With a headline like that, I’m sure many of you are already shouting at your screens, saying I’ve got it all wrong.  After all, content marketing and SEO are totally different, right?


Think about it…

–  Both are designed to generate exposure.  Why are you working so hard to get people to sign up for your email list?  For the same reason that you’re looking for the perfect longtail keyword to target — because it’s a way to get more people to buy your stuff!

–  Both take expertise.  If you don’t know the first thing about how to write for the web, you’ll never have a successful content marketing strategy.  It’s no different than not understanding what an inbound link is and expecting to rank high in the search results.  Neither content marketing nor SEO lend themselves to “winging it”.  Without a specific, well-thought-out, expert plan, you’ll never master either one.

–  Both require a lot of work.  SEO is never “done”.  As soon as you let up, your competitors will pass you by.  The same goes for content marketing.  If you stop updating your blog, it’s going to look stale — and visitors are going to assume that your business is just as stale!  Or, if you stop publishing quality articles, your readers are going to assume you fell in a black hole somewhere (and no one does their shopping in a black hole!).

–  Both can make or break your traffic and sales.  Spend your time publishing crappy content, and you’ll end up with a website that no one wants to bother with.  Or, spend your SEO budget on paid links, and you’ll be buried so far down in the Google results that no one will ever know you exist.

All of this makes sense, right?  Well, we’re not done yet!  Remember, I promised to tell you why content marketing is so much better than SEO.  Here’s why:

–  Content marketing doesn’t depend on “spiders”.  Instead of having some computerized robot crawl your site and decide if it’s fit for human consumption, ACTUAL humans will make that decision!  Your readers will decide if your article is worthy of being Tweeted to their friends, or if your email newsletters are good enough to encourage other people to sign up.

–  Good content marketing strategies don’t give a rat’s patootie about algorithm changes.  Great content is great content, no matter which buttons are pushed at Google’s headquarters.  As long as your strategy is focused on informing people in an interesting way, you’ll never have to worry about what Google does (or doesn’t do).  SEO tools and tricks will always come and go, but quality content will always be in style.  Consider it to be the little black dress of the internet marketing world!

–  Content marketing shares the real you.  You can’t inject emotion or personality into a meta tag, but you CAN publish blog posts that show just how likeable you are!  People like to do business with other people — not corporate robots that they can’t relate to.

–  Content marketing can’t be manipulated.  There are always going to be SEO types who cheat the system, no matter how hard the search engines try to combat them.  However, those cheaters will never be able to manipulate their way into a successful content marketing strategy.  Publishing great content takes work and talent.  There are no corners to cut, which makes all of us who believe in doing things the right way a whole lot happier!

–  Content marketing can generate immediate results.  An article you publish today can show someone that you’re a bonafide expert — and lead to an immediate sale.  Or, the video you post today can generate an instant buzz on Twitter and Facebook — and cause more people to visit your website.  With SEO, climbing the ranks can often feel more like climbing Mt. Everest.

Bottom line — if you’ve been spending all of your time obsessing over SEO, stop.  Instead, focus your efforts on a kick-butt content marketing strategy.  And, in addition to all of the benefits that content marketing brings on its own, by publishing quality content on a regular basis, you’ll wind up with the authoritative links you need to get an SEO boost.  Does it get any better than that?!