Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Content Marketing in 2014 - Facebook, Blogs, Social Media

by David Brown
Content marketing consultant, Creative webmaster
Logion Web Design

2014 will be the year of content marketing, which is the new buzzword for Internet marketing, exceeding SEO and Inbound marketing in news and searches on Google by leaps and bounds. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 60% of business to consumer marketers will increase their content marketing budget over the next 12 months.

So what is there to cheer about?


The fact that "content marketing" will become better known among small business owners in addition to major brands who have created entire departments for content marketing.

The fact that everyone needs to ramp up their game to maintain the edge in Google page ranking system. Content marketing will be a requirement, not an option, to maintain any semblance of authority in your industry, which is recognized by your target audience as well as Google.


The quality of content is where the battle is. How to provide quality, relevant, interesting content that people will share and respond to versus the same old same old, "buy our product" old school of intrusive advertising and marketing. We can cheer about this because this is what the demands of the target audience are - top quality content that engages, evokes response, is timely, and not always related just to the company's product or service, but also to brand recognition. Red Bull is an excellent example, as they have content marketing down to a science. Early on, when they decided to engage their target audience by penetrating, and eventually owning a majority of the extreme sports market, the strategy for content marketing was brilliant. The content that is marketed is the action - videos of extreme sports events - and the product is in the background or not even shown at all since everyone now associates the brand name with the drink product. (see our blog - "Red Bull - A Study in Facebook Content Marketing" ) 
 

Audience Driven Content and Assisted Living


With metrics and other data analysis tools we can see what content is driven by audience response, as well as what audiences are driven by certain types of content. Their is huge potential for creative and unique approaches, variations on the themes, and a fine tuning of competitive strategies for every industry. This is both an exciting and challenging time to stay at the edge of these marketing changes and to implement them with clients as appropriate to their industry.

For example, the assisted living market is mainly driven by family caregivers or family members that are female (usually daughters). They are caring for aging parents and eventually looking for the best facility to plan the move for their loved one from their home to a safer and more secure living arrangement that meets their needs for increased care. The competition is intense and one company is trying to dominate all of the local markets with a content marketing strategy of education to the consumer, while on the backside capturing leads from web visitors and taking large referral fees to local assisted living facilities. To compete against a giant like this is like David versus Goliath. However, with content marketing, there are still a few stones that we can put into the slingshot.
 

Content Marketing Links and Google

Google has made it very clear that page ranking is driven by content, that is associated with the author of the content who has been verified by Google. Both the Panda and Penguin updates have moved Google analysis of content towards more authenticity, to the point where the page ranking determined by their algorithm. Google keeps moving in the direction of a search-based audience centered strategy to deliver the best relevant search results based on audience response to the content as well as the content itself. A good link according to Google is one that is shared by a third party audience either in a review through a verified Google identity account, or within a social media format. Links that are intentionally created by the business to increase their page ranking are still valid, especially if the link is coming from a relevant web site that has strong domain or page authority.

An example would be a news release on PRweb.com. The metrics fro PRWeb are shown below. Both the domain and page authority are very high. With over 608,000 links, the link values can be clearly seen as having a strong influence on the authority of this site. Having a news release posted on this site is an example of setting up a link or two surrounded within relevant content from a third party site. Google will give more relevance to this that just a plain listing on a free Internet directory. Also note that is comparison, the social media sites of Facebook, Twitter, and Google + have a relatively small number of participants compared to the link metrics.

In 2014 we will most likely see a continued effort by Google to "police" the Internet by rewarding quality content and decreasing page ranking value for abusive content strategies which would include spamming content to hope that quantity will make up for quality.

Video as Audience Demand Content

Video , and especially YouTube (owned by Google), is a major factor in content marketing, and has a twofold purpose for audience driven strategies.

First, the content in the video is enough to stand alone on it's own, and cause the viewer to make buying decisions about the brand or service shown.

Second, the video content is a lead or introduction to explore a product or service source more closely, possibly ending up in a buying decision process by the viewer, either now or in the near future.

An example would be garage doors. A search is done on Google and at the top is a video that has been optimized so that it was given a stronger page ranking above web site search results. The audience is attracted to watching something about the object of their search, so they click on the video, watch it, and have an  impression about the content of the video that may drive their buying decision. When they take the next step and visit the web site of the company that created the video then the copyrighting will take over as content to help drive their decision process with education, testimonials, reviews, awards, and maybe an offer they cannot refuse.

Content Marketing 2013 Infographic

This one caught my attention as I was browsing various infographics. Created by Content Amp,
 in 2013, it gives a good view of the network between search engines, content creation, content sharing and social networks. Here's the link for the full image:
http://www.contentamp.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Content-Marketing-Landscape_NEW.jpg


Author profile
David Brown
owner: Logion Web Design

I have been involved in Internet marketing since 1999 including web design and development, web copyrighting, SEO and content marketing.

I offer a free consultation to small business owners who need better exposure on Google. 541-953-3360