The content naysayers are everywhere!
Nobody reads my blog...
I don't see how this helps my business...
This has no positive impact on my bottom line...
This is a waste of time...If your company approaches content marketing with a "let's give a try and see what happens" attitude, it will most surely fail. Worse yet, it can leave a bad impression on your site visitors.
If you don't believe me, next time you're researching a company website, inspect their blog (assuming they have one). In less than 15 seconds, a company's blog will tell you if they take content marketing seriously, somewhat seriously, or not seriously at all.
SERIOUS: When a business does content marketing really well, you'll find yourself engaged with their blog articles and website copy because it's providing value to you. It's solving YOUR problems and answering questions YOU may have. Their content establishes them as experts in their field. They're also building trust with you and ultimately earning your business too. It's not about them, it's about YOU.
SOMEWHAT SERIOUS: If a business doesn't have the resources to blog on a weekly basis, but maybe once or twice per month, their strategy is still better than doing nothing at all. As long as the content offers value in the same way mentioned above, the site visitor will probably return to their website and view that business as a viable resource.
NOT SERIOUS: If a business makes an inconsistent effort and produces content of little value, it will very obvious to their site visitors. "Selling and bragging," about themselves doesn't work and is mostly annoying and offensive. Also, if your last article was from August of 2014, your blog may scream out...
SOMEONE TOLD US WE SHOULD BLOG. WE DIDN'T SEE ANY IMMEDIATE RETURN. SO AFTER 4 MONTHS OF HALF-ASSED EFFORT, WE DECIDED TO STOP. WE ARE MORE CONCERNED WITH TRYING TO SELL YOU OUR STUFF, THAN TO GAIN YOUR TRUST BY PROVIDING YOU WITH CONTENT THAT SOLVES YOUR PROBLEMS. WE ARE ALSO SHORT-SIGHTED AND WILL MOST LIKELY TREAT YOU THIS WAY IF YOU DO BUSINESS WITH US.
Businesses need to be more self-aware about how their online presence is perceived. They need to stop selling and start providing visitors something of tangible value that keeps them coming back for more. Additionally, content in the form of offers, can be exchanged for contact information thereby converting site visitors into leads. This is when content marketing becomes a measurable strategy.
Guess "Who" Else Notices Your Content?
Your site visitors aren't the only ones paying close attention to the content you publish. There is a much more critical entity you should be concerned with.
Google knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake. Yep, I just compared Google to Santa Claus. But it's true. If you deploy a website, Google is crawling and indexing all of the content you've put online.
The primary job of Google's algorithms is to define, recognize and focus on serving the best possible search results for site visitors.
Google makes the rules! Google knows if you're adhering to best practices and producing killer content that people will love. If you publish consistent, quality content, it will reward you by serving up your website more frequently in search results.
Google also knows if you're keyword stuffing, buying links, publishing duplicate content, or doing anything else it deems worthy of downgrading your website for. If your content is low quality, poorly formatted or published infrequently, Google will penalize you.
Next time someone in your company snubs their nose at the importance of doing content marketing properly, remind them that Google is watching their every move.
Build Content For The Long Term
I love this list written by Julia McCoy in her article "Your Business Needs Long-Term Content Strategy," published in Search Engine Journal last summer.
10 B.S.-Free Reasons Long-Term Content Strategy is Better
- It’s a Better Use of Your Money and Resources
- Long-Term Content Makes Readers Think
- Content Changes All the Time
- Long-Term Content is Synonymous With Cornerstone Content
- Long-Term Content Doesn’t Turn Off With a Hard Sell
- Long-Term Content Strategy is an Effective Way to Approach Current Events
- Long-Term Content Promotes Itself
- Long-Term Content is Good Content
- Long-Term Content is an Effective Way to Build an Audience
- Long-Term Content is Best for SEO
The details for this list can be found here.
So Why Is Content Marketing Important?
- Content drives traffic to your website
- It makes your brand stand out from your competition
- Content establishes authority that you and your firm are experts in your field
- Quality content sets the stage for converting site visitors into warm leads
- Fresh content provides ongoing, long-term benefits to keep your company relevant
- Google and your customers will reward you for quality and consistency
It's important to know there is a right way and a wrong way to publish content. Learn how to do it properly and you'll have sustainable marketing assets that will help grow and establish you and your company as experts in your field. Be consistent and remember, it's not just your audience that is expecting quality content from you...