During my career in digital marketing, I’ve worked with clients who are similar to my friends. They had a big vision for the future and a collection of smaller goals designed to get them there. Problems begin to arise, however, when those smaller goals start to cloud marketers’ minds. In content marketing, I see this happen all too often with keywords and SEO. Marketers focus on climbing the search engine ranks for key terms because they are drawn toward increases in traffic. But does focusing so closely on commonly searched words right now build a solid foundation for the future? At Skyword, we believe content creation should not come with trade-offs—there is room for quality content at scale that is built with search keywords as one aspect, but not the core.
Brands that are serious about content creation recognize that there is an opportunity to stake a claim on certain topics and areas of expertise. They first focus on discovering fertile ground and then build great content and great experiences on top of it. In order to build a structure that businesses and their target audience can enjoy for many years, these brands are investing in a solid foundation in the form of content strategy.
Content marketing strategy requires investment and research on the target audience, different types of content, relevant keywords, and areas where the audience is currently spending time. This up-front work can then be used to build a plan and editorial calendar that can be executed with the brand voice and editorial guidelines in mind.
However, oftentimes, brand marketers who are building content programs are blinded by tactical key performance indicators that can only be measured once the content marketing program is well underway—such as search engine results pages and traffic from search. However, looking only at the SEO value of content and keywords is like only considering paint colors for the house and ignoring the identification of a plumber, a roofer or electrician (to name a few). Content can fill a marketing program with more than just keywords.
My friends quickly realized that a renovation was required if they wanted to move their family into the new house. Some walls would have to be knocked down to open up the house, which had been closed off into many small rooms. They worked within the realities of their budget to choose which walls to break down. They couldn’t fix everything at once, but they did make a few big changes that drastically improved the floor plan. Ignoring their original vision to save money might have resulted in simply stuffing nice furniture into tiny rooms—which, like focusing solely on keywords, only makes the situation worse.
What analogy does your company use? Let us know if your strategy is driven by a vision. Send us a quick note in the comments section or tweet us at @skyword.