Since I do a great deal of writing, some of what I write is to be considered ‘content marketing’. A term that only a few years ago was non-existent. Wikipedia defines content marketing in the following fashion:
‘Content marketing is an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation and sharing of content in order to attract, acquire and engage clearly defined and understood current and potential consumer bases with the objective of driving profitable customer action. Content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action. Content marketing has benefits in terms of retaining reader attention and improving brand loyalty.’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Content_marketing
When talking with clients and prospects about some of the things we do in terms of creating content they are invariably interested mainly because it’s a term heard all the time and admitting unfamiliarity would not be cool. Most people think of content marketing as video content (short and long videos), podcasts (which are dying rather quickly don’t you think?), white papers, and webinars.
Not too long ago content marketing was promoted almost exclusively in the area of public relations. Press releases, magazine article pitching, appearances on television and radio were managed by professionals experienced in approaching their contacts with various angles. Today content is also promoted in social media by both professional PR people as well as rank amateurs (and a slew of people that fall somewhere in between).
Surprisingly blogging is not mentioned in Wikipedia’s content marketing definition. It’s surprising since the ability to place keyword relevant search terms in a blog in order to increase traffic and conversions, (something I do not do my own blog here) can be a great way to bring people to your website via content that is truly of interest to the reader (or viewer). Keyword-rich blogs are already popular for good reason. Many times these keyword rich blogs are not actually read by anyone, yet they still deliver powerful marketing assistance in the form of site links that help raise natural search listings.
Does it sound a bit shady to you? It shouldn’t. In a search world dominated by Google (more than 76% of searches are on Google.com), it’s no secret that getting on the first page of Google is a huge difference maker. It’s quite possible, even likely, that when it comes to keyword-rich blogs, much of the ‘content’ is of low-quality in and of itself – and few people, if any will read it. Yet if the links are relevant and the content original, Google (at least for the present) ‘sees’ it as worthy and the Google spiders ‘like’ that kind of content.
What I have found is that because I always want to write something that would be of interest to an actual reader I have to go above and beyond for our clients in weaving keywords and interesting content together as seamlessly as possible. It’s not easy but I anticipate that as Google improves its ability to discern low-brow keyword marketing blogs that are low quality from the alternative – high quality blogs with interesting content that contain keywords, the low quality blogs will lose their ability to command advantageous organic search results in terms of page rankings.
It takes good old fashioned research and craft to write things that people actually want to read and find to be of value. For those of us writing quality content keyword-rich or not, we look forward to the time when low quality keyword rich blogs go to the bottom of the rankings.
Hopefully sooner than later.