A recent post on Forbes made the contention that content marketing is all but dead. In their words, it’s so last year. Rather, the author says, marketers should look past creating quality content and instead focus on “influencers.” These are people who are well-respected in the industry and have a lot of followers on social media. Therefore, they can reach a wide, yet targeted, audience and can potentially change public opinion on a subject or idea.
What this tends to amount to is catchy, witty headlines that leads to shorter, shallower content, but lots of shares on social media. Allegedly, this is the way the world is going, so jumping on that train now will put you ahead of the curve. However, while you’ll get shares, they will be hollow victories when you see the effects it has on your Google rankings — and your sales.
Google’s Take on Content
In Google’s current algorithm, shares on social media simply aren’t all that important. That’s not to say social media should be ignored. After all, more shares means more clicks, which means more traffic to your site. But even that may be not be great for you if you don’t have the content to keep the user engaged. If they don’t like what they see, they will likely leave the page pretty quickly. This amounts to a higher bounce rate, which Google takes to mean your website is low quality and therefore not worthy of a high ranking.
The quality of the content itself is still one of the most important factors when it comes to SEO and rankings. This has a few different factors. One, how long is the content? If it is all short and obviously designed with no other purpose than to draw in viewers without any real substance, that’s a penalty. Google’s Penguin algorithm is also more focused on user experience (UX), which in part means making your website worth visiting. Clickbait and spammy sites are being knocked off left and right when they don’t have quality content worth reading.
Looking Beyond Google
Besides Google rankings, having quality content is crucial to establishing your place in your industry. If all you do is put out shallow content that can be found anywhere else online, few people will take you seriously. Further, popular news stories and currently relevant topics are here today and gone tomorrow. Having content that is just as applicable now as it was six months ago — in other words, evergreen content — plays a large role in positioning yourself as an industry expert, even if said content is unlikely to be shared by influencers.
When you have cemented your stake in the industry, a client base begins forming around you. These are customers who only want to give their business to the best they can find. Further, these are clients who are ready to share their success stories with others. But this all comes back to having quality content to which others can point and say, “Yeah, this guy knows what he’s talking about.”
Don’t Neglect Influencers, However
To neglect influencers is to put a bullet in the heart of your company. Digital marketing has evolved to the point that ignoring either content or influencers can spell doom. But the best influencers, the ones that can truly change the minds of those in an industry, generally don’t share shallow information that is only created for the clicks. Rather, they want in-depth material that has a real impact. If you aren’t creating that, it will be hard to attract the attention of the influencers who command real respect.
Here are the real questions: Who are the influencers for your industry? What does quality content actually look like? If you aren’t sure, don’t worry. We have you covered. EverSpark Interactive can handle all of your digital marketing needs. For more information, visit our services page or give us a call today.