What Is Content Marketing, Anyway?

Websites need a continuous influx of fresh website content to gain the attention of search engines, which deliver search results based on complex algorithms with a large number of ranking factors. Fresh content is a key ranking factor. But search engines have countless website pages to index. Even if you’re adding new content every week, your site may not be visited frequently enough to capture that content and serve it up in search results.

You can’t just wait around for Google to notice you. Some active marketing is needed.Content marketing offers a way to capitalize on and leverage your content to drive traffic to your website. The content can take a variety of forms: written media, such as blog posts, articles and website content; visual media like videos, images and infographics, and interactive media including webinars and other online learning opportunities.

How does content marketing work?

bridge connecting island to mainland

Content marketing creates bridges from your web presence to the outside world

Don’t let your website be an island. Content marketing creates bridges from your web presence to the outside world, distributing your information via email newsletters, social media posts, participation on industry forums and myriad other means.

By connecting with customers, clients and prospects where they spend time, you direct and expose those visitors to your expert content. Increased visits act as an accelerator to search engines, as website traffic is another factor in search algorithms.

How do I get started on content marketing?

Content marketing involves two general areas: creating the content, and distributing it. Both areas require ongoing commitment and discipline. Well-crafted content must be succinct, useful and impactful. While the intent can vary — to inform, entertain or enlighten — the quality of the content is essential. Creating that quality content may take a lot of time and energy; however, a cadence must still be established and adhered to. An editorial calendar offers a structure that can help facilitate the creation process to maintain cadence.

Distributing content is best achieved by a mix of automated and proactive methods. Examples of automated distribution are plug-ins which share new blog posts with subscribers, lead forms which enable download of specific items — such as an eBook — seamlessly, and widgets which allow visitors to subscribe to your email newsletter without your involvement.

In contrast, proactive content marketing involves deliberate and methodical use of external platforms such as email marketing, discussion boards and social media to share blog posts, promote events and drive visibility for website content. To maximize the exposure of every piece of valuable content, you must repurpose your posts in every conceivable way.

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