The content marketing industry is constantly changing. Contrary to popular belief there is no magic formula that will guarantee success. I often read bold statements from Internet marketers on blogs and forums such as, “You need X amount of 500-word articles produced on a bi-weekly basis,” however, this is simply not the case. In this post we look at a few lessons learned from content marketing campaigns.
As a content marketing strategist I have made many mistakes, but over the years I have come to realize that there is only thing that works; quality information.
Low quality content has a short lifespan
Many years ago the whole methodological approach to online marketing worked, and now many people are stubborn about letting go of the past. While old content plans can sometimes work for a short amount of time, they will not develop a sustainable business and eventually Google and Bing will find ways to filter them down or out of their rankings.
Content on ecommerce websites must benefit readers
Many of my clients are ecommerce businesses and I almost always find a lack of informative content on their websites. One of my previous clients – Strictly Tables and Chairs – had this very problem. After discovering that other blog and website owners refused to link to them because they are a commercial website, I recommended that they write a piece of content that would benefit a reader and not ‘promote’ their services in the traditional sense. With this piece of content developed bloggers were happier to provide a link to their page as it benefited their readers and offered some worth.
Content length doesn’t matter
Content farms such as Ezine Articles once provided the fastest way to acquire backlinks. The rules they set were often followed by other similar sites – which included a minimum word count. Each year Google has updated their algorithm content farms have tried to combat the changes by increasing their word counts. People often see this as gospel; however, in my experience word count simply doesn’t matter.
You don’t need to blog every other day
It’s no secret that blogging is an important and relevant part of content marketing; however, people will often substitute quality for quantity. When I developed a plan for The Pink Group our focus was to write only one or two blog posts every few months, but ensure they provided something that no other website had. The Pink Group went on to create the Social Media Cheat Sheet, which went viral and acquired thousands of social likes and shares in a very short space of time. Had the content already been published on other websites it would have never had so much success.
Curation is okay if it’s done properly
Content curation is often frowned upon; however, providing it’s not abused it can add real value to a blog. Contrary to popular belief there’s a difference between curation and plagiarism. Content curators credit the original author and simply amend the title and introduction to suit their publication. While developing a marketing plan for Lucy Bee, we curated articles once per month to add a different perspective to her blog – see the reference list at the bottom of her post. The result was a significant increase in organic traffic.
Content Marketing Campaigns
Although my experience as a content marketer has been short lived, I’ve seen the industry completely change direction twice during the past three years – Google’s Panda and Penguin updates. Both of these updates have reinforced one thing; quality websites with informative information will survive and benefit, while low-quality sites with poor content will fail.
If you’re developing a content marketing plan for your business keep these lessons in mind and focus only on quality. Fundamentally, if you fail to stick to the rules you’ll never build a long-term online presence.