As search engines like Google continue to use content quality and markers to help determine your performance in search engines, both content and social media marketing are rapidly becoming more potent. In the near future, both of these types of marketing may be completely unavoidable for any business with a presence on the internet.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing involves creating and sharing media content online with an ultimate objective of obtaining customers. The format that this content takes ranges from e-books and videos to how-to articles and infographic images.
The content of content marketing is unique among marketing material because it does not aim to sell. Rather, it tries to communicate with customers or prospective customers in an attempt to inspire business by cultivating knowledge in the consumer that will ultimately lead them to buy. Furthermore, this type of content is used to create customer loyalty (as the content marketer is identified as a reliable and valuable source of information).
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is about increasing your website’s traffic or brand awareness through social media networks like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. Social media marketing is carried out by developing content . This means that content marketing relies on the internet’s word-of-mouth as facilitated by social media sites. Consequently, social media marketing offers marketers a way to develop “earned media” that is distributed by others on your behalf, rather than paid media like internet advertisements.
In social media marketing, content is
modeled after the behavior of the individuals in any given social network. This is due in part to the format requirements of the platform, but more importantly is done to match user demand. For example, tweets have to be concise due to a strict character limit, and success on Tumblr or Pinterest isn’t going to happen without high quality photography or graphic design.
Content marketing is more laissez-faire when it comes to how content is presented and created. This is because content marketing is typically designed for a brand’s website where there are far less restrictions than a third party platform. With an entire website of space to utilize (and in any form of media), content marketing is far more of an open playing field.
Search Engine Synergy
With the most recent generation of changes to Google’s search algorithm, social networking and SEO are becoming virtually one and the same. This is because Google has begun to use the social media markers that represent user interest to help determine how the associated content and domains perform in search engines.
In fact, according to inbound marketing expert, Jeff Quipp, social media has become an important way to share content—one that gets noticed by Google. It’s the sharing of content on social media, rather than the social media presence itself, that will help most. Says Quipp: “if you tweet on Twitter or post to Facebook with links to relevant content and others re-tweet and engage with your content and talk about it on their social media platforms and websites, that will positively impact search rankings.”
As a result, social networks are becoming vital to the success of content marketing. Facebook, Twitter, and the other large social networks are now used to distribute backlinks for the brand’s websites rather than as the real containers of content. This also nearly neutralizes the restrictions placed on social media marketing by being forced to produce content on a 3rd-party platform.
The Bottom Line
Google wants to create a service that is biased only towards quality and popularity. Those who develop good content will continue to be the winners, but that content needs to be distributed and visible. Social media networks are the perfect solution because they can both distribute content and make your brand more visible while doing it. Content is only as valuable as the number of eyes that see it, so content marketing and social media marketing appear to be in together for the long haul.