In terms of Internet marketing, high quality content may be the closest thing to a “silver bullet” that most organizations have. Not only is it the perfect way to gain visibility and climb to the top of search results on engines like Google, but it also establishes a very real connection with your target audience at the exact same time.
Your potential buyers are actively looking for information that they can use to make better, more informed purchases. If that information comes from you, you come out all the better for it. Content marketing can be valuable, insightful and emotional all at the same time – if you do it properly, that is.
Despite this, there are still a number of companies who are yet to jump into the “content marketing” pool as they should be. Make no mistake: Content marketing in 2017 and beyond isn’t just important. Now is absolutely the time to double down on your existing efforts for a number of compelling reasons.
The Panda Situation
Thanks to Google, it’s very easy to track the evolution of search engine optimization (SEO) into two distinct periods: pre-Panda and post-Panda.
In the early days of the Internet, getting noticed on a search engine like Google essentially all came down to keywords. Google’s algorithm would crawl your page, analyze the keyword makeup and determine what order pages ranked in for certain searches based on things like volume and density.
The problem is that this system was incredibly easy to take advantage of. People would “stuff” their pages with relevant keywords packaged inside irrelevant (or even nonsensical) content. After all, if you wanted to get to the top of the search results for a particular topic, you didn’t have to have better content than everyone else – you just had to use more keywords.
People would also use “black hat” techniques to scam the system, like hiding keywords in the “background” on pages. They would change the font color of keywords to match the background color of the page, rendering them essentially invisible to humans but front-and-center for Google’s algorithm.
Also Read: How to Prevent Negative SEO?
When you add to that the content farm phenomenon – where companies would pay writers low wages to crank out low quality, keyword-filled content – and Google quickly had something of a quality issue on its hands. Something had to give and, luckily for all of us, it did.
In February of 2011, Google launched Panda – arguably the most significant adjustment to its search filter and algorithm system ever. Panda was sophisticated enough to weed out low quality sites that were spamming keywords to get to the top of rankings. Not only that, but Panda was also significantly harder to “game” – meaning that it was vastly harder to “cut in line” and get to the stop of the search results.
Prior to Panda, sites that drew much of their content from these aforementioned content farms – like eHow.com – regularly appeared near the top of just about every search you could think of. After Panda, many of these sites were hit hard – to the point where some never recovered.
Since 2011, Google has continued to update its algorithm to strengthen the work that Panda started. When a site is penalized due to Panda-related issues in another algorithm update, they essentially disappear from the results overnight. In many cases, it’s like they’re not on the Internet at all.
What This Means for Content Marketing
Keywords are still a very good thing – but abusing keywords has become very, very bad. So while it’s true that Google continues to willfully disrupt just about everything about the way it’s own search engine works, make no mistake: this is great news for people who care about content and who are willing to invest in content marketing in general.
Essentially, this means that there has never been a more perfect time to invest in the type of content that is already working on the Internet. High quality, visual content isn’t just a great way to get information across in a way that you can guarantee people will read – it also scratches that “Google” itch at the exact same time thanks to Panda.
When you use a tool like Visme to create a compelling presentation or Infographic, you’re creating a piece of evergreen content that will help increase your brand’s visibility AND strengthen your relationship with your audience in one fell swoop.
Anyone who tells you that “content marketing doesn’t work” is misunderstanding something incredibly simple. Bad content marketing doesn’t work – Google has made sure of that. But when you put the time and effort into a visually appealing, high quality Infographic, you’re suddenly elevating your game to the next level.
At this point, your content marketing becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. In the “old days,” you used to need Google to increase your visibility – only when content ranked would you get the volume of eyes on it that you needed. Now, that Infographic does it all – it’s something people want and have already proven themselves more than willing to share.
As more people share it, your site gets more traffic and your search ranking visibility increases naturally – thus starting the process all over again. By shifting your priority away from “keywords” to “quality,” you’re essentially killing two birds with one mighty stone.
Modern Marketing Requires Modern Content
Content marketing certainly isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. According to one survey, 60% of marketers say that they prioritize the creation of at least one piece of content every day. Year-over-year growth in unique site traffic tends to be almost 8 times higher for leaders in the content marketing space than everyone else. Most importantly, 78% of CMOs said that they deeply believe custom, high quality content is the future of marketing.
The actual shape that content marketing takes has changed before and rest assured it will change again. Shorter blog posts gave way to long-form pieces like white papers which transformed into social media content, video and beyond.
But the underlying theme throughout all of it has remained the same: if you give your audience the valuable, insightful and emotional content they’re looking for, you’re in a much better position to turn them from prospects into purchasers in an instant.
(Disclaimer: This is a guest post submitted on Techstory by the mentioned authors. All thecontents in the article have been provided to Techstory by the authors of the article. Techstory is not responsible or liable for any content in this article.)
Image Source: BusinessInsider
About The Author
Payman Taei is the founder of Visme, an easy-to-use online tool to create engaging presentations, infographics, and other forms of visual content. He is also the founder of HindSite Interactive, an award-winning Maryland digital agency specializing in website design, user experience and web app development.