What Is Content Advertising? Content advertising is the act of developing content for the purpose of being advertised through paid internet distribution channels. Some think it is more useful to know what content advertising is, which is in fact another popular online marketing term – it can easily get confused with: free marketing. Content is “what makes the world go round,” according to the most famous author; yet content marketing is essentially how content is developed to drive traffic and create buzz about a business or website. It’s easy to confuse web content with advertising – or at least the latter as we shall see shortly when we take a look at Google AdSense. Nonetheless, there is a subtle but important difference between web content and paid web content which should not be underestimated.
Content marketing, unlike advertising, is entirely interactive and user-centric. That is to say that it places a premium on user content – what readers and visitors are actually responding to and share with their networks. Web Content as a concept goes back to the very beginning of the web: it was all about creating informative, entertaining and sometimes useful content which could be shared and used by others. It was the first real attempt at self-promotion by a commercial enterprise outside of print media – something we have come to call Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
The problem was that search engines, which were originally a free service offered by universities and other organizations, soon started providing their own search results which, as it turns out, are largely determined by user behavior and search queries. This was great news for the content publishers because they now had a ready made, captive audience of Internet users looking for exactly the type of content they were publishing. Unfortunately, for the publishers, it also meant that they had to compete directly with Internet businesses who already had a foothold on the market and were far better funded to spend money on advertising and promotions. So, in order to stay in business and increase revenues, many of these organizations simply ignored or blocked all efforts by the independent content publishers to include their pages in their lists of sponsored links. Today, search engines still list sponsored links alongside genuine content pages – but this is increasingly limited by the way in which users are now searching for specific types of products and services management on the Web. While users may click on a company’s link if they match a search query, if the user is looking for the exact product or service the company offers then the sponsored link is simply wasted space on the search engine results page and a waste of money for the advertiser.
So, how can Content Marketing Explode Your Business? The best way is to start with an in-depth understanding of how Search Engines work, the way in which Web Content is produced and the various types of content which are being published today on the Web. Then, get the cooperation of the major search engines to include your pages in their lists of sponsored links – i.e. put them on the right landing page within search results pages where users are searching for specific types of products or services. If you have done your homework, this should not be too difficult to achieve.
Ideally, your website pages should comprise all the types of content that are relevant to your pages and provide good value to your visitors. Ideally, those pages which contain content which are rich in keywords are also those pages which draw the most attention from search engines and get placed at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs). The more relevant your content is to the queries of your visitors, the more likely they will be to click on the sponsored links within your text or over your links. That’s why content and its production are crucial to achieving success with e-business today.
Content marketing can be challenging because of the huge number of potential competitors out there who are working in similar markets to yours. It’s important to identify their strengths and weakness, their strengths and weaknesses as well as their overall target market and then develop your own unique selling proposition (USP) to better position your company alongside your competitors. If there are gaps in your company information or expertise, these should immediately be filled in by including relevant content in your website. If you’re a small or medium sized business, a dedicated e-newsletter is highly effective in generating interest and buzz around your brand. This can be easily set up as an email course or newsletter and sent to your entire list at one time.
The beauty of this approach is that subscribers to your e-newsletter will already be interested in your products and services so you’ll have an immediate opportunity to sell to them when they open your first e-newsletter. The advantage of this method over traditional advertising is that you are able to target people who may not be aware of your company’s existence yet. For example, people who search for ‘cell phones’ on Google every month will probably be interested in buying a hands-free device that also acts as a GPS device. This makes it easier for them to click on your sponsored links in your text or over your links in your website.
A well designed content marketing campaign will also make it easier to target your audience by using the correct terminology and tone of voice. Don’t use terms that could be offensive to your readers as this could result in a large chunk of your subscriber list unsubscribing. You want to provide informative, interesting and legitimate content that relates to your niche. You want to offer an informative, interesting and legitimate content that relates to your niche. Your content marketing campaign is what is going to ultimately determine whether your company is seen and recognized within your specific industry.