Moz released the results of their 2015 Online Marketing Industry Survey at the end of last month, compiling and aggregating results from 3,600 participants to reflect 18 months of industry changes. Their results showed that 85% of their respondents were directly involved with content marketing, and that, in terms of overall demand for services, both content creation and curation showed solid increases, coming in at numbers 2 and 6, respectively, on the list. However, according to the 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends of North America, only 38% of marketers would rate their content marketing strategy as effective.
If effectiveness was measured as “accomplishing your overall objectives,” what is it that is creating this disconnect and causing the failure?
Oftentimes, the problem lies in the content department, or lack thereof, itself. Almost half of the respondents to Moz’s survey were small in-house teams composed of merely 1-3 people. What’s more, these teams are involved in all aspects of search marketing, rather than being committed to a content marketing department. When competing against industry professionals with dedicated teams and solo bloggers marketing their own products with passionate determination, it is hard to come across as an industry expert or as a leader in their product or service niche.
If your company happens to fall into this creation abyss, try applying the following tactics to improve your strategy and increase your effectiveness:
Content marketers hired to work in-house can understandably lack the passion of motivated entrepreneurs who have no choice but to fail or succeed with their products and services. To combat this disparity, hire individuals that exhibit a healthy curiosity and robust desire to become an expert in your industry. These candidates should believe in your product or service and be eager to share your dream. Encourage personal branding as well as personal projects that can lead to their self-development within your niche, and be open to their ideas and suggestions. Then schedule time for reading, learning and experimenting to help them become experts in the field. Allow them to invest themselves in your company and industry and the quality and exposure of their content will skyrocket!
Company-based blogs have the unfortunate reputation of coming across as impersonal, lacking that human element that helps readers form a connection and interact with the writer and company. Look for a content marketer who can take a tip from Rand Fishkin of Moz and share the human side of your company to help people relate. This can include sharing an interesting fact about themselves in their blogs, or creating videos or podcasts with a personal approach that puts a face to the company. You may also consider encouraging your content marketer to create their own blog that allows them to promote themselves, and their connection to your company, to establish their authority within the industry and further increase their exposure.
Brand awareness and high volumes of traffic are great, but increasing conversions should ALWAYS be your ultimate goal, as small increases in conversions can increase your revenue exponentially. Don’t lose focus on your company’s priorities just because your content marketing strategy has been generating high volumes of traffic and leads. Take a look at the content you are producing and which ones have produced the most conversions, and try to incorporate any noticeable tactics into your future content.
Without original, high-quality pieces, your content marketing strategy is useless. Google’s Panda 4.2 algorithm rollout, which is expected to take effect over a few months, illustrates their commitment to awarding higher rankings to high-quality content focused on users. Ask for writing samples and hire content marketers with proven skills, then ensure they keep the following tips in mind:
Go long or go home. Google scans content and assumes shorter pieces contain less useful information, which results in poor rankings. Try to maintain 600 to 800 words, at the least.
Think about semantics and utilize synonyms; Google loves them and rewards their use with higher rankings. This means no keyword stuffing, period.
Consider esthetics and employ visuals. After all, you won’t be alone – more than 40% of Google search results now include photos and over 55% include videos. Not to mention:
At 1SEO.com Digital Agency, we are a leader in the internet marketing industry with a dedicated team of in-house content marketers who are committed to delivering quality content that is unique, knowledgeable, engaging and relevant, as well as effective for each of our client’s individualized campaigns. For more information on improving your digital marketing strategies, visit our blog and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.