These days, content is everywhere. The internet is practically overflowing with content. There are think pieces and think pieces analyzing think pieces. There are recap and prediction videos for your favorite TV shows (Who hasn’t seen the latest Game of Thrones fan theory?) There’s even content discussing the value of content itself, the category under which this blog post would fall.
So why is there so much content? What is fueling this marketing obsession?
The answer is simple, and it all comes back to search engines. Search engines have become today’s yellow pages. People use their mobile devices and computers to find all of the information they need to vet a company and make a buying decision. And how do search engines collect that relevant information for your future customers? You guessed it: Content.
Content for Search
Content is the best way to organically grow your presence in search engine results. By creating great, compelling and valuable content, you are giving the search engines more information to pull from, and giving your website or blog more opportunities to rank highly.
Content can take many forms. The most common would be blog posting. Blogs are a great way to gain results on more specific search inquiries. Because users have become more sophisticated in their search habits, your customers are trying to game the system to only find the information they want. This means if they have a question about your product, they’ll be more likely to search the question rather than individual keywords. If you create your blog posts to answer specific questions, you’ll find potential customers who are already asking the question.
The more content you create focused on specific inquiries, the better. You’ll rank higher for more potential searches, getting seen by more potential customers. But these blog posts will also boost your rankings for your general keywords. The more quality content you have on your blog that relates to your keyword, the more favorable search engines will be to your site.
But content isn’t just blog posts. You should also keep think of your website copy as valuable content. Don’t think of your website as something that should be set and forgotten about. If it is not performing and drawing visitors for specific keywords, maybe the content can be improved.
Think about consistently updating your frequently asked questions page, or keeping your products page up-to-date. If your site content doesn't cut it, it won’t matter how great your blog content may be.
Content for Community
The activity on your social profiles can also have a major impact on your search rankings. Think about it. When you search for any business by name, what usually shows up right below their website in search results? Their social profiles. For many businesses, their social accounts may even outrank their website.
Your social channels are much more than just a promotion tool for your content; they are valuable assets for search rankings.
So how do you boost your visibility on social media? The key is creating content that earns a share from your followers.
To many, this means creating video content that is compelling and interesting or an eye-catching infographic. But even the text or content of the post can be compelling without an extra multimedia element. Ask your followers a question or engage them in a contest. Share relevant content about your industry to inform your followers. Show your followers you care by addressing concerns on social media. Everything you do is an opportunity to improve your rankings, it just takes a strategic approach to take advantage of it.
Content for Conversions
If you think of every customer interaction as a step from recognition of your business toward as sale and beyond, content provides stepping stones for every stage along the way. Customers today want to make a decision at their own pace. Gone are the days in which a salesman could go door to door and close countless sales by following the same script.
Today, because your customers are so good at finding the information they want from numerous sources, they enter interactions with your company with varying levels of previous knowledge. It’s your job to create content for as many people as possible, all with the goal of leading them towards as sale or continued business.
You see this type of content all of the time. Good marketers create specific landing pages for every ad you click on. These landing pages assume you saw the product in the ad and are close to making a decision. They give you more information, but don’t bury where you should click to convert. The content on that page is specifically designed to make you convert, and it works.
The Value of Content
The bottom line here is that content is truly invaluable. Sure, there is content everywhere. It may seem somewhat counter-intuitive to add more content and seemingly overload your customers. But the truth is that we as consumers are becoming better at research every day. We’re picky, only consuming the content that gives us exactly the information for which we are searching. Content is how you, as a marketer, give that information to them, and reach them where they are searching.
In other words, if you aren’t creating or updating content regularly, your business will be left behind.