Marketing Institute, over 85% of marketers are now using it due to its effectiveness.

Content marketing is informative published content in an online environment that can be images, infographics, blogs, YouTube videos etc. It also involves utilization of keywords to develop content, ensuring website’s visibility. The wealth of content creation methods available means a business is only limited by its imagination. Fortunately, businesses can outsource content creation to creative personalities who, if the internet is anything to go by, are an endless commodity.

What are its benefits?

First, this method is informative. Consumers tend to listen more closely when you aren’t asking them for money or hyping product.  By providing relevant and valuable information you develop a unique relationship with your clientele. This builds customer equity, trust and loyalty.

Secondly, it is neither intrusive nor distracting as conventional advertising is; a survey showed that conventional online advertising is disliked for being distracting, non-engaging and for fear of spam and viruses. Good content is engaging and entertaining; people will trust and like businesses they identify with.

Thirdly, a simple cost benefit analysis shows that content is cheap and easy to create and share as opposed to conventional ad-spaces; simply put, you get more bang for your buck. This effectiveness has huge corporations out of their corporate castles engaging the consumer at his level – and he is responding.

Fourth, most people when making business decisions prefer to rely on informative articles rather than advertising puffery. By engaging in content marketing they are better informed and educated about the product/business. They then are likely to become clients, forming fierce brand loyalty.

Lastly, proper content marketing utilizes keywords and tags to ensure wide and effective reach. This boosts visibility to potential customers and uses existing customers’ equity to reel in new business.

How to do it most effectively?

Study your target audience in order to develop a strategy for effective communication.  Guarantee the highest standards, creativity and variety by hiring a professional. Insure content is informative and entertaining and mirrors the business’s attitude and goals. Last step is ensuring that the content reaches the targets through social media channels.

Main Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

 Without a doubt, Internet Marketing is at the centre of any successful business. There are few marketing options that can be said to have the same success and efficiency as that provided by Internet Marketing. However, not all Internet Marketers are successful. The secret to successful marketing lies within the methods used. To achieve this success, every serious marketer has to understand the dos and don’ts of the trade.

 3 Dos

 1.       Provide quality content

 Although this may sound like a no-brainer, it is just what you need. Consistent uploading of quality content onto your website will always win you new readers and you stand no risk of losing your old traffic either. Do thorough research and only upload content that adds value to your readers. While you are at it, make sure you only have content that is relevant to your niche. Trust you me, you do not want to attract the wrong type of traffic. At the end of the day, you need meaningful traffic that easily transforms to potential customers.

 2.       Website Design

Design sells! Your website design matters. Check out some successful websites like those of Apple, Nike, and Pintrest. One thing they have in common is that their designs are stunning! This is no coincidence. A company like Nike though primarily dealing in shoes, has obviously invested significantly in website design. You do not need to procure a very expensive website. Just find a good web designer who will create a good looking and easy to navigate website.

3.       Go Mobile

With over 1 billion Smartphone users, there is no reason why you should not maximize on the business opportunity created by mobile users. It is clear that many people nowadays prefer conducting their business on the go. There are hundreds of Apps being developed every day and investing in them will see your business grow.

3 Don’ts

 1.       Avoid Duplicating Content

 To avoid being punished by Google, just keep your content fresh, entertaining, and informative. Last year (2012), many websites fell victim to the algorithm update that saw sites with duplicated content fall in rank. To keep your visitors, provide them with regular fresh content.

 2.       Don’t ignore Social Media

One bad word about your product can completely ruin your reputation. Online, word spreads like wildfire. Intel once made this mistake, ignoring a review from one of their customers about a flawed Pentium chip. This dissatisfaction quickly became the topic in social media circles and technically boiled over to any other forum on the Internet. This in the end forced Intel to make a recall. The lesson here is, always listen to your customers and quickly respond to any concerns/issues they might have regarding your product(s).

3.       Don’t be Rigid

When it comes to Internet Marketing, nothing is cast in stone. What works today might not work tomorrow. For instance, a decade ago, knowing how to manipulate the metatags would have easily won you a top page ranking. That quickly changed when keywords started being used. Today, the type of backlinks a site gets, highly contributes to its ranking. So, the bottom line is, be open minded and flexible. Flow with the river and expect changes. Do not rely on “what always worked”.

 These days everybody is generating online Internet marketing content. It would be a good thing, if only the content actually had any relevance or importance to our lives. Sadly, most of it is so useless that people have learnt to tune out everything, even the good stuff. The Internet marketplace has become of helluva noisy environment. As a result, people have become highly selective of the stuff they consume and bombarding them with information no longer works. Breaking through to the niche audience for marketers has become tougher- tougher than most marketers fully realize. Content marketing is one way of breaking through.

What is content marketing? Content marketing is nothing as complicated as rocket science, but it does have its complexities. There is lots of dynamism but if you start doing the same thing on this platform every day, there is the danger of the monotony sending you into autopilot. You start to forget about some of the small components that keep the content marketing engine running. The result- your strategy becomes a flop.

This is a mistake even the expert marketers find themselves doing. Some blunders can be so huge that there is total outrage amongst your audience, and some are so subtle that you don’t even notice you missed great business opportunities. Avoid making any of the following three strategies, otherwise you’ll be staring in the jeering face of failure.

1.      Making your Content Strategy just Another Ad

There’s no debating that content marketing is an advertisement method. However, it is very different in format, engagement and results from traditional advertising. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to create it as if it is your regular ad by forgetting your medium. Your content is not like a newspaper ad, television commercial or mailbox circular that advertisers air or send out and then cross their fingers hoping for a boosted end-year sales figure to justify all their expenses and time.

With content marketing, the results have immediacy. Your analytics will show you the page views, social metrics will show you the tweets, shares or likes garnered, social media monitoring tools will show you the total retweets, and comments will give you the customers’ feedback. All these formulae and metrics will only give you returns that are worth your investment when you give your audience something they want, need, and are willing to share.

2. Throwing in “Social Media” to Make Content Shareable

The social media is an undeniable powerhouse in the Internet marketing arena, what with its ability to draw up to a billion users. Marketers are trying to capitalize on the popularity of such networks as Twitter, Facebook and Diggy by creating content that their audience will like and want to share. When writing your posts, you don’t mention social media in the title and a couple of times in the body then assume that because people are sharing it it’s a hit. They could be sharing it because of the sheer obtuseness you’ve displayed you are capable of!

You should aim at creating a sense of good will. Write something that evokes feelings in your readers, such as something surprising, fun, interesting, educational or even infuriating, and they’ll be the ones looking for those sharing widgets on your web page.

3.  Targeting the Wrong Niche

It’s all too easy and common to target the wrong audience, especially as many people first create the product and then start trying to identify a way to sell it. You may get those Facebook shares and Twitter retweets you were hoping for, but this is insignificant if your audience does not do what your website wants them to do. Therefore, save the metrics for conference presentation and corporate blogs, and focus on influencing the decisions of your audience to buy, subscribe, or do whatever else they should do.

The thing is, keep your wits about you when considering a how to content marketing strategy to avoid any blunders. Wise up and learn to target your content by giving it both relevance and quality, and no matter how tempting it gets keep off the rampant fixation on quantity and coverage. Make your content effective not ineffectual, else all your money and time invested will be a waste.

How to Effectively Use Content Marketing Solely For Seo

Just some few days past, news of a Penguin Update that will simply wreck havoc in SEO hit the airwaves. Matt Cutts announced that as the month progresses, a Google Penguin update will be coming, set to be the most felt update of the year. The algorithm is all about penalizing websites that abuse link networks by using high volumes of low quality links. This comes in the wake of a Russian link network that Google recently targeted for being abused for SEO purposes.

SEOs are now living in fear. Many have been optimizing websites with anchor texts laden with keywords, so now they face the likelihood of these websites being penalized or dropping in rankings once Google releases the algorithm update.

What Steps to Take to Prepare for 2014 SEO Updates?

  1. Stop using automated link building software. If this is how you have been controlling your domain, stop doing so immediately. According to GMG SEO’s Mr. Isaac, you must conduct SEO by personally taking charge of every element of your domain. You really have a poor business practice if you can allow some software to heighten the chances of your website being penalized.
  2.  Stop using keyword-rich and focused anchor text. Whenever website owners conduct their own link building, most tend to be inclined towards the anchor texts. Penguin algorithm is designed to weed out such websites. A quality website has the anchor text for most of its backlinks featuring the brand name or URL.

Your backlinks are actually what the big G uses to determine how much of an authority you are in your niche. If you take a look at YouTube and Facebook, you will clearly notice the format discussed is the one they follow in a majority of their links. The content that surrounds your link is the key determinant of ranking for your site. Therefore, take note and implement the necessary changes to what you consider your best SEO practices ASAP.

Warning:

Any signs of altering link ratios can appear unnatural to Penguin and thus trigger a penalty. Maybe it’s a tad too late for your webmaster to do anything right now, but the year is long. And just so you know, there is a Panda Update that could hit any time.

Once done with the setting up of a website, you should now think about how the major search engines view your site. Forget about testing for Firefox, Explorer, Safari, and Chrome. Search engines are actually the ordinary browsers everybody uses. Fortunately, search engine optimization or SEO does not refer to any terrible design or some mysterious black magic. Rather, they are good and sensible things you should do to please both human visitors and search engines. Here are all time tips about SEO to help you rank better on major search engine giants – Google and Bing.

Words – Each word posted on your site counts. You should create content for humans rather than search engines. The site content must be relevant to the niche of your site. Do not even attempt keyword stuffing. Low quality content and keyword stuffing are the best way to attract a huge penalty from Google, which includes being blacklisted. To avoid such a mishap, find the right keywords for your site; you can use either the Bing keyword tool or the Google Adwords keyword tool.

Links – This is another element that distinguishes boys from men in the SEO industry. The best way to make search engines ‘smile’ at your site is to integrate in some links from other sites. Google and Bing will approve your web pages, as they will see the links as a recommendation for important information. Of course, include reputable links. Moreover, pay attention to the words used in links. To win the approval of search engines, you need to have well-spread, relevant keywords in your content.

Tags – This refers to those special tags that you may add to the webpage’s head section that search engines read. Meta tags are the best way for webmasters to offer search engines with information relevant to their sites. With the meta tags, you can provide relevant information to all kinds of clients. Do not skimp on the meta tags. If you want to see long-term fruits on your site, spend more time working on these tags.

Reputation – To earn a good reputation, post fresh, unique and relevant content to your site regularly. Additionally, include quality, incoming links from several reputable sites. The regular flow of content will signal the search engines’ bots and spiders to come running and look at your site. With great content, your site will definitely be on its way to better ranking.

Implement these SEO tips, and start experiencing a huge difference in your online business. Find more tips about SEO here.