Content marketing and SEO: the questions B2B marketers should ask

By now, every digital marketer knows the wonders of content marketing. There’s a reason 80 percent of B2B marketers have a content marketing strategy, according to research from Content Marketing Institute. From building trust and authority with readers, to increasing targeted customer engagement, generating more leads, and ultimately increasing sales, content marketing has been a marketing game changer, especially for B2B brands.

Of course, search engine optimization is another equally important pillar in the digital marketing ecosystem. Your brand popping up in organic search results and increasing traffic to your site is a critically important piece of the puzzle.

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But as Google, Bing, and other search engine platforms get smarter by building more critical algorithms, it becomes increasingly difficult for brands to keep their SEO high. Google alone changes its search algorithm around 500 to 600 times per year, making high SEO less of a guarantee and more of a long-term goal brands must approach strategically.

The solution to this is rooted in content marketing. Put simply, this means creating content designed not to sell a specific product, but rather to promote a larger brand narrative. All that said, what is good content marketing if it isn’t promoted effectively with SEO?

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SEO improves your content marketing and, in turn, content marketing increases your SEO. These digital strategies complement and feed one another. As you review marketing plans for 2016, here are some imperative questions specific to SEO and content marketing that should be asked:

  • What content marketing plays have worked for your brand? Which campaigns have been less successful? Analyzing how previous content has performed and understanding those key learnings is a step that shouldn’t be missed.
  • Look at how your competitor’s content performs; do they include links to other branded channels? How are they leveraging SEO? Are keywords used?
  • Once you’ve crafted your piece of content marketing, ask yourself, “Is this a headline I would click on?” Today’s consumer is inundated with content, so marketers have to get creative with simple, quick, interesting headlines that pique a reader’s interest immediately. Use clear, straightforward language that either implies the “how-to” nature of your article or poses a question.
  • Does this content include our brand’s keywords and messages? Using high impression and relevant keywords is a significant, yet often overlooked, step. Do your SEO and keyword research beforehand, so you’re including verbiage that’s not only the in the voice of your brand, but will also appear in higher search results.

In conclusion

When it comes to promoting your brand online, collaboration is key. Many marketers have the misconception that SEO strategy should not include content marketing, and content marketing doesn’t need to consider SEO, but that siloed approach doesn’t work in today’s landscape. SEO and content marketing greatly enhance each other when used strategically. Effective content marketing, paired with smart and strategic SEO, will be a key driver to 2016 success for B2B marketers.

Article image via Flickr.

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