As a concept the term is used in several different contexts some directly relating to SEO and others to a specific marketing approach..
The main aim of content marketing is not to sell directly to the reader but is there to attract, inform and engage with the intended target audience. The content of each page is optimised specifically to be relevant and attractive to that specific target group. By providing what the visitor is looking for your content will create a positive and helpful experience that in turn will create a favourable impression or awareness of your brand, product or service.
In turn you can then engage with these individuals and begin the process of converting this initial contact into a lead or sale.
SEO is the process by which you make your site or page more readily visible or "findable" by Search Engines and presenting your content as a good match for specific search terms or phrases. The better your match the more likely you are to appear higher up the search results. The higher you appear the more clicks and traffic you will gain for your site.
Firstly when creating you content you can optimise the page or article for a specific term by using the right keywords and by using them appropriately in the page title headlines and body text. (You can see more on this whole subject on our "What is SEO" page).
Secondly search engines are operating on an increasingly sophisticated basis, taking into account far more than just keyword density. To do this they are looking for the opinions of your readers by examining signals of approval. You need to provide those signals indicating the quality and popularity of your content. Likes,tweets, shares and +1's on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ will all help with this. Equally important are number of links your content achieves. Great content will be able to do this for your site.
Your content marketing should therefore entail producing helpful, informative or entertaining copy that engages the reader and encourages sharing, linking and positive social signals. Product descriptions, sales blurb, contact details or about us pages are not likely to achieve this. Instead you need provide answers to the questions that your potential customers are seeking online. So for example when a butcher provides a recipe and cooking tips or a kitchen supplier writes about how to plan a kitchen rather than product descriptions they are Content Marketing - engaging with the interests of their target audience rather than selling their product directly.
H P Consulting can help you plan this process, find appropriate topics and keywords then develop a content plan and strategy that will deliver a steady stream of content that will be found by search engines and your target customer.
The final objective is of course to make sales and to collect data along the way so having produced your compelling content it needs to be supported by by suitable landing pages, calls to action and data collection (registration or online form). This can be more effective if the process is incentivised with some type of relevant offer such as a free download, PDF, white paper or access to additional information.
NB If you want to deliver regular content to your site you will need to consider what online infrastructure you have in place to facilitate this. Unless you already have a reasonably sophisticated content management system the very best way to do this is to have a blog. There are many good platforms that are freely available and free to use - we recommend wordpress.org. This platform is hosted on your server, has a good SEO optimised structure and each page becomes part of your site which is further positive signal for Search Engines. Most blogs readily connect with social media platforms making it easy to collect positive social signals for your content.
Suitable content can take many different forms so if you just getting started or are looking for inspiration and ideas to work with take a look at the Content Marketing suggestions here. Not all will be right for you, so think about what will be the best for your brand, product or service (and your resources).
If you think that your content could improve or you would like some extra affordable support in creating a content plan, producing content or getting it online on a regular basis why not get in touch?