Stop thinking Content Marketing and start thinking Communication
Today I have the pleasure of introducing a new author to the SEOAndy blog, Lyndon Antcliff a publisher of magnetic content across the web and all round great online marketer. His work and content has been published across the world in palces such as The Sunday Times, Time magazine, Wired and no doubt many blogs you have read too. So, who better to talk to us about content marketing and communication.
There are lots of blog posts about content or content marketing, but very few on communication.
Why is this?
There is the fact that content marketing is a buzzword, it's new, it's sexy, whilst the subject of communication is a bit tired a bit old, it's an analogue concept in a digital age.
That's the perception, it's wrong of course and whilst no one would probably say they "don't think" about the art of communication, think about how many blog posts and online conversations there are about "content marketing" and how little there is about techniques of online communication.
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Content is of course communication, the content creator and the website publisher is using the content as a vehicle to communicate a specific message. There is a problem though, and it's within some in the SEO community, the do not see content as communication they see content as fodder to pull in search engine traffic. But to what purpose?
Getting traffic to your website is only part of the problem, getting the traffic to do something once they are there is probably a bigger problem. It is the job of the website content to communicate with the people coming to the site a reason to buy, tweet, like on Facebook or change their opinion of the brand in a positive way, or even to simply be aware of the brand.
Content that can do both things, get the traffic and get the traffic to initiate an action is the sweet spot. It can be done of course, but content like this requires a huge investment in either time, if you do it yourself, or money if you pay someone else to do it.
Paying someone else to do it is totally doable, but you have to watch the ROI. It is far better to go with a smaller, passionate, hands on outfit than a swanky London type agency stacked to the gills with beautiful people.
But if you are a business owner, you are probably passionate about your business and don't see talking or communicating about what your business does as work, indeed it's an absolute pleasure. This type of person, the owner operator is usually the best person to run the twitter account, to write the blog posts, to host the Google hangout. Of course that all takes time and sometimes it's good to hand off the grunt work whilst you get on with the more interesting stuff.
Some websites reek of passion, even though their design leads a lot to be desired, people love them. People are not looking for great design, they are looking for great communication, something that web designers seem to forget, the aesthetic and how things look are of course important, but they are not the most important thing. Solving people's problems is the most important thing a website can strive to achieve.
A natural communicator will simply have to learn the mechanics of how the web works and how people use. It's not the most important thing, when it comes down to it, it's always going to be about communication skills and not some new, fancy pants buzzword.