Now that we are in the start of a brand new year, you might be asking yourself what marketing tactics you will implement for your brand in 2015. You know about all of the Internet marketing techniques, from social media marketing to building links. However, content marketing has been buzzing as a top-notch marketing strategy for quite a while now, and the hype has yet to fade away. Maybe there is something to this content marketing thing after all?
Not only is there something to content marketing, it will be one of the most vitally important marketing strategies in 2015. Sure, link building and social media is not going away. But it is undeniable that content is the driving force behind building links and succeeding on social-we'll touch back on that later.
So, exactly how important will content marketing be in 2015? Here's a breakdown as to why it will be one of the best marketing decisions you will make this year and beyond.
Content Marketing Is Important in 2015 Because Google Says So
The majority of digital marketers are all about pleasing the almighty Google. With that said, it is no secret that Google wants to provide its users with the best quality content that's found around the web. In fact, Google finds content marketing important enough to base algorithm updates around the strategy.
Pass the Panda Test With Quality Content Marketing
Google's Panda update is centralized around ensuring that quality content wins on Google. You might think that you are safe from Panda if you are not creating any content at all, but that's not exactly the case. In fact, Panda actually penalizes websites that sit stale. Panda looks for fresh and quality content; if you aren't delivering on the freshness factor, don't look for any sympathy from Panda.
You Won The Battle With Panda, But What About Penguin?
Even if you are delivering fresh content to your audience on a regular basis, this does not mean that everything is smooth sailing. Google's Penguin update targets spammy websites, which points to content that is low quality and over optimized.
If you are writing content with no regard for quality, prepare for Penguin's penalty. Keyword-stuffed blog posts that are littered with low quality links will put you on the fast track to disappearing from the SERPs. Overcoming Penguin's penalties is not impossible, but it is notoriously difficult.
Stay on The Safe Side of 2015 Google Updates With Content Marketing
Although nothing is guaranteed with Google, you can surely help your case by implementing a quality content marketing strategy. Producing compelling and useful content on a regular basis will keep both Panda and Penguin out of your hair. Not to mention, you will sleep a lot better at night knowing that if an update hits, your search engine rankings will likely stay the same or even improve.
Instead of dreading Google's regular algorithm updates and looking over your shoulder, plan for a smart content marketing strategy in 2015.
Planning Ahead: 2 Smart Content Marketing Strategies
Now that you understand why content marketing is vital to dodging Google's penalties, we're outlining a few strategies to get the most out of your content in 2015.
1. Start From The Top: Content Auditing
If you already have a website that has a little (or a lot) of content, plan on doing a content audit in 2015. Content audits are used to find areas where your current content is lacking. It also helps you find gaps where you need new content. Either way, content audits are essential for stretching your strategy far as possible.
Quick Tips For Smart Content Auditing. Content audits don't have to be a drag. They can take a bit of time, but keep in mind that they can help improve your search engine rankings while increasing the quality of your content.
Furthermore, audits can help you detect over-optimized content that can lead to penalties from Google. Here are a few quick auditing tips to get your content audit started off on the right foot:
· Evaluate the length of your content. When you are looking at general website content, aim to have at least 350-500 words per page. If your word count is too short, Google may not index content at all if it is considered as too thin.
· Beef up those blog posts. On the other hand, blog posts are a little different in terms of content length. This is because blog posts are more about engagement, while standard product and service pages stand as general user information. While a 500-word blog post won't result in any negative consequences, you will be further ahead to increase that word count to at least 1500. Longer blog posts boost engagement levels and keep your audience on your website for longer periods of time.
· Consider its purpose. Is your content answering your customer's questions? Does it provide value in one way or another? If it is not serving a need, it's time to either eliminate it or add fresh content for an update.
· Use tools to your advantage. If you happen to use Wordpress as your publisher, you're in luck. Wordpress offers a free plugin called Yoast that analyzes your blogs and pages for SEO value. If you have yet to install this plugin, give it a go to maximize your auditing efforts.
· Keep keywords to a minimum. Keywords are still important in 2015, but too much of a good thing can backfire. Use your Yoast tool to determine the best keyword density for your content.
2. Curating Content: Something to Talk About. One of the challenges of content marketing is figuring out exactly what to say. Content curation fills that gap while providing fresh content on a regular basis. While curating content is not a substitute to eliminating your original content efforts all together, it serves as a supplement to your overall content strategy.
Quick Tips to Curating Content. Curating content is on the rise for 2015, and here are several quick tips to get started on curating the right way:
· Invest in efficient curation tools. Manually curating content can take a while, but there are tools to help you save time. Content curation tools like Scoop.it can maximize your efforts by bringing you the best content on the web at the click of a button.
· Search social. There are several go-to platforms for finding hot topics, one being Quora. Quora is a community-based question and answer website that has topics relating to almost any niche. You might have to dig a bit, but it is free to use and has a lot of great topics and ideas.
· Always add your own insight. Although curating content might seem like a game of copy and paste, there's a bit more to it than that. The best strategy for curating content is adding your own expert insight; be sure to credit your original source, and write out a few thought-worthy comments about the subject at hand.
Content marketing in itself can help you steer clear from Panda and Penguin, but it's important to do things the right way from the beginning. These quick tips for content auditing and curating can help you maximize the efficiency of your 2015 content marketing strategy.
6 Ways Content Marketing Gets You Ahead in 2015
You already know that content marketing gets you ahead of Google's inevitable updates. However, there are many other important roles that content marketing plays in 2015.
1. Content Marketing Establishes Your Brand. Brand awareness is crucial for establishing yourself in 2015. Gaining the trust of potential customers can be an uphill battle, and operating as an unknown brand turns a mole hole into a mountain. Luckily, content marketing offers a way around that mountain.
Content marketing can establish your brand as a trusted source of go-to information. This can be accomplished both through curating and original content. If your brand can satisfy the needs of your customers on a content level, you can be sure that they will remember you when they're ready to buy in the future.
2. Content Marketing Boosts Your Website Rankings. If your website's ranking matters to you whatsoever, content marketing puts you in a position of SEO power in 2015. With Google placing more value on content marketing now than ever before, quality content will have a direct impact on your website's search engine rankings.
3. Content Marketing Conquers Link Building. Remember the link building comment that I made earlier? This is where link building - well, links - to content marketing. Link building is one of the primary factors to ranking well on Google, but building quality links doesn't happen at the snap of a finger.
The driving force behind link building is content. Although quality content does not guarantee an endless amount of inbound links, it will up your chances of obtaining them. People tend to link to quality content that is relevant and educates.
4. Content Marketing Drives Social Engagement. If you are like most other companies, chances are that you're using social media in one form of another. When you think about it, social media is content marketing. Even if you only write a sentence or two, you still have to put thought into your tweets and statuses. You also have to ask yourself how your comments will help your audience, and if what you are saying is relevant.
Not only that, but content itself is what goes viral on social media. Think videos, popular blog posts, news articles, and more. Social media is like a vessel that carries content to the hands of your audience.
5. Content Marketing Makes You a Thought Leader. Those who invest time and effort into content marketing are the trailblazers of their industry. In order to be a thought leader, your content must be original, useful, and on-point with the needs of your audience.
Content marketing can help brands achieve thought leader status by implementing smart strategies. Publish content on a regular basis, engage your audience, and build a rock-solid reputation with content marketing.
6. Content Marketing Keeps You on Top of Industry Trends. In order to be a smart content marketer, it is vital that you remain current on all industry trends. This forces you to set aside time each day or week to review hot topics in your industry. Not only does this benefit your brand for content marketing, but it also helps keep you educated about your own industry.
Overall, Content Marketing Just Makes Sense
We all know that investing in new marketing techniques can be a gamble. Even though every industry has its own techniques that work best for marketing, you can almost never go wrong with content.
Those who invest in content marketing can win big, but only if they do it correctly. The kind of content that is important to implement in 2015 is:
· Engaging: The best kind of content is the kind that provokes and engages. If your content is not stimulating in one way or another, it will be difficult to reap the real benefits of content marketing.
· Educational: Panda 4.1 has proved to us that educational content wins big in the search engines. Education is valuable, so creating content that educates your audience is key to winning with Google.
· Fresh And Timely: When it comes to content marketing, timing is everything. Keep your content fresh and ahead of the curve every week. Stale content not only looks bad to your audience, but it can also negatively impact your ranking on Google.
· Answering Questions: Hammering home the question/answer topic, this kind of content marketing always scores with your audience. Answering the needs of your audience will keep them coming back for more.
Content marketing has been important for branding ever since the days of the printing press. This is no exception to 2015, as content marketing's relevancy and value only continues to increase on a yearly basis. From establishing a solid reputation, to drumming up social media engagement and becoming a thought leader, content marketing is of utmost importance in 2015 and beyond.