Content Marketing is making every Brand a Publisher

We know a massive disruption is occurring right now in publishing. Not only are old media like Newspapers under attack from the likes of blogs, but brands themselves are taking to online publishing or what some call content marketing.

Before, these brands would advertise in the old media, taking out adverts and buying advertorials. Now the brands themselves are creating content in which to build their brand, attract new customers, increase customer attention etc.

Although technology is allowing a brand or small business to become a publisher of web content and little cost, it is the story or the narrative of the message that is the true King.

Because, it’s not that content is king, most are wrong about this. Content is not King, it’s actually worthless. What is King is The Story. Unless the narrative grabs you emotionally and pulls you in, the content may as well be a pile of grey dust, stepped over on the way to buy a donut.

A lot of online properties have built themselves on foundations of waste pits of garbage content, churned out with no love and a couple of dollars thrown the writers way. Google with it’s not too recent updates put paid to that.

You can no longer build empires of online real estate using the Pyramid method, where the lowest level is garbage and links up to the next level which gets better and better in quality, till at the summit you actually get to the point where you have something you actually want to read.

Efficiencies in scale are always important when it comes to publishing. But if the content you produce does not resonate, does not connect, what’s the point.

Teaching content marketing on Linkbait Coaching daily means I come into contact with people who get this, along with:

  • An understanding you have to think before you create
  • Knowledge that real people need to desire the content
  • Time and resources will be needed to create quality content
  • We should be in the publishing mindset and not the seo mindset
  • We create for people, not search engines
  • Links are a natural effect of our work

Talking to a lot of SEO agencies, I get a feeling that some do not yet get the fact they are in publishing, rather than busting algos.

The story and a deep understanding on the pyschological needs of other humans are now the key weapons in the fight for eyeballs and sales in the World of online marketing.

Getting The Story right is the most important thing an online business can be doing right now in terms of internet marketing.

Methodology of Content Marketing

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A methodology should underpin the tactic which supports the content strategy.

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The tactic I use is the tactic of the story, and of seeking a deep understanding of how narrative psychology works can give you the edge

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Ultimately the best way to get links is on merit, and in as natural as fashion as possible.

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Passion can create a lot of content.

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Its how Google wants to do things

Its how we would all like search engines to organise information.

And so sometimes we do have to reach for a bag of tricks.

But in my experience, getting links on merit by building content that is worthy of sharing is still the most effective way to achieve a ranking in the search engine ranking pages.

But its not enough to simply have fantastic content, quality is subjective and a client and a linker may disagree what quality is.

Content also needs to be promoted, marketed. If you are not passionate about the content you will not be passionate about the promotion.

So, a web pages with a collection of dead kittens in wine glasses? Is that quality? And yet it gets links.

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Passionate, creative, single themed websites gets links

Thingsappleisworthmorethan.tumblr.com

Creative content that connects and engages with specific audiences will get links.

Simple ideas done with passion and love will win over engineered fakeness. Real communication is the best tactic you can deploy.

Web content should be designed to make People gasp, not Bots

You cannot build natural links.

You cannot build organic links.

You can only build content that attracts, that persuades that can be promoted.

But wait, all the seo industry keep banging on about how you must build natural this and organic that.

Understand this, “we are not discussing peaches”.

And I love a good peach.

Quite simply, and I hate to say this as I have a lot of mates (and I even do it myself) do the natural-organic, link build shuffle. The reason it exists is one of marketing speak and oh how marketers love to create jargon.

In other words, it’s guff.

Marketing guff.

And it’s very effective marketing guff.

As an industry we need to label complex, machine based processes with easy to use fluffy, psuedo hippy terms like “organic”. This helps us sell a service that is imperfect, and hide the fact that we don’t totally know what the hell is going on because Google wont tell us. Of course you wouldn’t think that if you read most seo blogs as most present pure guess work as ironclad fact.

Google will hint that we need to build fields of lush, verdant organic links without a tinge of blackhat (another guff word) pesticide.

The problem with this is the language that marketing people use. But Google is run run by engineers and what we are dealing with is a highly engineered, efficient machine.

Get it into your heads.

Google is a machine.

What the hell is organic about that?

Building natural links is an oxymoron.

Is it better to suggest we need to build links that the machine “thinks” is natural.?

Machines are process led, they repeat tasks, they create patterns. Not that you could possibly backward engineer the Google algo . It is one of the most incredible things man has created, I could throw out some mind blowing stats here but you probably already know.

The point is:

We build content for people.

We try to build content for the machine.

Time for us to try to stop doing both.

Web content should be designed to make people gasp, not for a bot to judge with ones or zeroes.

Best Cornish Pasty in Truro

I know this may be slightly off the beaten path of digital marketing, but I just want to let you know that if you are ever find yourself in Truro, the best pasties can be found at Rowes. What with the Govenment making the pasty 20% more expensive, I thought a shout out to my local pasty maker was called for.

And no they are not a client and no cash was passed under or over the table for this post, and no pasty either. Although any pasties that are sent are welcome ;)

There are other pasty makers who claim to be better and a lot of kitchen table outfits that go for the gourmet market. But these tend to be eaten by the tourists, Rowes is the place where the locals eat at. And there is always a queue when the pasty’s come out the oven.

OK, now making myself hungry again.

Their website looks cool too, although look at they only have 281 likes on their Facebook page and it’s a shame they didn’t knock up any magnetic content around the recent Pastygate.

When we put on the Magentic Web Content seminar refreshments will be pasties from Rowes

Quick Few Thoughts on Content Marketing Before I finish my Porridge

The online marketing industry is using the term “content marketing”, widely and consistently. Which means I must use it too, even though I have an urge to write a 10k word essay on the subject of why it shouldn’t be used.

Thinking, rather than acting can sometimes (not always) hurt the bottom line.

As Linkbait Coaching 3.0 is about to launch it makes sense to start a Content Marketing course.

Most people still don’t get blogging.

Deeper thinking about the technique will always win, unless you are selling a content marketing course and then it makes more sense to say the stuff is easy. I can’t do that, which I understand does affect business and I really have tried to sell out and be a commerce whore but it goes against my OS. So, always market to those who seek high ability over a quick fix.

All online output is communication and all communication is marketing, even down to the privacy policy.

Basic, bog standard link building still works. Get in touch and I can sort you out with something very tasty.

Why Content Marketing is the Wrong Way Round

Content marketing is the wrong term, as I have discussed before, you are not marketing content, you are using content to attract people to you website to be persuaded to perform specific actions such as purchasing, lead generation etc.

You are not marketing content, but creating magnetic content. Content that not only attracts, but is sticky, and embeds into the sub-consciousness.

But, the term content marketing has taken hold, and propagated mostly by people wanting to sell to people who lack understanding over the form.

Why is this important?

Putting too much emphasis on the content rather than the purpose of the website can take your eye off the ball. Its not abut the content, the content is merely a tool, a mechanism. Some content creators miss this aspect and end up having the cart pulling the horse.

It’s understandable because whenever the term content marketing is raised the cliched terms of “quality content! and “content is King”, are not far behind. And like all cliches, there is a foundation of truth, but not the whole truth.

I think the reason for the over focus on “content”, rather than the purpose of the website is because most content creators still don’t get the reason web content exists and what it can be used for.

A lot of content is created for the purpose of link building, if the content is created and then marketed its the wrong way round. To create content and then market the content is wasteful and inifficient. The marketing should be first and the content comes after.

You find out what the linkerati want and then you create content.

It’s odd how many come up with the idea for content before fully analysing the needs of the market they are targeting.

Find out what people want and give it to them.

Most people think the content they should be producing should be the content which they like, rather than what the market requires.

Marketing then content

Not

“Content marketing”

But I’m afraid it doesn’t scan well.

Its not simply about being pedantic, its about creating creating the correct mindset and work flow.

Developing The correct mindset is something that is crucial to creating magnetic web content and I am going to be blogging about this later.

You may not think this matters much, but if you don’t have the right content creation processes in place and most don’t then your content efforts will never reach their full potential, whilst your competitor gets it together.

Content Marketing Training or Linkbait Coaching?

I had a feeling it was coming about a year ago.

A new term to describe something that doesn’t really need a new term and yet at the same time is meaningless.

But lets put aside such semantic discussions for those who chose to burn time on such matters.

The term “Content Marketing” is here and lets embrace it like a long lost friend.

I don’t have to buy into the artifice that this is a new technique, all shiny and fresh. The readers to this blog are mostly hard nosed online marketers who know that knew terms like this are only created so the same old stuff can be repackaged and sold as a new marketing concept.

And so a writer, now becomes a content marketing consultant.

OK, it’s not exactly like that and there are nuances to the term and it’s meaning, blah blah blah.

The term “linkbait” went through a similar process when it stuck its mongrel head out the hole from whence it came. Lots of screen reading time was devoted to its true meaning and whether the £800 suited marketing exec of an International Corporation should be told he needed “Linkbait”, without implying it’s something found on a pavement after a crack addict has vomited on it.

And so it’s natural that the term, “content marketing” has kicked linkbait off the charts. Just like New Wave replaced punk, these things go in cycles.

I know what you are think, “yeah but linkbait isn’t anything like content marketing….” yada yada yada.

You are missing the point.

The reasons these terms exist in the first place is purely economic. They exist so we can sell stuff to clients who don’t want a two hour insight into the nuances of the technique.

The terms do not have defined meanings (a Wikipedia entry is not indicative of a defined meaning) and so when talking to a client the term can be shaped to suit the objective.

The term can now describe a range of things that were not bundled together before. Which is very useful when explaining things to a client, as they do not have the time to understand detail.

Maybe I am being a tad cynical, but I like the thought process to be transparent and it helps me when people say, “Dude, just get over it, content marketing is King“.

Now, as I train people in the dark art of linkbaiting, it’s not too much of a leap to repackage that training into content marketing training.

To my pals who agree with me that calling it “content marketing” is naff and really just a mind job, if the mainstream are running the term, may as well rank for it.

The process of going over to the dark side started last year, may as well embrace it and move forward.