Topics: Content Marketing
Perception is reality, and content marketing is about directing how the world perceives your brand.
Every brand has a set of personality traits it wants to convey and a mission it wants to accomplish. That’s how a brand perceives itself. So in order to turn those internal perceptions into an external conversation, brands need to develop content that creates trust and builds SEO.
Before we launch into how to accomplish each of these things, remember the single-most important rule of content marketing strategy: Your audience comes first. When you solve their needs, give them value, and make your content worth the time they spent on it, they will invariably do the same for you. If you forget that and make your content all about you, then you’ve lost before you even begin.
So let’s dive in.
Quality content creates trust
The goals of quality content are to provide consistency, reliability, and individuality when readers find content related to both your brand and your product. Your audience needs to know that when they get content from you, they’re getting something they won’t get anywhere else; they need to know that it’s accurate as well as forward thinking; and they need to know that when they come, it will be there.
Content marketing is one of the best (read: cost-effective, targeted) ways to give your audience value before they purchase anything. It gives you the chance to show your audience how to put your products to use on a daily basis, and it solves problems for them. If you’re a clothing retailer, for example, create an infographic about how to pair colors or styles—especially the new line you’re introducing this season. If you’re a bike shop, show them how to do a tune-up; when they need a part, they know they can get it from you.
Anthropologie, a fashion-forward women’s retail chain, regularly uses their blog to post about ice cream sandwiches, tomato-water Bloody Marys, and other foods. And they do it simply because that’s what their audience is looking for. It’s part of the lifestyle that goes along with Anthropologie, even if you won’t find any blueberry hibiscus mojitos at one of their brick-and-mortar locations any time soon.
Content that educates, entertains, and explains how to remedy a problem will increase time on site and, with proper link building, encourage visitors to explore other pages on your site and make a purchase. By providing content that is useful, you demonstrate the value of your brand, site, and product and express interest in providing solutions to your customers without demanding anything in return.
Strategy increases SEO
Once upon a time, a marketer asked, “If a website goes live and no one is around to see it, was it worth the expense?” And thus search engine optimization was born.
SEO is key to content marketing strategy, because when people search for topics relevant to your organization and find you, you aren’t just gaining a visitor—you’re controlling the conversation and directing your industry. Sound lofty? That’s because it is, but that doesn’t change the fact that someone had a question and came to you to get the answer. Now they know that you have answers, and you become an authority and a go-to resource. That is perception. That is the power of content marketing.
It starts by addressing industry-relevant content. Find out what people want to know about, and create the content they want to find. Then, tell search engines that it’s there through sitemaps, meta tags, alt tags, meta descriptions, etc.
The user comes first
Even in “white hat” SEO, there’s a good side and a dark side. The good side is when SEO helps to improve the user experience—staying on topic, creating clear headlines, linking to other relevant content, and giving users access to the right information at the right time.
The dark side is when user experience gives way to keywords and quality yields to quantity in the hopes that something, anything will rank a few places higher on the SERP. But the point of SEO is not to “game” the algorithms that control what comes up; instead, quality SEO is about providing quality content and experiences. When you can do that, you stay out of the dark side and stay ahead of the ever-changing landscape of search engine optimization.
Contact Axis41 today to discover how our web marketing team can develop a strong content marketing and SEO strategy, tailored to your business to achieve your business goals.