The emergence of content marketing has catapulted some companies to new heights, while others have fallen down in rankings at an alarming rate. If you didn't realize that 'content is king', you will find that if your major marketing investment is not rich in content, then your competitors will no longer just be 'nipping at your tail' but will overtake you in leaps and bounds.
Google has changed algorithms for search yet again, ensuring that not only content is critical to any search engine ranking, but currency of content and the integration of different content platforms such as video, rank highly.
Most small businesses are being inundated with festive season gatherings and finishing off work prior to the break, with little time spent on marketing except for sending out Christmas cards, gifts or hosting a Christmas event. The reason why marketing falls to the way-side is that people lose focus over this time of year. They are already thinking about what they will be doing for their break or what gifts need to be bought. Many suffer from too much fun at festive activities or enjoying either the sunshine or the cold weather - depending on where you live.
Like in an economic downturn, this time of year is a time where most of your competitors (if you focus on a b2b business environment) will not be investing in marketing outside events for the festive season. There lies the opportunity to get a heads up on marketing for 2013 and start engaging with your clients and prospects on activities for the new year.
Now is a good time to think about a few things:1. What are your sales and marketing goals for 2013?
2. How is your business tracking on achieving these goals?
3. What marketing activities do you have in place for 2013? Are they still relevant or are there other new technologies that need to be added to the mix? i.e. Pinterest, MySpace
4. How will the economy influence buying decisions?
5. How are you engaging with your clients and prospects and is this medium still relevant or are their ways to improve this?
6. What is your content marketing strategy?
High quality content is not enough for both Google and your prospects. A strategy around content and its ability to engage with your clients and prospects is paramount to ensuring that you survive this 'new age' of content driven marketing. If you think about the fact that 1 in 5 social media messages include links to content and according to Social Media Today, 52 percent of consumers say blogs have impacted their purchasing decisions - the writing is in fact on the wall, if you choose to ignore its relevance and importance to your overall marketing strategy.
Small business owners know that having a website is critical to their business - if for nothing else - to let people know that they are in fact in business. What many small businesses do is that they invest in getting a website developed, write copy for it and add a few pictures, but then leave it to the universe to get clients and prospects to visit. It is not enough to have your website address on your business card or on your emails. That in itself won't guarantee a visit let alone ensure that prospects come to your website and engage with your business, leaving with a good understanding of what you do and why they should buy from your business.
Another area that small businesses fail to invest in is search engine optimization. Maybe you had someone do this for you when you first developed your website but it isn't updated regularly. With algorithms changing on search engines, you will find that your website is falling down in ranking all of a sudden and disappearing into cyber space.
Australians are the biggest users of social media, closely followed by the US. Displaying intuitive social-sharing buttons throughout your website is just a start to what you need to do. It's more about what content that you deliver and how relevant it is for visitors of your website to share it with others. Blogs, guides and social media postings are the most common forms of content marketing and are closely followed by audio and podcasts. They all encourage social sharing.
In the past, owning a domain name has ensured that you 'own' a particular keyword. That has now changed. It is becoming more and more worthless.
"Google changing exact-match domains is a win for those who invest in content marketing and those who are searching for relevant websites or blogs," Marketing Eye managing director Mellissah Smith said.
"Who wants to search a term only to be taken to a website that has no relevance?
"Trusted sources has also come up trumps for people searching Google and with video being indexed, it allows fresh information to rank highly and give visitors what they want to see and read."