Recently I attended the Content Marketing Retreat on Whidbey Island in Langley, WA. This is the fourth consecutive year for this retreat, sponsored by the Langley Center for New Media and FusionSpark Media, both located on the island. This year’s theme was “Best Practices for Measuring Content Marketing ROI,” and the list of presenters took on such topics as SEO, tracking the right metrics, converting rich media to leads and measuring word-of-mouth marketing.
iMarket Solutions proudly partners with MOZ to track the various SEO tactics for our clients. The opportunity to see co-founder Rand Fishkin present his keynote was a pleasure and a learning experience all in one. Rand’s presentation “Why Your Content Marketing Will Fail” offered up some wise reflections on how online marketing has evolved, and provided some excellent tips on helping your business get the most from its digital space.
Content Marketing Is Not A Straight Line
When we design content for the web, we often treat it as a step-by-step process that our consumers will take to locate us, click on our offer and subsequently buy our goods or services. Anyone who has ever searched the web knows that this is not the case at all. We battle against baby photos and cat videos on social channels, Facebook posts from friends, and the latest celebrity meltdowns screaming across the news sites. Consumers have a low attention span – especially on the web – and they rarely need us when they see us. It’s when they need us to solve a problem that we want them to remember us.
Content Without Community Will Not Work
Content spreads because it inspires a community. Great content can reinforce an already set belief in the person exposed to it. It often refutes an opposing argument which can bring about heated, passionate conversations. Content that is in someone’s financial or promotional interest will also gain momentum. If it makes the person sharing it look smarter, feel more important and perhaps come across as a bit more worldly, it can gain some ground. Content does not necessarily need to be mind-blowing. It simply needs to build a community with a connection to the message.
SEO Is Content’s Most Powerful Channel
According to Statisticbrain, over 6 billion searches take place on Google every day. While search traffic is distributed via keywords, social allows for a more highly concentrated effort. Of all the social networks, Facebook continues to be the biggest driver of social traffic to websites. (SimpleReach) When done right, content marketing becomes the rising tide that lifts the SEO ships. Without it, it becomes incredibly hard to earn the types of links that will provide domain authority and rankings in search engines.
Do Not Give Up Too Soon With Your Content
A solid content marketing strategy allows the process to gain momentum over time and permit the analytics to deduct subsequent steps, changes or modifications. Too often we stop too soon. Content marketing is truly a marathon, not a sprint, and failure only occurs if you do not learn from the experience. Keep pushing on, trying new ideas and being patient and persistent. We often quit just before the momentum can take hold, and a steady effort can make a world of difference.
Don’t let your content marketing efforts fail. Take to heart the lessons shared by Rand Fishkin and you, too, will find more success in your digital marketing efforts.
And if you’re looking to add a unique marketing conference to your list in 2015, consider attending the next Content Marketing Retreat in May. With top-notch presentations in a beautiful location featuring an intimate theatre setting, next year’s conference should be well worth the price of admission.