Content marketing is the hot thing now for many companies. It isn’t rocket science, but it requires you apply newsroom values and discipline to make it work well. Fact is, there’s no quick fix, SEO isn’t a `black art,’ it is a skill set rooted in journalism.
You need trained journalists because your brand is competing with media outlets for P1 on Google. It’s a shark pool out there.
You could cut corners, use an outside agency or freelancer who syndicates blogs and re-writes press releases in a keyword-stuffed kinda way, circa 2009. But it probably isn’t going to work.
So read the papers, watch the TV news, use Google Trends, Alerts, trade journals, websites, forums and Twitter to see what’s hot in search volumes. Both within your business niche and the wider economy.
Never forget human nature; people are greedy, they love something for nothing, like PPI compensation, dodgy insurance claims, cheaper petrol, designer clothes reduced by 50% in the Debenhams Sale, or vouchers for a free meal at their local restaurant.
Give them news about freebies, shops going bust and selling stock cheap, big brands dishing out voucher codes.
NOT ALL CONTENT IS LINKBAIT
You need some values, something beyond keywords.
This is where most companies lose the plot because they often see content as essentially subservient to commercial needs – every article has to make money, or gather data.
But business is about brands too, and the trust you build into a brand has a tangible, cash value. Ask John Lewis, M&S, Aston Martin, Apple, the BBC, or Moneysupermarket.com who paid Martin Lewis £87 million for Moneysaving Expert, because readers TRUSTED what they read there.
Give your readers true value; like the knowledge to avoid online scams, or ways to buy something expensive that bit cheaper than your neighbour. People want knowledge and the internet is a knowledge economy, still developing its true potential and power.
In a decade there will be no UK High Streets as we understand them now.
There will be leisure shopping experiences, places that are fun, pleasant, safe and packed with major brands. But we will make all our essential, everyday, `distress’ purchases online. Content marketing will ease the sting of that impersonal process, empower some consumers with wisdom and expose the shabbier, more obviously dubious companies.
We live in interesting times, chronicle them.