Companies may need to make adjustments to succeed at content marketing

In 2013, content marketing has rapidly surged forward as one of the most important channels of Internet lead generation. Businesses of all sizes in different industries can build better relationships with their target audience through blogs, articles, case studies, videos and infographics. However, content marketing is still evolving, and companies need to be aware of how their strategies need to be developed to drive better results.

In the past, marketers incorporated content into search engine optimization to increase the likelihood of prospects finding their websites. However, companies would stuff website content full of keywords without much thought for quality. Content did not necessarily have to provide value to website visitors, keywords just needed to get them there. With changes to Google’s algorithms and the spread of popularity of content as a source of lead generation, marketers can no longer take this approach. Keyword stuffing will harm SEO results, and content that is built around search engine crawlers rather than the humans who read it will not be effective. Content needs to be relevant to a target audience, which means readability and grammar are more important than keyword density.

Quality over quantity is more important for content

While quality content can mean separate things to different people, Google’s algorithm changes are programmed to filter out poor writing and give higher rankings to websites that provide value to visitors. For example, in the past, companies could receive good SEO results if high numbers of people were visiting the website. But now, repeat visitors send a stronger cue to Google.

Content used to be an overarching term to describe different written materials, but this definition has changed over time as well, according to an article in Promotion World. In addition to written marketing collateral, such as blogs, white papers and news articles, marketers need to produce more visual sources. Webinars, videos and infographics are gaining popularity. Providing diverse sources of information will be more critical for maintaining a successful content marketing strategy.

How to improve content marketing

Successful content caters to a specific audience and gets shared. Marketers can encourage sharing by cross-posting content through social media platforms. With a higher number of people maintaining active social profiles, this is an effective way to get content seen before visitors come to the website. Marketers need to ensure content is easy to share with a click. High numbers of social shares will send positive signals to search engines.

If marketers schedule how often they are going to post, they need to stay consistent. Frequent updates can encourage visitors to return to a blog, but if there are no new posts, the target audience can quickly lose interest. The frequency depends a great deal on the target audience. While content is a useful lead nurturing tool because it provides value to prospects, quality marketing materials also improve search engine rankings in the long term, which can boost organic search rates.