Forget about the people reading your content.
Instead of writing engaging content for your audience, just stuff a bunch of keywords into your copy and hire someone to buy backlinks to your site.
This might sound ridiculous, but there was a time when this type of strategy would deliver you lots of search traffic.
The actual content on each page of your site was of little importance as long as it had the ‘right keywords’ and some inbound links.
As easy as old school SEO was, it won’t get you anywhere today.
Google has caught on.
The days of attracting tons of traffic from search engines with low quality content are over.
Google, with the Panda update, eventually figured out a way to reward higher quality website content with higher rankings.
They have let us see into the future. Content marketing isn’t an option, it is a necessity if you want to win at this online marketing game.
Let’s look at 5 things content marketing will help you do that makes it more than just a fad;
1. Standout from your competitors
In content marketing, it’s okay to be guided by keywords when creating content, but actually creating meaningful content involves focusing on the INTENT behind the keywords first.
By making educated guesses regarding the outcomes searchers are looking for, you can predict what people will type into search engines and tailor your content accordingly.
When you write your pages’ content around information searchers intend to look for, you are filling their needs.
Your intent-focused content gives your business a competitive advantage because your pages are more likely to contain the information your visitors are looking for.
This builds trust and helps you build a relationship with your target audience.
Over time, your site becomes the ‘go to’ source for certain types of information your audience is looking for.
2. Attract more traffic to your website
Many marketers are shifting to content marketing because of the great hype and buzz surrounding it. However, it is important to understand that producing highly engaging content isn’t enough by itself.
Traffic won’t magically turn up. You may have the very best content in the world, but if no one has heard of your stuff, it won’t matter.
Your content marketing strategy needs to go beyond the content you publish on your own site.
Look to pitch content to other sites that are popular in your niche – known as guest posting.
The tighter the fit between the site that your content is published on, your contributed content, and the page you link back to on your site, the more chance you’ll pull the targeted traffic you are after.
3. Build your brand
Once you get into the swing of things with quality content marketing, you begin to build a brand worth talking about.
People begin to see your brand name mentioned all over the internet – because people are linking back to your content, your guest posting on credible sights, and they are discovering you in their search queries.
Quality content creation, backed by promotion and distribution of that content will build the perception of thought leadership and trust for your brand, quicker than any other online marketing strategy.
4. Help your customers make purchase decisions
The people who visit your site fall into three major groupings: people looking to know everything about a particular category of information, people who have an answer but are looking to refine their choices, and people who already trust your site’s content.
These distinct groups need to be approached differently – because they are all at different stages of the buyers’ journey.
At the very least, your pages must be written to filter people based on these groups. Usually, this is done through internal linking to relevant pages.
For example, if someone who is simply looking to get as much information as possible about a niche lands on a page of yours, your content should give them what they are looking for. This means deep and extensive information that links deeper and deeper into your site.
However, if someone who already has a general understanding about your niche lands on a general information page of yours, your page should have internal links that draw people who are looking for deeper or more refined information.
The idea of understanding each of these groups is so you can provide helpful information to each of them – making their decision to purchase your product a no brainer because they trust and respect you.
5. Improve your SEO
Content marketing helps with link building, which is what SEO is all about.
When you create high quality content and forge an emotional connection with your audience, you will begin to attract links from reputable sites over time.
For the most effective SEO, your content should target keywords that are both aligned to your niche, but not too competitive. This gives you a better chance to attract backlinks and start to make your way up the search rankings.
Your content won’t command the attention it deserves if you don’t drive traffic to it, and search engines are the single biggest traffic source.