by Marcia Kadanoff, CMO & Guest Blogger
Recently, I attended a conference in New York on metrics for web marketers. Topics presented were super nerdy, things like how to make the most of the newest version of Google Analytics and great moments in A/B testing. Now here’s where it gets interesting. Every single presentation bowed down to worship at feet of content marketing.
For us here at Content Rules, this is vindicating, to say the least. We have been providing our clients with writers, editors, graphic artists, and coders capable of producing compelling content for almost 20 years. During this time, we’ve seen competitors come and go who promise to deliver content at a lower price point, either because they outsource the work to people overseas or because they farm the work out to the lowest bidder.
The most recent trend in Content Marketing is to recognize that great products and marketing campaigns are built on top of great content. In other words, quality matters.
Cases in point:
Higher quality content ranks higher in SEO.
With it’s “Panda” release, Google has shifted its algorithms away from content farms and keyword stuffing towards higher-quality forms of content. What that means to you is that it now makes sense to invest in quality content. Lower-quality content can actually hurt you in terms of SEO, particularly to the extent that excessive internal linking makes your content look like it was created by a content farmer.
Higher-quality content is crafted to meet the pre-sales needs of prospects at different stages of the sales & marketing funnel.
Pre-sales research is so important these days that studies show people from companies that intends to buy from you will visit your website 50 times before purchasing your product or service. 50 times! It goes without saying that no one will visit your site 50 times to dig into the same content. To keep prospects coming back for more, you need content that speaks to different prospects at different stages of the buying cycle.
Higher-quality content is built to be engaging.
Engaging content doesn’t have to have bells and whistles or interactivity built into it. (Although bells, whistles, interactivity, and particularly the ability to interact with the content on a mobile device is a good thing, a very good thing … what with 65% of C-level executives now accessing the Internet from a smart phone.) Engaging content takes a point-of-view. Speaks to the prospect in their own tone of voice. Uses compelling visuals … since the brain processes visuals before it processes text. Engaging content is worth sharing. What this means for you is that it pays to make it easy for your prospect to share your content by embedding “share this” buttons next to your content. An evolving best practice: making it easy to share snippets of a blog entry – as tweets, Google+, or Facebook comments, versus a share button that appears at the end of the entire blog entry.
Higher-quality content tells a story.
Now story telling isn’t easy, especially if you sell in a business-to-business category that is highly technical and quite dry. These categories tend to be dominated by a content form known as the white paper. No one ever laughed, cried, or felt compelled to get a meeting with their manager after reading a white paper. Instead, think of creating “purple papers” that are so full of passion about your product they demand an emotional response from the reader, the kind of content that can tell a story.
Higher quality content is ripe for globalization.
The more time and attention we put into creating great content, the more sense it makes to leverage that content across geographic barriers. The best business-to-business companies understand that behind every B-t-B opportunity is a consumer. And it turns out that consumers tend to be more similar across geographic divides than different. Which means that the purple paper you developed for Stage III of the tunnel to answer the pre-sales questions of target customer in segment X can be used in multiple geographies. All it takes is attention to the 8 simple rules of global content … to make your content is ready for globalization.
Val Swisher, CEO & Founder of Content Rules, who normally blogs here is traveling.