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Why content matters, and what steps go into content marketing

25 Mar

As we like to say, content is king when it comes to digital marketing (and search engine optimisation in particular). Just one question: what does good content look like?

Content is the cornerstone of any digital marketing strategy. It’s the engine that powers search engine optimisation, and plays a huge role in converting online visitors into paying customers.

Content marketing is a subset of digital marketing that overlaps heavily with SEO (which is why we offer it as a service), and which focuses on creating content that isn’t just optimised for search engines, but which is also geared towards making conversions.

And with recent changes to Google’s search algorithm, content marketing and SEO are virtually one and the same now!

As such, it’s pretty darn important that your content is done well – something that’s a lot easier said than done.

So, what does content marketing involve anyway?

What is website content marketing? Why website content is important

Content marketing isn’t just about creating content – it’s a thoroughly planned-out and strategy-driven process that takes into consideration your audience, what they want to know, what they need help with and what valuable information you can offer.

That can mean:

  • Answering customers’ questions
  • Keeping them updated on trends
  • Teaching then your “insider secrets”
  • Walking them through processes
  • Helping them make a purchase

It all depends on what you do, as well as what your customer finds relevant. For example, content marketing for a car dealership might include explaining the causes of specific engine faults.

Here’s a more specific example: this very blog post! Its goal is to teach you about content marketing, and the role it can play in your digital marketing and SEO strategies, while also building ourselves up.

Be it social media, YouTube, blogs or newsletters, content marketing isn’t about selling – it’s about educating and providing value in order to connect to your audience.

What are the benefits of content marketing?

Like we mentioned above, the focus of content marketing is informing, educating and providing value. It’s not about you, it’s about them.

And as such, it can be much more effective than other marketing methods in a number of ways:

  • Increased visibility
  • Establishes relationships
  • Builds credibility and trust
  • Generates web traffic

Think of it as a branding exercise – while it may not directly lead to sales, it can certainly help improve your organisation’s reputation and image, making it a lot easier to generate leads in the future.

Moreover, content marketing also plays a key role in getting SEO results.

What is the core benefit of content marketing? How content marketing improves SEO

Instead of relying on reading how often keywords pop up on a website, search engines are becoming increasingly more sophisticated, choosing web pages and sites that best answer a searcher’s needs.

Doing that requires a much more sophisticated approach towards SEO than just cramming in relevant keywords for Google, Yahoo! or Bing to pick up on – search engines are focused on providing valuable information and relevant answers.

As such, this means that the focus of SEO has shifted to providing just that – which incidentally is exactly what content marketing focuses on!

Why is content strategy important? How do you create a content marketing plan?

Now you know why content matters not just in SEO, but in building up your brand in general.

Of course, as with all things digital marketing, it doesn’t pay to just dive in without a plan or strategy. It’s crucial that your content marketing is backed by a strategy or plan.

The reason this is so important is because it guides your content-related decisions, and ensures that your content is:

  • Achieving your content marketing goals
  • Relevant to your customers
  • Consistent with your organisation’s branding and image

To do that, you’ll need to create an in-depth:

  • Content marketing strategy
  • Content strategy
  • Content plan

Our digital marketing consultants in Melbourne believe that all three are necessary for effective content. While they all sound similar, each is completely different, with their own focus and scope.

What are the steps of the content process? The 5 steps in developing online content

1) Content marketing strategy

Think of this as the content equivalent of your overall business objectives. This is a high-level document that focuses on outlining:

  • Why you’re creating content
  • Who you’re creating it for
  • The things that make you unique/how you offer value
  • Your overall goals with content marketing

Basically, this is all about setting the stage and direction for your content marketing efforts. Once this is sorted out, it’s time to move onto the next step…

2) Content strategy

Once the higher-level considerations are out of the way, it’s time to move on to the next step: crafting your content strategy.

Guided by the points identified in your content marketing strategy, your content strategy focuses on filling in some of the details such as:

  • Narrowing down your audience and their persona
  • What problems you’ll be solving
  • The types of content you’ll create (blogs, videos, newsletters, etc)
  • How you’ll publish and manage content (channels, CMS, etc)

Finally, you can move onto the final part of the strategy and planning phase…

3) Create a content plan

Once you’ve created a content plan, it’s time to dive into the nitty-gritty with your content plan.

This part is all about planning out the content itself – specifically, things like:

  • Content ideas, topics and subjects
  • Schedules and timetables
  • SEO keywords and link-building

Think of this part of the plan as the part that’s in charge of dictating how your plan is executed on a day-to-day basis.

4) Time to get to work

Now that the planning and strategy are done, it’s time to get cracking and start pumping out content.

Really, there isn’t much else that needs to be said here!

5) Review and monitor

As with all things digital, this final step is the key to ensuring that you monitor your ongoing progress to make sure that your content marketing is working as intended.

That means:

  • Tracking engagement with your content
  • Comparing that to the KPIs set out earlier
  • Generating reports
  • Monitoring conversions and leads over time
  • Checking your page rankings

Most importantly, it means adjusting your content marketing strategy, content strategy and content plan as needed to ensure that it’s performing as it should.

For instance, if you notice that certain types of topics or content are generating more interest than others, it may be a good idea to re-evaluate what your content strategy looks like.

What is a website content strategy?

Content marketing is focused on content other than your website itself – of course, that doesn’t mean that the content on your website is completely irrelevant!

After all, your website is also a depository of content –  all of this content needs to be strategy-driven as well.

It’s all about thinking about what your audience wants to hear (and not just in general, but at specific points of the purchase cycle or decision-making process) and creating content accordingly.

For example, someone visiting the homepage is probably still at the early stages of making their mind up. What’s more, they might not even be fully-committed to making a purchase at all, or if they are, haven’t decided which type of product or service to choose.

As such, your focus should be general, with an eye towards establishing credibility, telling visitors why they need your product or service, and why they should choose you in particular.

Compare that to a specific product or service page. Someone visiting this page probably already knows what they’re looking for, and are more interested in details.

For these pages, you should focus on talking about the specific attributes of your products and services, as well as particular benefits.

Long story short, you can’t just wing it!

Put your content in the hands of an expert

Our Melbourne SEO agency is keenly aware of the importance of good content when it comes not just to SEO, but digital marketing in general – why else do you think we put this blog up?

That’s why we put content at the heart of every SEO strategy we put together!

When we create content, we don’t just make things up as we go – each content strategy is created in accordance with each of the steps above, using in-depth analytics and powerful tools to guide all content-related decisions.

Not to toot our own horn, but it’s this focus on strategy, data and cold hard facts that allows us to get guaranteed results for our clients.

Find out how we can help you today – get in touch with our SEO company in Melbourne today on 1300 88 64 50, or click here to touch base online.