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Content is king… Long live the king!
April 23, 2012
By Lauren Spencer, Dances with Schnauzers
“Content is king” has long been a popular concept among online marketers, but what you may not realize is that the phrase was first coined by Bill Gates (of Microsoft fame) in an article from 1996. You can read it here. In this article Gates states that in order to attract and engage online audiences “they must be rewarded with deep and extremely up-to-date information that they can explore at will.” This is so very true, but what Mr. Gates failed to predict more than a decade ago is the fact that the type and quality of the content is what drives traffic.
High quality content will push your website higher in search engine rankings and will keep it there more effectively than PPC advertising campaigns or blindly cramming your copy full of keywords and phrases. Search engines have become more sophisticated–assessing factors such as time spent viewing pages, click throughs, bounce rates, shares, and likes to determine SEO ranking. As these search bots index your site, your ultimate goal should be becoming “the authority” on your area of business. When your site is indexed for long enough that search engines deem it an authoritative and trustworthy source of relevant information, it will climb the rankings and stay there.
In a survey conducted by HiveFire in the summer of 2011, it was discovered that a majority of marketing professionals are retreating from traditional marketing tactics such as search marketing and have made content marketing the most-used tactic in their brand-enhancing tool box. Content marketing is, simply put, the creation and publication of original content for the purpose of generating leads, enhancing a brand’s visibility, and putting the company’s subject matter expertise on display. This can include blog posts, newsroom updates, case studies, white papers, or videos and photos. The survey also revealed that “content curation” — which is defined as the process of finding, organizing and sharing content — continues to gain strength as a top marketing strategy. Done right, content curation can help you serve as a valuable resource to your audiences.
From social media posts to blog conversations, marketing paradigms have shifted from traditional push marketing, in which potential customers are handed static sales messages, to content marketing, in which potential customers are provided with subtly branded information, community and entertainment.
When producing content, consider the following key factors:
- Provide original content or information, original reporting, research or analysis.
- Content needs quality control.
- Content should provide complete and comprehensive coverage of the topic.
- The content should be something you’d want to share, recommend or bookmark (FYI: Search engines are starting to factor in social signals like Google’s “+1″ and Facebook likes).
Click on “The Content Marketing Explosion” infographic (on the right) to learn just how important content marketing has become.
Another awesome infographic to check out is “Why Content For SEO” which explores how content is key to search engine visibility.
So, are you a member of the monarchy or the masses? What kind of content are you creating and publishing? Share in the comments section below.
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