Recently Google made a huge change to its search algorithm. The update which was dubbed Hummingbird was in essence the company’s attempt to make finding information with their search engine a great user experience. Many people use Google not only to locate plain information, but consumers use their search engine to find “content” that excites and salivates the senses. The old wisdom Content is King not only holds still true nowadays, but it is the lifeblood of our knowledge web that is driven by social networking and other social media.
After the rise of Facebook as a mainstream channel, for some time marketers became distracted by it. However soon they realised that chasing likes and building a follower base will only get the halfway there and that adding awesome content was need as a key tactic in their marketing arsenal. This was the birth of an online trend that revolves around the curation and creation of content; namely content marketing. Content marketing and content strategies are now becoming the cornerstone of successful digital marketing. This is particularly true for travel and tourism, where customers show high involvement in purchase decision making and the product only exists in the consumers mind until the point of consumption. Therefore it is not easy to get your content marketing right (Jeffbullas.com).
THE KEY PRINCIPLES OF CONTENT MARKETING
Jeff Bullas therefore had a closer look at the key principles of content marketing. At the heart of course lies memorable and engaging content. This is not easy to produce but successful guiding principles include simplicity, unexpectedness, credibility, emotions and stories. Headlines are extremely important in todays fast paced media consumption landscape. If the headline and the first couple of lines are not touching, than consumers move on to the next free source of information. Since customers are more demanding it is important to be absolutely focussed on the needs of your audience. Always put yourself in their shoes and ask the questions “Is this something my customer needs to know?” or “Would they find this information fascinating?“. Additionally it is important to give the content a good and daily digestible structure: Keep it short and simple, down to the point and avoid by any means walls of text without structure.
DISTRIBUTION OF CONTENT
A good content marketing strategy is of course not only about creating the right content, but also making sure it reaches the right audiences. Therefore social sharing buttons attached to each piece of content are a must. Secondly it is important to search-engine-optimise the content. Luckily there are free tools available (e.g. Yoast) that help you optimise your site for search engines. Subsequent distribution onto multiple platforms is also a given.
In conclusion, content marketing is about more than just producing engaging content, but is ask about reaching out to your audiences. It doesn’t matter if you are are focused on social media marketing or search marketing, contagious content needs to be woven into your overall marketing strategy.
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