Content marketing. It’s a buzzword for sure and has been for the last decade or so since Google started changing the ranking algorithm and made quality content a big focus for digital marketers who wanted organic traffic. You may find yourself wondering about content marketing – what is it, and should I use it for my business?
Years ago, the quality of your website content didn’t matter and didn’t make much difference when it came to your Google rankings. You could rank a website at the top of Google’s Page 1 based on the number of links that you could get to that website and not much more.
But, Google knew that their customers (i.e., the searchers you want to reach through Google) weren’t being helped by this low-quality content. They weren’t getting the answers they needed, so Google started cracking down on it in the early 2010s.
Content Marketing has been around for decades, it’s not something new, but it became the darling of digital marketing after Google started penalizing websites for low-quality content and bad links. The tactics and strategies that worked to rank websites once no longer work (and haven’t for a long time).
Content is anything you create to be consumed by your audience. It can be a blog post, a video, a podcast, a social media post, etc. You’re creating something that your audience can learn from, be entertained by, etc.
Content Marketing is when you create content for marketing purposes but not overtly. One of the earliest examples of content marketing would be the magazines companies started to provide extra insights and value for their customers.
In today’s digital world, fewer print edition magazines are used for content marketing. Still, companies create digital video series, write blog posts, create YouTube videos, host podcast episodes, and more to entertain and inform their customers or prospects and remain top of mind.
Can small business owners, Realtors, course creators, and others use Content Marketing to grow their businesses?
I have seen content marketing work for all types of businesses, big and small, B to B, B to C, over the past decade. Content marketing feels less pushy and sales than some traditional marketing channels.
When you create content that your Ideal Customer needs and wants, it can help you sell more products, enroll more students, connect with potential Real Estate buyers and sellers. You can use content marketing to help move your Ideal Customer through the sales process and nurture them through the content you create for your website, blog, and social media.
I’ve seen the most success for companies that pair Content Marketing & SEO & Social Media and use all three together.
You want to use SEO (search engine optimization) as the base for your content strategy. You want to research and identify keyword opportunities for your business. Find keywords where you have a good chance of ranking on Page 1 in Google’s results. You want to make sure your website can rank for the keyword you use. If you’re unsure how to do this, I teach it in my SimpleSEO class. Learn more about it here.
Use your keyword research to craft content topics that will help your Ideal Customer. Make sure you’re answering their questions and providing value for them. Write a great website page, blog post, video script, and provide lots of value.
Finally, optimize your new piece of content for Google (if you’re not sure what to do, get my free SEO Quick Start Guide now, it walks you through everything you need to do) so that Google knows who it’s written for and shows it to more people.
Now, share your content on your Social Media channels to help get even more exposure. Social Media will help draw the first traffic to your post or website page. Your SEO work will drive long-term traffic to that post or page. SEO takes a while to work, but if you’ve created your content with SEO as the foundation of your strategy and chosen a keyword you can rank for and optimized your page or post correctly, it should start to rank, and those rankings could last for years to come.