Why You Are Not Doing Content Marketing But Should
At BrightEdge, we’ve seen content marketing and SEO work for thousands of high-growth businesses. Developing quality search optimized content helps improve email, social, newsletters, paid advertising and, of course, organic search. However creating good content that’s optimized for customers is not easy.
Despite the proven success of correctly optimized content and SEO, some businesses are still on the fence about content marketing. Some of our clients even say “no” or "not now" to both the BrightEdge Content platform and to the additional help from experienced strategists, writers, and SEO advisors we provide. We don’t take it personally. They didn’t reject us. Instead, they rejected content marketing as a strategy.
We’ve used these rejections and excuses to refine our product and our process to build a bullet-proof plan of action for jump-starting content marketing programs. Here’s how we’re addressing our leery clients’ concerns.
Excuse: There’s no explicit ROI for content marketing
Response: There are plenty of ways to measure content marketing ROI. We’ve seen our clients consistently double their organic traffic when they focus on building out quality content. True, it’s not always easy to attribute every visit or conversion to a specific piece of content, but there is plenty of evidence that this works, especially with the right goal measurement and attribution model. Beyond traffic, industry-wide, website conversion rate is nearly 6x higher for companies content marketing adopting than companies that don’t.
The Net: Content marketing more than earns its keep, and BrightEdge Content reporting can help you measure your actual ROI.
Excuse: I'm no writer
Response: Majoring in journalism is not a prerequisite for creating effective content. Consider outsourcing your ideas to your team or to freelance writers, dictating your content, curating and commenting on articles about your industry, or asking guests to blog for you. Outsourcing content makes sense early on to quickly get to a critical mass number of pages as you start to flex your own content creation muscle. Content also comes in more forms than blog posts and emails: videos, podcasts, and infographics are increasingly popular mediums for delivering relevant information to searchers.
The Net: You might be surprised how many quality writers you already have in your organization if you just start asking, but use outsourced professionals if necessary to give you that early momentum.
Excuse: There’s no place for content marketing in my marketing plan
Response: Content marketing doesn’t operate as its own independent channel. Instead, content is most effective when incorporated into your entire marketing strategy. For organic search discovery, search algorithms adapt to user behavior; user-focused content translates to better rankings. Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms also require landing pages to drive traffic to. Quality content pages can help deepen your social media followers’ connections. Even PPC campaigns benefit from optimized content: the content presented to users who click through on AdWords should match search intent. Content is also essential after acquiring qualified leads. And using email marketing to drive traffic to blog posts or other on-site content improves your customer acquisition efforts.
The Net: Content marketing will complement and amplify your SEO, social, PPC, and email campaigns.
Excuse: I can’t compete with the big guys for keywords
Response: You don’t have to compete with global corporations for keywords. Smaller businesses, for instance, have distinct advantages over large companies, including the opportunity to focus even more narrowly on their specific customers. Cater your content strategy with the long-tail keywords addressing the needs and queries of your audience. Get out in front of the so-called “domain authorities” with niche content driven by keywords that will resonate and rise above them.
The Net: A content strategy focused on long-tail keywords and niche content will allow you to optimize for the organic search of a high-value audience. Let the specific needs of your target customers inform your content strategy.
Excuse: My customers aren’t online/too few/prefer face-to-face
Response: B2B companies underestimate the ubiquity of connected devices and how much research is done via online searches. The average B2B buyer completes 57% of their purchase decision before engaging a sales rep—and that was 5 years ago. That said, most B2B marketers do understand the importance of smart content: 89% of B2B marketers are already using content marketing.
The Net: Quality content creates quality traffic which creates higher conversion yields.
Excuse: SEO and Content Marketing take too long to generate results
Response: Don’t assume your content needs to sit for months or years to prove its value. Yes, content marketing is a long-term strategy, but you can still achieve quick wins—bumps in traffic, better search rankings, additional revenue—with a few smart moves. We advise clients to publish 50+ pieces of optimized content, cross-link with internal pages, and adjust paid search campaigns to align with published content. Even the traffic to content from a daily Tweet or LinkedIn post can add up quickly.
The Net: Well optimized content can show results within weeks.
Excuse: Nobody likes “keyword-stuffed” content
Response: There is a distinct and important difference between smart, optimized content and webpages loaded with keywords intended to manipulate search ranking. SEO content is essentially user-optimized content focused on useful information with keywords used appropriately and in context. Keyword stuffing results in a poor user experience—and Google knows it. The Google search algorithm updates to penalize pages produced in a way that is not valuable for the user.
The Net: BrightEdge Content is a smart content marketing platform, enabling engaging, information-rich, and useful content. We’ve helped clients rank #1 in search for their targeted keywords, and not by keyword stuffing.