By Ed Coghlan
Talk to the increasing number of marketing people who understand the importance of digital marketing and they’ll tell you one thing.
Content is King.
“Everyone understands that you need to have a digital infrastructure like your website, Facebook and Twitter,” said Eugene Lai, a digital marketing consultant from Costa Mesa, CA. “What they often miss is the importance of content to feed that infrastructure.”
A lot of times it’s because the company or organization still thinks about content the old fashioned way, send out a press release, buy an ad and tell your story. I remember talking with a CEO friend of mine recently who is now running an orthodontics supply company and realized, as smart as he is, that he still thinks of his website as a digital brochure. He didn’t understand that to keep his online presence, he needed to feed his digital assets.
“Real content marketing is part advertising, part public relations, part news,” said Victor Abalos, who runs the JVA Group in Los Angeles.”The clients who understand it and invest in it are ahead of the game because it’s a game that everyone will have to be playing in the near future.”
Abalos reminds clients that if you aren’t freshening your content, your website is less likely to be seen, your social media will stagnate and you will be passed by competitors.
You want as many people as possible to go to your website and see your message. The search engines have changed and have become very sophisticated and are now looking for content. Your web page to showing up in a search is now totally dependent on your content.
The internet still relies on words to help you find what you’re looking for. Those “keywords” in your content is what the search engines are now basing their search results on. Keywords are the gold coin on the Net. They will do nothing by themselves but inside your content they become the jet engines that power your site to being found and your message being read and understood.
Why all this concern about your website and social media?
Television station news departments and newspaper editorial staffs are shrinking by the day, so there are fewer reporters to talk to get your story placed. Advertising venues are increasingly fractionalized. This New York Times story from a year ago talks about how network prime television is a mere shadow of what it used to be.
Viewers are on cable, HBO, the internet, social media, and their smart phones. The younger you are, the less likely you are going to plop down in front of a television. Newspaper readers are still reading, but often for free and online (as Pew Research reported last year) while the number of ink stained hands continues to shrink and traditional newspapers fight for their very survival.
So businesses and organizations who used to depend on the media have to fend for themselves. Content marketing allows them to do that by using their digital properties as vehicles of information important to their audiences.
Content marketing is not advertising. In fact, most experts say that if you try to hard sell through your content marketing, you are probably going to fail. But written in an high quality, informative way the content connects you with your audience on things you both care about.
“Good content marketing can help you build a brand as an expert in the field in which you are trying to do business,” said Mitch Bednar, Vice President Cross-Media Sales & Marketing of Echo Communicate in Baltimore.
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