Content Marketing or SEO? It’s not a question of one or the other 

Posted on Jun 17, 2014 in audience research, content marketing masterclass dates, SEO, Uncategorized | 0 comments

how to use content marketing and seo

The best online marketing is a potent mix of SEO and Content (image: search engine journal)

I’ve helped clients up and down the country improve their online visibility with content marketing and search engine optimisation (SEO), so that they can improve their online presence and their chance of attracting and acquiring new customers.

In each instance I’ve focused my support on keyword research and on all facets of on-page optimisation, as well as research target audiences, develop audience personas, and map, gap, and create content that attracts, engages and converts prospective customers online. The job is a potent mix of SEO and content marketing.

But my clients are time-poor, so they invariably ask me “what should we spend our time on: content marketing or SEO?”

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: It’s not one or the other. Like social media and content, SEO and content are joined at the hip. Inseparable.

The value of SEO

Search engine optimisation is important because it makes your website search-engine friendly. An optimised site makes your website easier to index in search engines. Doing SEO is like paving a road to your website. SEO ensures spiders and bots find and understand your site, and deliver it back in search engine results pages (SERPs) where it can be found by your potential audiences and prospective customers. That’s why your website needs to have SEO.

The value of content marketing

Content, when it’s planned and relevant, is the bait that attracts traffic to your website, gets you known, and improves your chances of winning customers in highly competitive world. Without compelling content, you might as well not bother with online marketing, unless of course, you’re satisfied with a static online brochure. 

So the question is not SEO or Content Marketing, but rather what aspects of each should you spend your time on. 

The advice we give our participants on Content Masterclass is the following:

1. Pave the road to your website with conventional SEO

When redesigning and optimising your website to comply with current search standards,you need to spend a few days using tools to help you audit, evaluate and improve your keyword and on-page optimisation tactics. 

2. Research audiences and plan a calendar of editorial content to attract, engage and convert your target audiences 

Develop customer personas to guide your editorial decisions and plan out content for each stage of your customers’ decision making journey. 

Why not enrol for the next Content Masterclass and learn how to combine SEO and content marketing for optimal results? 

Author: Stephen Bateman

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The biggest social media mistake: putting the cart before the horse 

Posted on Jun 13, 2014 in audience research, content marketing masterclass dates, social media | 0 comments

social media and content marketing

How to marry social media and content marketing for better results.

A business that uses social media marketing without first deciding what they want to achieve, and the steps needed to get there, is wasting valuable time and money.

The two mistakes I see most frequently with social media marketing are:

1. Too often businesses don’t research their audiences properly 

Contrary to common practice, social media, which is distribution, is not the first step to take when you decide to ramp up your online marketing. All too often the companies I advise, big and small, dabble first on social media, without properly researching their target audience. 

Social media has the power to marry a business to its audience (for life!). Marriage is both precious and delicate. Therefore, be sure, at the research stage, to build buyer personas, so that you know exactly who you are trying to reach, and what kind of content will attract them, engage them and convert them.

The deeper the customer insights you gather, the better your social strategy will be. Developing deep customers insights and mapping content to customer buying stages (Awareness, Consideration and Decision) is a pet hobby of mine, and a skill that I like to emphasise and help people improve with bucket load of tools and techniques when I teach a Content Masterclass. 

2. Marketers start with the platforms, not the business goals nor the plan 

As I said previously, all too often, I see businesses jump on the platforms first, when in fact, effective channel strategy and distribution cascade from the customer insights you gather in the early stages of your content marketing planning. 

The very first thing you need to clarify and document are your business goals and decide what marketing can do to help you achieve those goals. Once you’ve clarified your goals and decided  how marketing is going to help you, can you select your best distribution channels for the job. 

Overall, businesses that start with social media are putting the cart before the horse, and they will fail to attract, engage or convert on audience online. It’s like deciding to start a business before researching customers. It’s expensive, it’s risky and it’s stupid. 

So get on your horse, be wise, and register for the next content marketing masterclass. We’ll show you how to build the cart! 

For more actionable advice on planning social media and content marketing for better marketing results read this expert post on Smart Insights.

Author: Stephen Bateman

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