If you continue to use the same strategies and tactics in your content marketing, that worked 20 years ago, you will get buried. Experienced marketers expect change.
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It has been quietly whispered in marketing circles that Google has been suppressing organic reach for the past few years. It has been more difficult to hit the magically shriveling first page of the world’s biggest search engine.
The experts at The Markup finally attended an experiment that demonstrated what most marketers already assumed — Google shows you a lot of content to keep you on Google before showing you any organic results.
While these methods may raise ethical and antitrust concerns, you have to deal with the reality on the ground. It’s time for businesses and marketers to think about what the true nature of content marketing is. Cranking out dozens or hundreds of 500-word blog posts is not going to improve your business.
That doesn’t mean content marketing is gone. It means that you need to look at the purpose of content marketing is and learn how to use it beyond keywords and blog posts.
Purpose of Content Marketing
Content marketing is a method to build trust with your ideal prospects and move them into your sales funnel. Content marketing was not created for the internet. It has existed for hundreds of years.
Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanac was a form of content marketing to show off his printing expertise. Brands as diverse as John Deere and Betty Crocker have made fortunes using content marketing long before the first microprocessor was ever fired up.
We will in general connect content promoting with blog entries since that has been probably the least expensive apparatus in the advertising tool compartment for as long as 20 years. As of late have organizations started to accept video and webcasts as substance advertising instruments.
Numerous advertisers have gotten smug. They behaved like Google would consistently be around to drive natural traffic to sites on the off chance that they followed a couple of basic accepted procedures. While those days are a distant memory, that doesn’t mean online journals or substance advertising are dead.
It means that you need to find new ways to get your content in front of your ideal customers. You need to be more creative and disciplined in how you showcase your authority and expertise.
Google is Killing Traditional Business Blogging
A blog used to be the best way to build almost any kind of online business. You could write high-quality posts and know that the search engine algorithms would eventually find your content. If you wanted to build an audience faster, you could just write more content.
Blogs can still be a powerful way to build a business. But, it takes much longer to bear fruit. You also can’t put up a bunch of short blogs. Your content needs to be more detailed than ever before.
You are not just competing with other blogs — you are competing with Google’s desire to drive traffic within its own ecosystem.
The best performing blog content is now skyscraper posts or cornerstone posts that are 2,000-words to 10,000-words long. These are much more expensive to produce, but if used wisely, they provide a much higher return on investment than short blog posts that now seem disposable.
You also need to do more legwork to drive traffic to your content. That means rethinking the way your sales funnels are constructed.
The Old Model and the New Way
The old content marketing model relied on organic traffic. You wrote content that people found on search engines. That content invited people to contact you or to join your mailing list. Once you had a prospect’s contact information, you could guide them through your sales funnel.
Now, organic traffic is too slow and too small. If you have enough time, six months to three years, you can still rely primarily on organic traffic to power your business. Most entrepreneurs and marketers aren’t that patient.
The new way requires you either invest in social media advertising to drive traffic to your content or to expand the channels you use to increase your organic reach. This often means branching out from blog posts and expanding into different types of media.
Content marketing is a way for you to show your audience what you can do. It provides an entrance to your sales funnel.
If your content is only generating likes, views, and shares, you are doing it wrong. Effective content marketing collects contact information, and it generates email list sign-ups.
Is Email the New Blog?
Email has always been an important part of a digital marketing strategy. If you have someone’s email, you have the key to their heart. You can reach them directly. Direct marketing is the best way to convert marketing dollars into revenues.
It used to be that you created a massive amount of content to generate email list sign-ups. Now, you need to create fewer, better quality types of content to generate email sign-ups. Instead of pushing out blog posts to social media and the blogosphere, savvy businesses now save their best material for their email lists.
Services like Substack are betting massive amounts of money that email newsletters will replace the blog as the primary form of long-term content marketing.
It is much more cost-effective to invest money in high-value content as a lead magnet to build email lists of your ideal customers than to write a million blog posts. Once you have someone on your list, you can send them the same content you used to put on your blog in an email. Your emails nurture the relationship with your audience the way blog posts used to. But, with email, you have a much better sense of how effective something is.
You also can drill down on the core needs of your audience.
Best of all, Google isn’t scraping your email content and using it to keep people in their ecosystem. Email gives you a direct line to the people most likely to buy from you.
Curation for Content Marketing
Another critical difference in modern content marketing is the role curation plays. The truth is none of your customers lack access to information. They don’t need you to tell them how or why to do something. They can just ask Siri or Alexa.
What your audience needs is a way to filter all of the information out there. While every business still needs to create amazing content, they also need to focus on curating content for their customers.
Curation means you put the best of the web together in a simple bundle for people to consume. You will want to include some of your best work too. Through curation, more people will come to trust you. They will also learn to enjoy your unique brand voice.
If you love music, chances are you enjoy checking out the playlists your favorite artists make in Spotify. Those playlists are a form of curation. They are a type of content marketing.
Curation scares some businesses because they are afraid of sending their customers away. They don’t trust their customers to come back.
In March of 2020, Taylor Swift created a Spotify playlist for Women’s History Month that highlighted a bunch of other female artists. Was Swift worried that her fans would discover other artists and never listen to her music again? No, because that’s idiotic. That playlist was good for Swift’s career and it was a nice signal boost to other talented artists.
Curation shows people that you are confident enough in your brand voice and business value to highlight the great work other businesses are doing.
If you are interested in learning more about How To Create Better Content Than Your Competitors, check this out.