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What is Content Marketing, and Why is it Important?

Updated: Jun 5, 2020

What is Content Marketing, and Why is it Important for a Company?

Content Marketing is any form of content that answers a question or a problem (organically) from an end user or consumer. For example, when you want to know the average cost to install a solar panel in Colorado, you may go to Google and type that very question into your Google Search bar: “What is the cost to install a solar panel at home?” It may even be more simplified than that, such as, “the cost to install a solar panel”

What Google returns to you is called SERP (Search Engine Results Pages), aka the best, most relevant article answers it pulls from the web (and sometimes ads targeted to that very specific subject with keywords). The content it pulls is based on how well the article is Search Engine Optimized (SEO).

What most consumers prefer to click on for immediate answers, however, is organic results meaning: content that is not pushed through Google Ads. Why? Because consumers trust and prefer relevant, organic information over paid ads. This is where content marketing shows up, speaks to your target audience, adds value and places you as an authoritative website or blog.

This slideshow graphic created for Instagram Stories is an example of Content Marketing:

Types of Content Marketing

What are some examples of content marketing?

· Blogs

· Press Releases

· Infographics

· Videos

· Quizzes

· White Papers

· Webinars

· Podcasts

· Newsletters

· Games

· Apps

· eBooks

· Entertaining Memes, GIFS, Graphics or Cartoons

Where Content Marketing Lives

· Websites

· Blogs

· App Stores

· Social Media (LinkedIn, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Instagram Stories, IGTV)

· YouTube

· Podcast Platforms

· Twitch

The Value of Content Marketing

  • Content Marketing is educational or entertaining. It adds value without asking for anything in return. This creates consumer trust, loyalty and brand awareness.

  • Content marketing aims to build relationships with your customers. It creates meaningful conversations.

  • Content Marketing sets you apart as an influencer, thought leader and authority in your industry. Content is king. Be the leader, not the follower.

  • Content Marketing is valuable for organic search results. Google prefers websites that are updated frequently and contain a lot of SEO-driven, valuable content. The value of a page 1 Google search result can be as much as $250,000 or more in organic ad value. In other words, if you earn the click and the traffic organically, that’s $250,000 you didn’t have to spend in Google Ads. (I did this for just one blog post from 2010-2016!)

  • Content Marketing helps to improve your conversions by laying the foundation of trust

  • Frequently published, SEO-optimized blogs will consistently land your posts on page 1 of Google (which is where you’ll earn the clicks and leads!)

How to Execute a Winning Content Marketing Strategy

1. To create successful Content Marketing results, consistency is key. 60% of marketers create at least one piece of content each day. (Source: eMarketer)

2. Become a leader. Year-over-year growth in unique site traffic is 7.8x higher for content marketing leaders (19.7%) compared to followers (2.5%). (Source: Aberdeen)

3. Content marketing focused blog posts allows your internal marketing team to monitor and provide the custom content your audience wants or is searching for and answer those questions quickly. Marketers do this with various tools such as Google Trends, Google Search Console, Trends, Keyword Research and social listening.

4. Provide consistent, value-driven blog posts surrounding well-researched subjects your consumers and partners are looking for.

5. Set your goals (more traffic, more followers, more community awareness, more support, more sales!)

6. Create your content based on the targeted audience for each goal

7. Create a content calendar and decide the best content types and channels to utilize

8. Measure the results and make adjustments where needed

Where Companies Can Win with Content Marketing

1. Check your traffic in Google Analytics. See where most of your traffic is coming from (Referrals), the Acquisition and what pages they are landing on.

As an example, traffic to this particular website in the full month of December was mostly organic with one paid article boost on Facebook. More than 42% of its organic traffic was from individuals searching for a job within the company. This isn’t a negative assessment, if the main goal is to hire candidates. But for most companies, leads and sales are the primary goal. The ‘Careers’ and ‘What We Do’ pages accounted for 42% of this website traffic. This means there is no targeted content marketing being done on this website to generate leads and customers.

2. Post more relevant, search engine optimized (SEO) blog content that speaks to your target audiences and answers questions or provides value to your end users.

Examples: ‘What is the Future of Clean Energy in Colorado? ‘Where Can Coal Miners Learn Renewable Energy?’ ‘The Positive Environmental Impact of Solar Energy.’

Bring the focus of your content to answering questions, providing valuable info to end consumers, educating, talking about the results you offer.

3. Post at least one new article per week is a good start, two per week is even better.

4. Use targeted keywords in your blog articles and on website pages

5. Adding more valuable content will offer more from your company and position your brand as a well-respected thought leader in your industry.

6. Internal or company-focused news articles, while valuable, may not always return any search results on Google. Since they are not designed with optimized, high value keywords, you may be missing out a great opportunity to earn that page 1 position, the click, or place your company as a leader. Post more customer-focused content that solves problems. Start with simple problems and work in layers. Build your content as a knowledge base in layers that are consumable for customers who already know about your subject, products and/or services, as well as beginners.

How Google Search Works

When users search a keyword, they get their results from their query on a search engine results page (SERP). Those results can include a paid advertisement which targeted that keyword. If you aren’t using keywords people are searching for, the likelihood of that article ever being found is slim. This is where Google Ads come in to boost articles and pages that aren’t Search Engine Optimized or indexed yet.

What We Learn and Accomplish by Running Google Ads

  • By running Google Ads, you are able to reach a targeted audience who would otherwise not know about your company, news, progress, mission or services.

  • We gain insight to important keywords our audiences are searching for that we can later use to create valuable content. This content can live on our website in the form of blog posts. Having blog articles our audience is searching for gives us authority, builds trust and creates relationships

  • We learn what works, and what doesn’t

  • We gain valuable audience insights and demographics

  • Increase brand awareness

  • Faster results than organic SEO

  • Outrank competitor ads

  • Influence your audience

  • Increase ad visibility to high-quality audiences

  • Create campaign strategies based on users' demographics

  • Schedule ads to reach the audience at the right times

  • Promote a specific campaign to reach more than we could organically

In the last week, this company went from appx. 5,700 visitors per week on their website to over 35,000 with the use of Google Ads, YouTube and Facebook Ads:

January 1-8, 2020 website traffic

January 8-20, 2020 website traffic

Because of Google Ads, we were able to reach more of their target audience for an ad campaign. As of today, this company is on target to reach over 2 Million in just their regional area for a 2-month campaign, with a weekly spend of about $700.

However, with more SEO-driven content marketing, we can consistently reach more organic, targeted traffic in the future—without spending anything!

This is the beauty and value of Content Marketing and SEO optimization.

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