10 Strategic Ways to Engage in the Digital Marketing Content War
It is no secret that content is still king in the world of digital marketing. There is absolutely no way to get around the need for content to boost search engine optimization (SEO) over the long haul. Everyone is trying to get attention for their products and brand by leveraging SEO strategies and tactics. The name of the game is to improve your website’s page ranking by driving visitors to your site. Digital marketers know they can boost SEO through paid banner ads and keywords, but unlike content, these are short-term wins. A paid SEO campaign only lasts as long as you pay for it. Content, on the other hand, has teeth and staying power. A unique article with strategic keywords can create organic SEO that lasts as long as it is posted on your website.
Great digital marketing executives are quickly learning that there is really no way to escape the “content war.” Not only do you have to continually develop and distribute content just to stay in front of your audience, but the content you create also needs to be compelling and relevant to your target audience. To this end, it’s important to be up to date on industry trends and developments, and write compellingly about them. It is equally important to create a coherent digital marketing content strategy.
Here are 10 strategic steps you can take to engage in—and win—the digital marketing content war:
- Grab a set of keywords that are relevant to your target audience and use them as often as possible across your website and in published content. Gone are the days that digital marketers write articles just for the sake of producing content. The new game is to leverage keywords that potential prospects may use to search for products or services like yours and distribute those keywords strategically throughout your content.
- Post provocative digital marketing content that is targeted to make decision makers THINK. These days, business decision makers prefer to get information from content rather than advertisements. You can no longer win simply by advertising on a two-dimensional platform. As social communities grow, so does social selling. Industry leaders and decision makers are responsive to digital marketers who approach selling in an educational and conversational way.
- Use your digital marketing content to push brand awareness, presence and reputation. The benefit of one article extends well beyond the content and keywords on your website. As your content library grows, you will begin to catch the attention of potential customers as they search for information. This effect will reinforce perceptions of your company as an industry thought leader.
- Push digital marketing content that supports major events or announcements to regularly stay in front of your prospects on a schedule, and create how-to and self-help documentation for products and services. While diversity of content is important, content should always be created with a specific purpose in mind—to gain attention at a strategic moment, for example, or to deepen a prospect’s understanding of specific offerings or solutions.
- Encourage and reward “likes” and “shares” on social media. Content sharing on social media is the new form of word-of-mouth (WOM) advertising. Now more than ever, people look to their friends for advice and recommendations. End users who share content are your most reliable messengers when it comes to referring products and services.
- Leverage your internally produced content to save money. Why not benefit from lower marketing costs? When you use internal staff to develop content, it helps them gain confidence and expertise. Content marketing requires some savviness, but can it be done by multiple employees and is typically much, much cheaper than a new advertising campaign. Not only will you save money in the creation of content, you will also create a long-term ROI.
- Send your content to existing customers as a part of your digital marketing customer retention program. Have you ever heard the expression, “Retention is the new acquisition”? Nurturing your existing customers is extremely important. Customers are always considering what your presence and your products and services add to their day-to-day business. Providing them with relevant content is a great way to reinforce the value you offer.
- Improve your website digital marketing content. Don’t forget that as you drive traffic with blog posts, articles and other interesting content, your website needs to engage the interest of the prospects who land there and motivate them to dig deeper. Keep the content current and compelling.
- Remember to include strategic calls to action in ALL of your digital marketing content. Even if you are writing an article with the intention of educating your prospects, always remember to give prospects an opportunity to buy your product or service or to request more information. A simple CTA can be the difference of making a sale or not at any given point.
- Give back to your industry community with your digital marketing content. One of the reasons a prospect chooses one company over another is philanthropy. Creating and distributing content that is relevant, educational and interesting is a legitimate way to give back to the community. It enhances perceptions of your organization and ultimately helps your bottom line.
Content marketing is here to stay, and it’s a huge part of any relevant digital marketing strategy. In the digital marketing content war, some will win, and some will lose. Our job as digital marketers is to win. The very best digital marketing strategists will establish new rules of engagement by being more creative and innovative than their competitors. They will also understand that the war is meant to be a marathon, not a sprint. Developing an extensive content library over time that engages, educates and nurtures end users will ultimately enhance your business and give you the upper hand with any industry competitor.