I recently had an interesting discussion with Ron Jones who is writing a book specifically on using keywords for online marketing called “Keyword Intelligence“. He was researching for the content marketing portion of the book and we talked about where keywords fit. These kinds of discussions are great for blog posts so here are a few ideas for you on keywords, SEO, Social Media and content.
Content marketing is customer centric and therefore often focused not only on creating information to educate prospects and customers about product/service features and benefits, but also about topics of interest relevant to the situations that cause people to need or want those products and services.
Effective content marketing informs prospective buyers of what they need to know in order to help them arrive at a logical conclusion to buy and recommend. Relevant and engaging content facilitates that outcome.
“Great content isn’t great until it’s discovered and shared.”
Understanding the information needs of the customers you’re trying to reach is the first step in creating a great editorial plan. The role of keywords in a content marketing program come into play as a manifestation of knowing what customers are interested in and what their pain points are. What are they searching for? What are they talking about on the social web?
Great content is best optimized, so to speak, for the intended reader first and foremost. At the same time, that content is thoughtful about keywords that can attract new readers through search and social recommendations. Great content is amazing. Great content that is findable and shareable is even better.
Here’s an Example Scenario: Company 1 2 3 wants to focus on “Round Widgets”
- Target Customers Care About Round Widgets That Cost Less and are Environmentally Safe
- Target Customers Search for “round widgets”, “low cost widgets”, “green widgets”, “environmentally safe widgets”
- Target Customers Socially Discuss “save money on widgets”, “widget impact on the environment”
- The Content Plan Outlines An Array of Content Objects Supporting Search Keywords & Social Topics
- Content Plan Tactical Execution: Blog Hub, Video Tips, Shared Customer Widget Photos, Facebook Page for Widget Environmental Tips, Email Tips & Issues Newsletter, Widget Deals Twitter Account, Guest Blog Posts Using Target Keywords on Widget Blogs, Contributed Articles to Consumer & Environmental Publications on Widget Cost Saving Tips and Being “Green”
By coordinating customer needs with content creation, optimization and social publishing, there’s a much greater and more relevant reach for the investment.
Keywords guide content optimization for findability through search engines as well as a focus on topics that customers care about and are discussing on the social web. Keywords are also useful guides for the blogger and publication outreach.
Keywords drive the “optimize and socialize” efforts of content marketers to share, promote and increase the reach of information that is relevant for customers who may buy or refer brand products and services.
The mistake online marketers often make is to solely lead with keywords (vs. customer needs) thinking that optimizing for the most popular phrases are all that is needed to maximize customer reach. High ranking content that doesn’t resonate with readers to share or with customers to buy and refer isn’t an effective approach. Also, customer information needs will vary according to where they are in the research and buying process.
Keywords and topics change over time so even after a customer is acquired, it’s important to monitor, measure and refine as needed.
My question for you: Are your content marketing and optimization efforts focused solely on high popularity count keywords? Are you digging into both search keywords and social topics as you formulate your content marketing strategy?