Why You Need Content, Search, AND Social Marketing in 2013
The landscape of online marketing has changed over the last year thanks to algorithm changes by Google, updates to social networks like Facebook, and consumer demand for information direct from businesses. Hence your brand needs a combination of all three – content, search, and social – to compete online. In this post, you will learn about how each of these three marketing strategies aid each other and benefit your business by increasing your brand’s overall online exposure.
The major benefits of a solid content marketing strategy cannot be denied for any business, both large and small. Great content is not limited to just text. In 2013, great content can include a mixture of written content (blog posts and articles), audio content (podcasts), image content (infographics), and video content (YouTube videos and webinars). Creating a variety of content can help your business in the following ways.
Establish Your Brand as a Knowledge Leader
One of the best benefits of creating quality content – both onsite and offsite – is getting to establish yourself as a knowledge leader in your industry. With your content, you will be able to showcase the expertise that your customers come to you for.
Some businesses worry that if they give away too much for free, their customers will not need them anymore. But just the opposite is true. If you create valuable content, your customers will buy from to gain access to your expert skillset or the products you have created. It’s a win-win situation.
Need some examples of great brands with content? See the Content Marketeer’s 50 Brands to Watch. Although it’s for 2012, these brands are still producing great content today.
Increase Your Ability to Gain Backlinks
Content can play a key role in your search marketing strategy. Specifically, it gives people a reason to link back to your website. If your blog is on your domain (domain.com/blog instead of blog.domain.com or blog.com), then any links built towards your blog content will count towards the overall authority of your domain in search.
Your blog is not your only source of content. You can create guides, free ebooks, infographics, videos, and free online tools that will attract backlinks naturally. And if they are not attracting links naturally, you can use them to request links from other webmasters who have linked to similar types of content.
Offsite content placement can also help bring backlinks back to your website. Guest blogging, for example, is a great way to spread your content to a larger audience – helping establish your business as a knowledge leader. Most guest blogging opportunities allow for you to have an author bio at the end of the post in which you can link back to your website.
Give You Something to Share on Social Media
Some audiences are not as receptive towards advertisements on social media as they are to valuable content. Hence, if you want to get your social media fans and followers back to your website, you will want to share more links to content you have created vs. sharing links to sales or promotional pages.
Most importantly, content is is more likely to be interacted with and shared by your audience over sales and advertising promotions. This means that you will receive more engagement on social media thanks to your great content. And as more of your audience shares your content, you will also gain more fans and followers.
If your business is actively involved in a search marketing campaign, then here are some ways your search marketing efforts can help your business along with your content and social media marketing strategy.
Determine Searchable Content Topics
Want to rank for more keywords? Then utilize the same keyword research strategy you used for your main search marketing campaign when coming up with new content topics. For example, if your business targets CRM software, you can create content to rank for longer keyword phrases such as what is CRM software, sales CRM software, and CRM software for small business.
Finding these longer keyword phrases is easy. You can use the free Google AdWords Keyword Tool to enter your main keyword phrases and discover new ones. Then apply the best long phrases in the titles of your content.
Increase Web Traffic to Your Website
Once you have created you content around longer keyword phrases, you are likely to increase the traffic to your website for those terms. This is simply because you’ll have more content in search results, and the more content you have in the search index, the more content you have for visitors to discover.
You can find out what keywords and phrases bring the most traffic to your website in Google Analytics under Organic Search Traffic Sources. This can help you determine what keywords to target for your content, link building, and on-site optimization.
Create Discoverable Social Profiles
Don’t forget your keywords when you are creating your social profiles. If you keyword optimize your social profiles, then people looking for a new source of great content about a particular topic can find your business.
Keywords also come in handy for your status updates. Your keyword research and on-site optimization should be applied especially to your Facebook page and updates since Facebook Graph Search will make it easier for people to find businesses on Facebook through their new search system.
Social Media Marketing
Last, but not least in your overall online marketing strategy is social media. Here’s how social media can be incorporated into your content and search marketing.
Find Out What Your Audience Needs
Ever wanted to get inside the minds of your potential and current customers? Social media can help. Since most people publicly use social networks like Twitter, question networks like Quora, and forum communities, it is easy to find out exactly what your customers want to know.
Simply search for topics related to your industry on social networks, and you are bound to discover people asking great questions. Take those questions, link them up to searchable keyword phrases, and start creating content that will not only rank well in search but will also inform your target audience. This is what will help build your reputation as a knowledge leader in your industry.
Aside from the most important relationships you want to build with social media – the relationships between your business and your customers – there are many other relationships you can work on that can help with your online marketing. The relationships you build on social networks can help you connect with the right people for blogger outreach, link building, and many other opportunities for your content and search marketing.
Using tools like Commun.it can help you identify your biggest social media supporters. With this tool, you can browser through your supporters to see if they are blog owners, SEO consultants, and even potential customers. Then you can see your engagements with them and keep the line of communication open so they will be there when you need them.
Reach a Specific Audience Through Advertising
If you can’t reach your target audience through search marketing because you haven’t gained your rankings yet or through regular social media updates, you can reach them through targeted advertising on social networks including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
You can use social advertising to promote your content to the specific demographics you target as your ideal customer base. This way you can lead that audience back to your website, and if your content has a great call to action at the end, you can encourage them to submit a lead form or purchase a product or service.
By utilizing content, search, and social media marketing, you can build your business’s authority in your industry which will lead to increased traffic, trust, and conversions. If you need any help with these areas, we’re here to help!
What other ways do content, search, and social work together to bring results to your online marketing strategy? Please share in the comments!