If you’re thinking that you can be successful online by just investing in content marketing, search engine marketing, or social media marketing – think again. It’s like a well-rounded diet. Sure, you can live on bread alone. But you’ll be healthier if you add in fruits, veggies, proteins, and healthy fats too. The following are ways that content, search, and social play vital roles in the success of each aspect of your online marketing campaign.
Photo Credit: Geoff Livingston
Since content marketing and development is now one of the most talked about strategies in online marketing, some people might assume it is all they need. But content marketing without integration with search and social can have as little result as creating a brochure that never gets placed where the public can find it.
Content Must Be Optimized for Search
First off, any content (blog post, video, infographic, whitepaper, etc.) on your website must be optimized for search. Here are a few basic tips for the page your content is placed upon.
- Choose a good keyword phrase for your content.
- Make sure that keyword phrase is in the page’s title and meta description. Also make sure both are well-written as they will be the first thing a person will see in search results. Think search + click through optimization.
- If you have images on the page (especially if the image is an infographic), make sure you use keyword rich filenames and ALT tags for your image.
- If you are offering a free document to download like a whitepaper PDF, make sure the filename of the PDF is keyword rich.
- If you are sharing a video, make sure you include a transcript beneath the video for valuable content that can be crawled by search engine.
Search optimization of content doesn’t just happen on your own website. If you have a video on YouTube, image on Flickr, or even a presentation on SlideShare, you will want to use a good keyword phrase in the title, description, and tags for those pieces of content. Also, be sure to you stick your own website URL in the descriptions so that people who find your videos, images, and presentations on those sites can easily find your website.
Content Must Be Promoted with Social
Next, if you want your content to be seen, you will probably want to promote it via social media marketing. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Tweeting your new piece of content to your audience on Twitter.
- Sharing your new piece of content via status update on Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn.
- Sharing your new piece of content to applicable groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.
- Bookmark your new pieces of content on networks like StumbleUpon, Delicious, and Digg.
Of course, you can’t do these things if you don’t have a social platform with an audience for your business, hence you will need social media marketing services prior to content marketing.
Search Engine Marketing
Surprisingly, there are still lots of people who think their problems will be solved if they put up a website, hire an SEO to write the text for search engines, and start building links. Of course, some businesses then come to find their SEO is having a tough time getting quality links. And that’s because they are missing out on the following.
Search Optimization Requires Great Content
If you want others to link to your website, you have to give them a good reason to. One of the best reasons to give is simply valuable content. While it’s easy to think that only marketing companies can create link bait, most industries really have the ability to create great content if they just think creatively. Car insurance companies can produce free downloadable books on drivers safety, loan providers can produce mortgage calculators, fashion retailers can produce seasonal fashion guides, hardware stores can produce do-it-yourself guides, and so on. Place all of this content on your own website and you have given reason for others to link back to you!
Search Can Be Influenced with Social
There are two ways social media marketing can help with search engine rankings. First is the obvious – Google owns Google+, hence they are starting to incorporate Google+ updates into their search results. Just be sure that you are posting to your Google+ regularly with keyword friendly updates and your Google+ stream could hit the first page of search results. Not to mention that people connected to your Google+ profile or page are more likely to see links you have shared in the first page of search thanks to personalized results.
Second, the more popular items become on social media, the more likely they will be picked up by blogs. And getting mentioned by blogs = getting links. Take infographics for example. Mashable just recently shared one on higher education uses social media and, within their post, they link back to the online course company that created it. Not only is that company’s link on a PR 8 domain with high authority, but it will likely get a lot of click through as well.
Social Media Marketing
So now that you know how social media can help content and search marketing, you might wonder how content and search can help with social media marketing. Here’s how!
Social Needs Content to Survive
Just like maintaining your blog, maintaining your social media profiles will require a content plan. The content for some social networks, like Twitter, can be quite simple as it is only 140 characters. For networks like Facebook, you have to have content for your status updates (text, photo, video, or links) and custom content tabs (welcome, hidden content, contest, etc.) on your Facebook page. For networks like LinkedIn, you have to have content for your status updates, group posts, and company page.
And, of course, when it comes to sharing links from your website on any social network, people will most likely welcome links to your latest blog posts over links to your latest products. So the best approach is to create great content on your blog that will lead visitors from social media to a call to action that includes looking at or purchasing your product.
Social Can Be Optimized for Search
Just like you should apply search engine optimization to your content, you should apply it to your social networks as well. The following are a few pointers.
- Think about your main keywords and incorporate them into the appropriate parts of your social media profiles. This usually means don’t use them in the name field, but instead, use them in the description, bio, or other informational areas of your social profiles and pages.
- When you upload photos to social networks, make sure the filenames include your name, your business name, and maybe a relevant keyword or two. Also include those in the photo’s title and description on social networks.
- Include keywords in your status updates. As mentioned earlier, Google tends to put a status update in the first page from their own Google+ network for some keyword searches. And there is also the social network’s own internal search engine to consider – if someone is searching for a keyword phrase, you will want to show up in the results with a status update including that phrase.
As you can see, to be successful in online marketing, you have to incorporate a quality mix of all three strategies: content marketing, search engine marketing, and social media marketing. Leaving any one of these items out of the mix can hurt your chances of seeing great results from the others!
Have you seen the benefits of having a well-rounded online marketing strategy that includes content, search, and social? Please share your experiences in the comments!