The rise of quality content
The buzz around content marketing shows no sign of abating; but what really is generating this buzz? Is it a demand from clients for greater investment in something tangible? A revolt led by creatives against menial online tasks? Or simply the rebranding of SEO under a more appealing moniker? At this juncture, it’s a little bit of each.
To those with a history in marketing and advertising stretching back before the internet age, the shift of focus towards producing high-quality content is one that was well overdue. For content producers – be they writers, editors or designers – the digital environment has, until recently, placed weight and importance on measures anathema to their craft.
Finally, however, it appears that the industry is cottoning on to the tried and tested principles those Madison Avenue advertising giants espoused decades ago. Quality content that connects with the audience will always sell.
The view from here
As a seasoned copywriting with experience in print and digital environments, client investment in content is something that has been obvious from day one. While the need to technical SEO is intrinsic to the success of any website, it has been apparent that many SEO agencies were following misguided practices and utilising black-hat techniques. How do we know this? Google. The Panda and Penguin updates sent shockwaves through the SEO industry, with many agencies quickly trying to align themselves to the next money-spinning venture in digital: content marketing.
A victory for common sense
A lot can be said for common sense. In marketing, it pays to regularly take a step back and assess precisely where – as an organisation, a brand, and as individuals – you stand. By doing so, you are able to see where your position within your industry and how – if at all – you need to evolve. Coupled with clear objectives, you can tailor you content marketing plan accordingly. No more should you be investing in shady techniques which suggest buying links and syndicated articles to directories; you should embrace common sense and develop content that serves a purpose.
Think like a customer
If you’re a company that is looking to sell a product, being able to think like your customer is of unparalleled importance. Putting yourself in their shoes can help you plan your content strategy and website copy far in advance.
There is a dangerous trend that clients need to be aware. Many agencies that, in years past, have been labelled ‘SEO experts’ are riding the coattails of those with a genuine expertise in the production of exceptional content. While that’s not to denigrate the importance of SEO, nor deny the undisputed link between content and search engine optimisation, the dichotomy of the disciplines is, and will remain, great.
Before spending your marketing budgets following an eye-catching sales pitch, embrace common sense and determine where you are, and where you need to be. The message you’re sending to your audience needs to be a message they understand and a message that is relevant. The content on your website is your direct link to your customer, so be sure what that you’re creating is what they want.