Brash ads and lowest price messaging often don’t hit the mark with small businesses’ potential customers. At the same time, many small businesses struggle against low-price online mega-retailers and big-box omnichannel retailers. Even business-to-business marketing is changing as information, price comparisons, and competitive services are a simple click away.
Content marketing is an antidote to this disadvantage—especially as Google search evolves.
Google algorithm emphasizes content quality in SEO rankings.
Content marketing or inbound marketing attracts prospects and transforms them into customers by sharing valuable problem-solving or educational content relevant to their business or consumer needs. It understands customer needs and emotions and aligns with new shopping behaviors, adding empathetic personal dimensions to traditional marketing.
These types of customer interactions enhance brand loyalty and build customer relationships and loyalty that result in a willingness to purchase products or services from your company.
However, content marketing is not about generating megabytes of information in blogs, white papers, case studies, and other similar content. Like any other business discipline, content marketing requires a strategy and a plan to implement measurable and trackable data that directly support business goals and objectives.
Content Marketing Critical for Strong SEO results
Google, the world’s leading search engine company, defines how its search works using algorithms that evaluate content with rankings indexed on the quality of content. Recent Google changes downplay fake and arbitrary backlinks in order to cull spam from searches despite strong click-bait keywords.
TheNextScoop.com, a Google watcher, reports that Google will increasingly deploy artificial-intelligence self-learning to emphasize user experience over ad monetization. Search engine results will easily weed out spam content, meaning that “technical SEO without any ‘soul’ in the content itself will likely be ranked lower than it is today.”
That means content that solves problems, helps people, and offers robust information resources will be highly prized by Google search.
Understand What the User Experiences
Content marketing can provide the quality content that addresses these concerns. Search Engine Journal offers this advice to help address Google’s “core updates” in how it ranks searches: Focus on user intent (what the customer is seeking on the buying journey) and quality content, along with clean website organization and following Google’s guidelines.
Content with a Purpose
Designing a content marketing strategy considers not just the product or service but also how it applies to specific buyer’s business and personal needs. Developed from a range of consumer insights, content marketing tells stories and builds narratives that readily connect with not only why your product solves the problem but also how it fits into what customers are going through, why they might need the solution for career or leadership concerns, how it supports accountability, or a host of other reasons. This relational aspect builds trust and respect because of how well you know your customers and what keeps them up at night—something a screaming ad can’t do.
Before You Start
Business owners and managers should assess internal strategies and goals before launching a content marketing scheme. Establishing foundational principles of goal and operations alignment, intimately knowing your customers, and focusing on customer needs and how they shop are critical steps to developing a solid content marketing strategy and plan.