At this point, I’m sure you’ve heard all about content, what it might be, who you need to create it, and even why your business needs it. You may have even heard the term “content marketing” thrown around.
But really, what does content actually do?
That’s a broad question with many possible answers, so let’s start at the basement level:
What is content?
As discussed in our FAQ, content can take many, many different forms. From more familiar varieties such as blog posts, videos, and press releases to less intuitive sources such as a promotional contest or an email marketing campaign, anything that is created with the intention to be shared can be considered to be a piece of content.
Now that we know what content is, we can start to get into what it’s used for and how:
Content is used to get a link.
Ideally, this is what we want to happen. If your content is of high content, relevant, sharable, and all-around likable, it has the potential to get you a link. Since natural backlinks remain the backbone of an online marketing strategy, the best end result of a piece of content is to get someone else to link to it.
Depending on many other factors, even a single link can make a huge difference in a website’s search rankings for certain keywords. In general, the more links to a piece of content from quality domains, the better it is for the domain that originally published it.
Content is used to get a customer to take action.
Let’s say you own a donut shop, and you notice one night that a character on a popular TV show has developed a love of donuts. Noticing a trend coming, you hop on your computer and write a quick blog post about it. You post a link on your Facebook page telling others that this lovable character loves donuts. You may even tweet at the TV network to tell them that your donuts would be his favorite.
If the TV network retweets you, you could see a lot more traffic on your website. This small unofficial endorsement along with a well-designed website could give you more donut orders than you can fill!
Content is used for brand awareness.
Sharable content not only entices others to take action and/or give you a link, but it can be an effective and inexpensive way to get your name out there. The more quality, relevant content your company or firm produces, the more you look like a resource and an authority to your potential customers. This kind of trust will naturally help conversions.
Content is used to supplement an online marketing strategy.
Besides working on its own, content is also very useful to the other components of a quality online marketing effort.
For example, a blog adds relevant, fresh, regular, original content to your domain, which is always a good thing. Social media activity sends signals to search engines that your website and your brand is alive and well, ready to help and engage with the community. Press opportunities can attract attention from traditional media, which can generate good links and drive organic traffic to your website. And the list goes on.
Because content can do so many things, it’s an essential part of any online marketing strategy. Good content combined with the follow-through of skilled and directed sharing can have a big impact on your marketing efforts over time. That’s why it’s so important that you make content a priority when thinking about the best way to increase your online value.