At its most basic form, search engine optimization (SEO) revolves around a few pillars. One of these is content marketing.
This article will explore how SEO agencies utilize content marketing to improve their clients’ visibility online. Then it provides three solid tips to help you get the most out of your content marketing efforts.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is an online marketing approach with two parts:
- Content creation refers to developing original, high-quality content that is informative, educational, and entertaining. This content can take many forms, including blog posts, articles, infographics and videos. Paid ads, webinars and ebooks are newer types of online content.
- Content promotion is getting this content in front of your target audience through various channels. These include social media, email newsletters, search engines and press releases. The point is simple: attract and retain a targeted audience willing to buy your products and services.
Why Content Marketing Matters in SEO
A recent industry survey revealed that nearly all respondents said content was part of their overall online marketing tactic. In other words, more businesses are getting more aggressive with it. But why does it matter to most organizations today? Why should you care about it?
Content is a critical element in an effective SEO strategy. Here are the main reasons why:
- It helps you attract more website visitors. No other material attracts website visitors more than content. It’s just a matter of what type appeals to most of them. For example, most Americans prefer blogs over emails, while millions get information from social media. Content drives the most traffic online.
- Content marketing improves search engine rankings. Most ranking signals rely on content, preferably a compelling one. These include link-building strategies, user experience, domain authority and brand mentions.
- The right content increases authority and credibility. Content marketing can also impact SEO indirectly. First, you can use it to build your brand as the authority or expert in your niche. In turn, it boosts your popularity, increases trust, and, in turn, improves domain authority (DA). DA is a potent ranking factor since it tells you how well you can rank. Second, it makes you more relevant to your industry and, therefore, chosen keywords.
- It makes your SEO plan more successful. You want to meet your online marketing goals, whether it’s to generate sales or increase leads. Content marketing does both. A 2021 study suggested that the top performers grew their subscribers or audiences by over 70 percent and revenues by nearly 65 percent.
3 Essential Content Marketing Strategies SEO Agencies Use
For Marina Turea of Digital Authority Partners, the most effective content marketing strategies boil down to producing high-quality, valuable content that targets your audience and promotes your brand or product.
Of course, there’s more to it than that. Numerous details and factors come into play when putting together a content marketing strategy. But if you keep those two essential elements in mind, you’ll be well on your way to success.
With this in mind, SEO agencies usually start their content marketing plan with these three techniques:
Define the Target Audience
Defining the target audience is one of the most important parts of any content marketing strategy.
- Who are you trying to reach with your content?
- What are their needs and wants?
- How can you address them through your content?
- Where are they in the buyer’s journey?
If you don’t have a clear picture of your target audience, creating content that resonates with them will be very difficult.
SEO agencies take the time to research and define your target audience as clearly as possible. They:
- Use demographic information like age, gender, location, etc.
- Look at their interests and needs.
- Consider their pain points.
- Design a buyer’s persona.
- Conduct surveys, focus studies or interviews.
- Study your competition.
Set Content Marketing Goals
A content marketing strategy without goals is like a ship without a rudder—it will float aimlessly around until it eventually sinks. Without goals, you won’t be able to measure your progress or determine whether your efforts are successful.
But what exactly should you be aiming for? And how can you go about setting realistic objectives?
SEO firms define your objectives with these tactics:
- Think SMART. Your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART). In other words, they should be clearly defined and realistic.
- Align them with your overall business strategy. For example, they set a target for the number of social media followers or website visitors to attract if you want to increase brand awareness.
- Brainstorm with your team. SEO agencies talk to other departments in your company and get their input on the goals they would like to see from the content marketing strategy
Create Compelling Content
Only compelling content attracts the right audience and delivers the best results. But what specifically makes copy worth reading and sharing? It usually has the following elements:
- It’s original and fresh. While it can be tempting to regurgitate the same old information, your readers will quickly become bored if they don’t see anything new. Draw inspiration from your life experiences. Tap into current trends. Ask for input from others. Speak your brand to help you stay authentic.
- The best content is relevant to your target audience. Your content doesn’t have to matter to all, but it should for those in your target market. Use the buyer personas you’ve created to come up with topics that will resonate with them. Write about their needs, wants, and challenges.
- It is dynamic. It engages the senses and emotions of your readers. Use strong verbs, active voice verbs and rich imagery to tell a story that captivates your audience.
- The content is useful. It should educate, entertain or add value to your reader’s life. Ask yourself if your content will help them in some way. Back claims with new data.
Content marketing sounds easy, but it isn’t. You have to consider many factors to make it work. These include your target audience, your business goals, the type of content you create and how you will distribute it.
And these are a small part of the process. If you’re not sure where to start, consider working with an SEO agency that can help you develop a solid content marketing strategy. With their experience and expertise, they can give you the guidance and support you need to make your content marketing campaign a success.