|The sweet music of a digital marketing campaign.|
By Adam Steele
'Content is king' is a phrase I'm sure everyone reading this blog has heard a few times. However, true as this vague, fortune cookie-esque wisdom might be, it didn't become king on its own.
Content without means of marketing is useless. This could be the greatest blog post in the world, but without help, no one is ever going to read it. Just to make clear, this is not the greatest blog in the world, this is just a tribute.
My Tenacious D references should indicate to you roughly how old I am. I belong to a generation that gets most of its daily news and information online - from news sites, blogs, social media or Google itself.
However, Google is no longer merely a hall of doors, offering you different pathways to find answers. It's now a source of information in its own right, that doesn't force you to click through to another site. This shift is called direct answers and today approximately 19 per cent of queries result in these answer boxes appearing at the top of the Google search results page. The salient point to take away is that print media is in decline and digital media is the here, now and future of information.
With this in mind, if your content is going to appear exclusively online - shouldn't you make sure it's well-optimised? Of course you should.
Keyword research to establish what your customers are typing into search engines and a content strategy to support these key words are both imperative if you wish to appear on the first SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
Granted, Google is focussing on new ways to make its search engine more effective at retrieving results. One of the ways Google is doing this is using semantic search. This moves away from the idea of matching keywords and sees the engines trying to understand what the user wants to find. Many SEO boffins are predicting 2016 will be a big year for semantic search. However, they all remain certain that keywords still have a very important role to play.
Often clients will ask us what the point of social media is, given that their hunch is that their target demographics aren't big social media users.
Social media is not only a great way to promote content online, but now also an effective SEO tool. For the first time last year, Google started indexing Facebook and Twitter pages in its SERPs - a big indicator of the importance it places on social media. Theoretically, if you have a Twitter, Facebook and Google+ page, you have four bites of the cherry to get onto page one for a keyword (including your website).
When deciding whether a web site should rank in SERPs, Google uses indicators that tell it whether content is authoritative and trustworthy. It's not too hard to imagine that in years to come, one of those indicators could be whether the company has active social media platforms with corresponding keywords. If you don't think social media is for your company, you might want to think again.
Regardless of whether you work in a B2B or B2C environment, you cannot get away with employing only one digital tactic and hoping it works on its own. Content, social media and SEO need to be aligned to get the most out of all three. If you're not writing compelling copy, well optimised for the web and promoting it via active social media platforms, you're missing the boat.
To end, I'll let Tenacious D sing me out with a rather fitting lyric you should take head of when considering your digital marketing strategy:
"Look into my eyes and it's easy to see
One and one make two, two and one make three,
It was destiny."