Content Is King, But Only When Optimized! Tips From #SESSF

Whether your company’s focus is on search or social media, when it comes to any successful marketing campaigns the old saying still stands: “Content is King.”  From digital assets to traditional media, your goal as a marketer is to not only create unique, relevant content– but to optimize content to the point that users find it valuable enough to share with their friends.

Continuing the afternoon of Day 1 at #SESSF, fellow Minnesotan and CEO Lee Odden took the stage to deliver a solo presentation during the Content Marketing Optimization session. If you didn’t catch AIMCLEAR‘s live-tweet coverage, or if you want to re-live the action and advice, read on for a full transcript of the session.

First things’s first: what is content marketing?

  • It’s creating & distributing relevant & valuable content to attract, acquire, & engage a clearly defined and understood target audience.
  • Nowadays, customers are expecting more. It’s not enough to just publish features & benefits and expect someone to buy something.
  • Customers are using search engines for facts, asking friends on social sites, searching again…
  • “Content is the reason search exists.” -@leeodden
  • “Content is an outcome of social interactions.” -@leeodden

The Impact Of Social on Search

  • Search engines syndicate social content. A lot of the stuff that happens on LinkedIn and Facebook happens behind a log-in (walled garden).
  • There’s a lot of influence in the social world on the user experience in search results.

Common content marketing types: digital magazines, newsletters, blogs, video, podcasts, eBooks, webinars, websites…

Lee asked the audience, “How many of you are making sure the content you produce is properly optimized?”

  • You have to leverage search insight to expand your reach as a marketer.
  • One of the most effective tactics for increasing conversions is search engine optimization. Period!

The Changing Nature of Search
The evolution went like this: Standard –> Universal –> Personalized –> Real-time –> Third column (aka: Faceted search).

Optimization Best Practices Follow SERPs
Search engine optimization, digital asset optimization, social media optimization. As Lee famously says, “If it can be searched on, it can be optimized for better marketing performance.”

Optimized Content Strategy

  • Start with goals. What are your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)?
  • “Are you going to keep chasing that carrot month after month or are you going to work on community, engagement, relationships?” -@leeodden

Digital marketing goals: search –> traffic –> inquiries –> sales

The Growth of Social Media: “A lot of people are very hiiiiigh on the social media drug.” -@leeodden

10 Things to Consider to Get the Most Out of Content & SEO

  1. Set goals, KPIs, revenue expectations.
  2. Buyer personas: get demographic info from social sites & research.
  3. Traditional keyword research: don’t forget to consider social keyword research. Anticipate what people buzz about. Leverage Google Trends.
  4. Content & assets. Know your customers, know what they need and want. Social interaction creates keyword-rich content.
  5. Editorial plan. Who are your customers? What do they want? What kind of content are you going to author for them? (Also, understand where people are in the buying cycle and tailor content appropriately. )
  6. Operationalize your SEO. Give KW lists to your social media team so they tweet/update FB/blog with in-demand KWs.
  7. Develop off-site content. This is crucial! Repurpose content, i.e.: embed a YouTube video on your website, post screenshots on Flickr, etc. (Freebie blog idea: Tweet out some Qs. Take 10 tactical responses from thought leaders. Put them in a blog post, mentioning ’em again. Genius!)
  8. Socialize! Are you already repurposing content on social sites? It’s straight-up silly of you to not participate on those sites. Create connections!
  9. Promote! Crappy content with a snappy title will kick the ass of fantastic content with a boring title. When you publish something great, you have to go out & promote it in a way that creates value.
  10. Measure. Use social media monitoring tools. Great for research, great for seeing effect of promotional efforts.

  • Go to Register, and behold! For any blog, see where people are getting comments, tweets, bookmarks, etc. Great insight!
  • Use PostRank to see where your competitors have a loyal community. Then, try to tap into it yourself 🙂 .

Grab your doggie bags for Lee’s top Session Takeaways:

  • Develop & optimize content with personas in mind. Go beyond the keywords they use to find you. Think about the informational needs of your customers.
  • Create and promote content regularly.
  • Develop channels of distribution & social links.
  • Leverage both web analytics & social media monitoring analytics.

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