When most people think of the phrase ‘digital marketing,’ they think of it as promoting a product or service via websites, blogs, e-zines, and social media profile pages, among other channels. Online marketer Neil Patel thinks the definition is too narrow and should include all forms of electronic media, including offline platforms like television and electronic billboards. He says, “Digital marketing is any form of marketing products or services, which involves electronic devices.”
Still, however you define digital marketing– whether related to only marketing online or marketing with any kind of electronic device including offline ones –one thing all digital marketing has is content.
Content marketing is marketing through the creation of content that persuades, informs, or entertains the consumer. Persuasive content urges people to buy, informative content offers usable information, and entertaining content stimulates the imagination through fictional, amusing, or startling information.
Due to the changing nature of content marketing, your marketing plan should follow suit, regularly changing in response to the current trends. Here are some issues you need to address when planning for your marketing.
Content is for Consumers
When it comes to content marketing, it’s estimated that B2C marketers create 90% of it while B2B create 93% of it. The reason for this enthusiasm to constantly churn out fresh content is that content marketing works better than anything else in building a brand and developing enough trust to sell products.
The purpose of content is to do three things:
- Capture the attention of an audience.
- Build a relationship with an audience.
- Build a positive image for a brand.
As consumers’s needs and wants change, our content should change accordingly if we want to continue to build a good rapport with our customers.
So, how to develop and distribute fresh content to consumers? There are numerous ways, including:
- Writing new blog posts
- Making new videos
- Adding new slideshows
- Sharing new photographs
- Outlining ideas through new infographics
- Explaining concepts through new webinars.
Next – how to make content marketing work? The answer is to know the difference between content marketing and conventional advertising.
Content Marketing vs. Advertising
While content can often be persuasive, enticing readers, viewers, or listeners to buy something or do something, it should not be confused with traditional advertising. Content marketing is much more subtle.
While advertising hopes to attract buyers by using images and ideas that highlight the benefits of owning a product or using a service, content marketing is more like sitting down with someone and explaining how things work so that they can draw their own evaluation about whether or not to buy it, use it, or try it out.
Although content marketing is more subtle than conventional advertising, it should still fulfill its purpose – helping brands gain awareness online. One of the most important ways is through search engine optimization (SEO).
Content for Search Engine Spiders
People are not the only consumers of the intellectual capital called content. Search engine spiders also consume content so that search engine result pages can inform readers where to go to find the information they are seeking.
If, for example, you were looking for ways to improve your business during an upcoming holiday, you would type a query into a search engine like Google using keywords related to marketing tips for the holiday season.
While search engines are interested in content, they are especially interested in fresh content. After all, if they can make search more relevant, they will profit by making advertisers more money through PPC ads.
So, how ‘freshness’ is measured?
How Search Engines Measure Freshness
Search engines have many ways of deciding whether content is new or old, fresh or stale:
Often times, freshness depends on the topic. Searches that need fresh content include recent events, hot topics, regularly recurring events, and frequent updates.
Freshness is measured in different ways:
- It’s measured by inception date: when was the content created and posted.
- It’s measured by changes in the document: how much change was made to an existing document.
- It’s measured by frequency of document changes. This can happen with tables that show bank rates or football scores.
- It’s measured by new page creation. This is one reason why bloggers consistently write new blog posts even if they have hundreds of pages of content covering a theme.
- It’s measured by changes to important content. The importance of content is measured by user behavior. If a number of people visit a page and spend a considerable amount of time on it, then a search engine considers it important. It also notices when this content is updated and by how much.
- It’s measure by rate of link growth. When people like content, they link to it from their own website pages, recommending it to their readers.
- It’s measured by user behavior related to the content. Users may comment on a page or they may avidly share it with social media bookmarks.
Why should content freshness should be well-sought-after?
Fresh Content is More Meaningful
For content to be meaningful it has to be fresh. While some content is always popular despite age, like Shakespeare’s plays, the basic premise made by marketers and search engines is that there is a higher correlation between new content and user engagement. So, even if the idea is not new, it should be presented in a new way.
To appreciate the appeal of fresh content, think of its opposite—stale content. What is stale content? It could be antiquated ideas or it could be all-too familiar ideas. This content fails to stimulate consumers who consider it boring. It does not persuade. It does not inform. And it does not educate.
So, to keep people interested, content has to be fresh. It has to be either new, different (a variation on something known), or revamped in an interesting way. Only fresh content encourages people to click on links. Stale content makes them click away from the webpage.