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2 min read

Search Leeds: Content Confusion by Ian Harris

This article was updated on: 07.02.2022

Ian Harris kicks off the afternoon’s round of lectures with his talk on content confusion, questioning what is the point of your content marketing?

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

Above is the snippet Google serves in SERPs when searching for the aforementioned query. Ian believes if you believe this then you’re actually missing a trick.

73% of marketers are doing more content than ever but 46% say it’s ineffective or distinctly average in performance. It’s very difficult to measure the effective “content hubs despite Google promoting the need of good quality content.

How to do and measure effective content marketing

There are 3 types of content;

  1. Ranking content; the content that ranks for certain keywords in order to gain traffic and encourage conversions.
  2. Customer engagement content; content that engages with customers at various points in the buying cycle. Again, the aim is to acheive relevant traffic that you can remark to. Maybe acheive social followers, links, email sign ups etc. tooTo exemplify this, Ian calls upon a case study; Betty’s Blogger Tea Party. The event invited influential bloggers and accompanied the idea with long-form content, hashtags etc. The Tea Party acheived 21 linking root domains and 3x YouTube videos along with lots of social results.
  3. Viral content; content that aims to engage with a large audience. This doesn’t neccessarily mean the traditional meaning of “Viral”, but it is content that its intended to have a wider reach to acheive diverse backlink profile.As an example of Viral content, Ian show’s an example from Viking, where his agency created a mural of post it notes. The content acheived 235 total coverage, 212 live links with an average DA of 42. It resonated with the Star Wars community and with the links acheived, significantly improved key terms from page four to page one, without any on-site optimisation occuring.Identify trends, hypes and topics that engage a mass audience. What will hit the nerve of the wider public? Viral content also encourages social shares, likes etc. as well as links.

A common mistake with marketers is that they confuse customer engagement content with viral content. Marketers need to know the aims and objectives of these two approaches and what differentiates them. “Put them both in separate buckets” .

Some other key take aways included:

  • Marketers need to realise that conversions from content are scarce;
  • Conversions from search are plenty;
  • The true purpose of content marketing is to achieve and drive backlinks;
  • Conversion from search dwarf conversions from any other marketing channel;

Ian Harris is the Director at the global digital marketing agency, Search Laboratory. You can follow him on Twitter here.