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Content Marketing: Conversation with a Leading Internet Marketing Expert on Why It’s the Wave of the Future & Why It Spells Opportunity for Freelance Writers

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Now, today’s post.

Content Marketing: It’s Prime Time for SEO / Web Content Writers

The other day, I had a phone conference with a pay per click firm my SEO writing company produces content for. The actual “work talk” lasted about half an hour; our discussion on content marketing and why it’s what many companies are finding that they need to invest in lasted about an hour and a half.

Just goes to show, when you get like minds on a subject they enjoy, it can last for hours.

My Client: Why What She Thinks about Web Content Marketing Is Important for You

This client actually owns the PPC marketing and training firm we write for. She’s been in internet marketing – specifically search marketing – since its inception and has worked for some of the leading advertisers (eg, eBay, Amazon) and leading search engines (eg, Yahoo!).

The only reason I point this out is because she’s helped to steer the internet marketing arena to where it is today. And what she said about web content marketing blew me away. Her sentiment is:

Content marketing is the wave of the future and those who invest in it now will leapfrog over the competition, who’ll be playing catch up for years.

This is exactly what I believe, so we were of the same mind.

Why Article Marketing Is So Effective

It’s why I’ve poured so much of my time and resources into article marketing over the years. Of course, I didn’t even know what “content marketing” was when I first started promoting my own products and services online. But, that’s exactly what article marketing amounts to – it’s an online marketing plan for “marketing content” to drive webtraffic and sales.

Note: Reference section below, The Power of Content Marketing on Organic Search: A #1 Google Ranking (Out of 15,900,000 Results), to see exactly what I mean. 

For those who many not be familiar with it, let’s officially define content marketing.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation or sharing of content for the purpose of engaging current and potential consumer bases. Content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering high-quality, relevant and valuable information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action. Content marketing has benefits in terms of retaining reader attention and improving brand loyalty. [Source: Wikipedia.com]

Why Content Marketing Works?

My take on why this form of online marketing works is this — we live in a very commercialized world. Content marketing helps consumers cut through the crap and find trusted, reliable retailers quicker. For those who invest in it, it’ll develop trust, create loyalty, strengthen your brand and increase sales – for years to come.

content-marketing-why-its-effectiveIt also makes the competition practically irrelevant because once a customer gets to know, like and trust you, they’ll even spend more to do business with you rather than invest in an unknown. This is particularly true in today’s crowded marketplace. Following is why.

Marketing Is Out Of Control!

Consider this: In the 1970’s the average American consumer was exposed to 500 marketing messages a day. Today that number is 3,500. Yes, the average American consumer is assaulted with 3,500 marketing messages a day. That’s one every 24 seconds (emphasis added), or 1.25 million marketing messages a year. [Source: SummitSmallBusiness.com].

FYI, this linked-to article provides great insight into why “advertising” is no longer enough, and why “targeting” (which is what content marketing does) is so much more effective.

And when you think about all the ways we can be contacted now, it’s no wonder! I mean, the old mediums still exist (eg, radio, TV, Newspapers, Magazines). Then, there’s new media (ie, cell phones, iPhones, email, social media, blackberries, etc.).

With just the old media alone, as a consumer we were bombarded with messages. Now, with new media added into the mix, you practically can’t get out of bed before being hit with an advertisement.

For example, on my Twitter account, I have over 2,100 subscribers. If each one of them sent just one marketing email a day, that ALONE is 2,100 marketing messages I’ve already received. And that’s before I turn on my TV, my cell phone, or check my email.

Jumping jeeping willikers! Ready to run for cover yet?!

How in the world can marketers get their messages through?

This is where content marketing can really set a business apart from the competition. In fact, my client – who has been successful for years doing a mix of old and new media – is changing the whole direction of her firm to focus almost exclusively on content marketing.

Now, this is a multi-million dollar company. And she so believes in this that she’s putting almost all of her eggs in this basket. Is it a good idea? I think so. Read on for why.

Web Content Marketing: Why It’s a “Can’t Lose” Way to Market

When consumers go online, they’re looking for a solution to a problem. They use search engines like Google to find INFORMATION to help them solve their problem.

web-content-marketing-equals-easy-salesNow imagine you have a problem. You go online to look for answers, and you land on two sites:

Site A: It gives you tons of helpful info about every conceivable part of the product/service you’re searching for. It offers helpful suggestions; tells you what to do; what not to do – and why; offers alternatives as to why “x” works and “y” doesn’t; etc.

OR

Site B: This site just has the bare minimum, ie, the product/service you’re interested in, maybe a description and a price — but nothing more. There’s no content to explain how it can help you do “x”; why you might want to try “y”; the benefits of doing “z.”

Which site would you be more likely to buy from? Site A, right (assuming things like price are in the same ball park)? In fact, you’d probably pay a little more to do business with Site A because the perceived value is so much higher, right?

This is one value of content marketing. And in my opinion, it’s not even the best part.

The Best Part of Content Marketing & Why It Signals Lots of Work for Freelance Writers

The biggest advantage of content marketing is that it drives traffic – for years. This is unlike a traditional ad on TV or in a magazine, for example, that disappears after its run is over (or after the consumer trashes it).

When a retailer invests in content – specifically search engine optimized content — if a prospect goes online three or five or seven years from now, that content will still pop up in search engines. This brings in qualified leads, and eventually sales.  

I have experienced this first hand. Articles I wrote back in 2005 when I first started using article marketing regularly to promote my ebooks still come up in searches. In addition to submitting to a few top article directories by hand, I also use Content Crooner, an article marketing submission service.

As I say on my SEO writing company site (http://newmediawords.biz/), it’s like “putting your article marketing on steroids. An auto-submission process, it distributes your article to hundreds of free article directories, editors, publishers and newsletters — with just one click.”

My client said to me that because she sees where it’s headed, she’s gearing up to not only steer her company in this direction, but to help her clients do it as well.

And this means one thing for freelance (SEO) writers – lots of work. You see, content has to be produced constantly to stay on top of search engines. This means a constant supply of blog posts, web articles, white papers, case studies, press releases, social media account management, videos, etc.  

New media is not like old media where you place an ad and let it run forever and still count on sales. Content nowadays has to constantly be added, changed, updated, repurposed, etc. And again, all of this means work for freelance writers.

Just like putting out this newsletter every week, I have to respond to market forces (ie, your questions) to help you achieve your goals. You keep coming back (hopefully) because I do this. This keeps you interested, informed and involved.

And this is what companies have to do now, says my client. Her exact words were:

People don’t want to be sold to anymore like we used to do in the old days. They want information to help them make informed decisions.

Content Marketing: One Thing That Makes It More Effective

And, this information has to be current, relevant and in depth (no thinly disguised sales pieces)  to the prospects’ end goal – which is to solve their problem — and if you’ll remember, is why they logged on in the first place.

Web Writing: Longer Blog Posts; Longer Web Articles?

One other thing this client said to me is that she’s finding that content needs to be longer. For example, we produce one blog post (250-300 words) and one SEO article (350-500 words) a week for her. But she said she’d noticed that another firm that writes for them — at the same rate we charge — produces longer pieces (up to 1,000 words) that get retweeted more and receives more comments.

Gulp!

As an aside, I told her we couldn’t match this other firm’s rates, so we’ll see if this company remains a client. I hope so, but sometimes you lose.

Is Now a Good Time to Start an SEO Writing Career?

I wrote this post for two reasons: (i) to relay “from the horse’s mouth” insight; and (ii) for all those who’ve written me asking, ‘Is now a good time to get into SEO; is the SEO writing market too crowded; what is the future of SEO writing; etc.'”

I can say with absolute certainty – SEO content writing is a growing field. And it will be for years to come.

Most companies, I’d venture to say as many as 95%– haven’t even BEGUN to invest in SEO content and content marketing. And I’m not exaggerating. Most business online these days either don’t know what content marketing is; or if they do, they don’t see the big picture yet and why it’s important to their future success.

I invariably tell prospects to think about content marketing this way:

If you’re not investing in it now and your competition is, where do you think your business will be in relation to theirs in three, five or seven years?

Sometimes a light bulb goes off and they’ll invest in it and/or start asking more questions.

The Power of Content Marketing on Organic Search: A #1 Google Ranking (Out of 15,900,000 Results)

They’ll need a big, expensive shovel to compete because while it’s easy to throw money into online marketing, those organic search results level the playing field, as the content in this hub highlights.

For prospects who do “get it”, they’ll keep you (freelance writers) busier than an ant at a summer church picnic social. You think SEO writers are busy now – wait until five years from now. This, too, I see in my business every day – the queries, the questions, the stops and starts (ie, request a proposal, haven’t heard back).

BUT, you have to be proactive to get the business. This means learning the trade (ie, getting SEO Copywriting Training), and marketing for SEO writing work.

I hope I’ve enlightened you, whether you’re a freelance writer looking for work, a wannabe SEO writer wondering if the field is too crowded, or a small business wondering how in the heck to compete in an increasingly crowded online world.

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Best,
Yuwanda

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