Because at the end of the day,
Content is still king.
Agreed, you can have a wonderful website but without traffic, SEO, internet marketing and the rest your site is a digital paperweight.
Yes, you need both. Quality web development -and- quality internet marketing.
With the ever increasing inter-connectedness of web content and distribution channels and social media, having good content can often compensate for less than great marketing efforts.
The reverse however cannot be said.
“Our site quality algorithms are aimed at helping people find “high-quality” sites by reducing the rankings of low-quality content.”
~ Amit Singhal, Senior VP and Google Fellow
Quality content tends to percolate up through the search listings. It tends to gets noticed. Quality content tends to garner more of those precious, organic, authoritative, inbound links. Of increasing importance as social sharing drives not just direct traffic but also weighs more and more heavily into quality scoring for search placement; quality content tends to get shared more than weak content.
If your marketing is driving visitors to your online door but upon arrival your content is well, not-so-hot this is less-than a zero-sum outcome. You may end up with net negative return on your time and investment. It could be a step backwards.
Second only to your actual product/service and client services, how you communicate and present your offering or information online is the key determinant to the likelihood of current and potential future engagement with your target audience.
Already a favorite author, years ago a friend introduced me to Seth Godin’s book Purple Cow, one I’d not read yet. The basic concept being doing remarkable things as being the best marketing. Or as it applies here, having remarkable content; copy, events description, information, goods/services presentation, value-add content is your best marketing effort.
It’s too bad that most online “marketers” focus seems to be on the messenger, the marketing channel. This as opposed to the message as the key to what may be holding you back.
Cart before the horse?
With all the purveyors of SEO, SEM, Link Building, Social Media Marketing, Email, Affiliate Marketing etc. etc. what is often missed is that the starting point is still Content. The individual, company or association may be left with the impression that each of these are the elusive silver bullet. If only they had better (fill in the blank) then online sales, audience engagement, client services what-have-you would be better.
Yes, you do need smart internet marketing. Yes, these are activities we advocate for and that you should be pursuing. We can provide these services also.
What is striking to us however is how often the content is (take a breath) weak, poorly presented, thin, outdated, not optimized for either search engines or human online engagement, or burdensome to wade through by the consumer.
The impression we’re left with is that the website owner/manager considers their website a form of online bulletin board, that copy/paste from their print materials or simply attaching a PDF is good enough.
It is not.
While important we’re not talking so much about structural website usability, navigation and presentation. We’re not talking about the vessel. We’re talking about the contents.
Where do you see cart before the horse behavior exhibited?
- Social Media — We’ll update our social media outlet(s) first because it’s quick. We’ll do content or update the website later when we have time. Never mind that we don’t have anything to link to back on our site from all our social media mentions. We’re ok with passing on the opportunity to drive traffic to our own page for “more information” or conversion. We like silos.
- Email Marketing — Let’s get the email newsletter out first. That’s quicker and easier to do. We’ll just tell the entire story in the email. No matter that it’ll be 2 ft. long, our readers like scrolling. Or, we’ll just condense it down. We’ll update the website when we can get to it. Links back to the site for more information or in case there are updates? No time for that now, email is fine. Our information won’t change.
- Traditional Marketing — We need to get X into the paper, the press release, trade publication, on the billboard, radio, TV etc. We’ll draft the content for the website and get it updated… whenever. Besides we’re fine about abdicate the telling of our story to others. We’re trusting that way.
- Print Publications — Brochures, directories, leave-behind printed documents. Right, we can’t afford the print space or page count required to tell the full story so we’ll condense it down. Our information is permanent and unchanging. No need to link directly to a web page that could reflect any ongoing updated information over time. People can go to the home page and search for the content. Presenting the entire story on our website with a QR code on our printed pieces? I don’t use QR so I’m sure no one else does either.
Don’t be that guy. 😉
While content and internet marketing are dual tracks both of which must be pursued it is emphatically not a chicken/egg proposition. There is in fact a clear starting point. Where do you begin?
CMS – Content Management Solution
The primary reason we’re such strong advocates for CMS, Content Management System based web development is precisely because its superior facility to mange your website content. Here again, it is optimizing the value of your content that drives the decision making on CMS platform.
How is your content going to be managed and by whome!
A CMS based website means that you the owner/marketer have the greatest means, autonomy and economy to update the content on your website. You have the autonomy and control to manage your site content yourself, delegate in-house or outsource as you choose and as your needs and circumstances evolve.
The subject of CMS however is itself a large enough topic to warrant further, broader discussion. We’ll address this elsewhere. Suffice to say all our web development is on the single leading CMS available in the nation not to mention the world, WordPress. There are reasons why this is so and why it is good for you. We’ll leave this for elsewhere though.
Marketing Content Strategy | Management
This is a proactive, scheduled discipline with roles, time table and accountability.
“As things come in we want to get it up on the site…” That’s not a plan.
Your marketing content strategy and management needs to accommodate both (a.) planned and anticipated messaging along with (b.) as-needed unscheduled updates. You already have, or should have a marketing or event calendar, right? If not I suppose we can help you with that too. 🙂
Plans for the creation, publication, and governance of useful, usable content.
Working with you we’ll develop your marketing content strategy, management plan and calendar overlay. This charts the course for what, when and by whom inclusive of analytics for a data-driven feedback loop. This is key for ongoing course correction and goal attainment.
Your content strategy provides the framework guiding what content you should be publishing accounting for available resources and helps you plan for the future.
While optimized copy content is key we’ll need to consider the full range of content types for your online content marketing strategy including:
- SEO optimized copy content
- SEO optimized photo & video content
- Calendar updates
- Promotions, Ticketing, Registration
- Forms, surveys, maps, PDF’s etc.
- Infographics and more
While central to your online marketing content strategy it cannot be limited of course to just your website or blog. An effective and fully leveraged Marketing Content Strategy must incorporate and leverage your full spectrum of online and offline marketing channels. Integration is key to your Marketing Content Strategy and schedule.
So, if your plan is to get stuff up on the site… we can do better.
Let’s talk about your Marketing Content Strategy. Contact Us
Content creation, optimization and presentation.
A core competency for you?
Of course you and your team are the experts in providing your products and services. Given the critical nature of your online communications consider if communications and content development for web consumption and engagement is among your core competencies. Add to this your audience increasing wants to engage via their web enabled phone or tablet.
Is this a an area your team has the time and motivation to become expert at?