In the old model, backlinks (links that point back to a brand’s website) were the primary way search optimization experts helped brands gain importance in Google searches. However, a new algorithm in Google’s search (called Penguin 2.0) has changed how Google rewards -- or punishes -- companies. Google isn’t rewarding firms that rely on backlinks anymore.
Now, rich, targeted content is king and companies who build the best content will be rewarded by high rankings in search result pages. The future of online marketing now predominantly revolves around the use of content marketing.
Here are 5 ideas that will ensure you make the most of these new changes and deliver great results for your company.
1. What’s the idea you want to own? As companies enter the content marketing arena – they’re often told to create lots of content – a “spray and pray” approach. This is both expensive and ineffective. It’s more important to tell engaging, compelling stories related to your core principles. Take the time to tell the clearest, strongest stories in ways that don’t come across as mass manufactured. It is more important to own a small, focused idea than to spread yourself too thin just to get wide exposure.
2. Authority is bestowed. In this new content marketing world, it’s also important to partner with sites that have legitimate authority on a specific topic. Google’s newest search approach rewards authors of original content featured on sites that have justified authority on that topic. Just as it is important not to over-manufacture content, it is also important not to overly spread content over many low-authority sites. Look to build real relationships with quality media sources.
3. Put the pieces together. Often, marketers try to create a mosaic of content – placing different pieces of content across different sites hoping the consumer will put all the pieces together to see the bigger picture. This rarely happens. To expect consumers to see all the articles and understand the complete story is improbable and unrealistic. Marketers today need to create integrated stories in one place to make it easier for consumers to connect the dots.
4. Retain control. Many marketers have abandoned the hope that they can control their branded content once it’s distributed. While that used to be true, new content syndication services help marketers to better control where, when and how the content is shared. Recent advances in technology allow marketers to deliver rich interactive micro experiences added to distributed images – without giving up control. The options available today are affordable and useful web services.
5. Shorten the digital distance. A common misconception of content marketing is that its main purpose is driving search results. This is a misguided goal. Content marketing is, ultimately, about persuading people to buy. Marketers need to make this path shorter and simpler. Each hoop marketers ask customers to jump through results in massive attrition – as much as 2/3rd for each jump. Consequently, a process that has 5 steps can result in customer attrition as high as 99.6%. Reducing the steps – or what we call digital distance –for any desired action can have meaningful benefits.
Don’t simply use content marketing to point people back to your website. Make your content engaging and try to move people closer to purchase with every digital touch point.