This topic could easily take a whole book to discuss, so below is a quick summary on how content, social media, PR and SEO relate to each other.
Let’s start with a definition:
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.
In other words, content marketing is about providing useful or entertaining content to your audience or target customers.
No matter if you are an enterprise or a startup, you are working on these 3 areas:
1. Social Media: Engagement – You publish expecting some kind of action from users from likes to purchases
2. PR: Placement – You want visibility from high-tier publishers
3. SEO: Ranking – You want to appear above your “competitors” on search results
Managing the above can be a tough work, particularly if you are not an expert or cannot hire an experienced marketing team. In addition, the lines between these three are getting more and more blurred. Now, PR and Social Media teams need to know about SEO and vice versa. If you want the story or message you are delivering to resonate consistently across these three areas, you need to find a common denominator. This common denominator is content, high-quality content.
To make it easier, let us leave PR for a moment and let’s see how Social Media and SEO are related.
Google indexes Facebook posts and tweets as webpages (however, Google only indexes around 4% of tweets, according to a study by Stone Temple Consulting).
Although Google is very secretive about what social signals affect search results, there is enough evidence to assure that there is a strong correlation between the following social signals and SEO:
- Facebook shares
- Tweets mentioning your brand name or including a link to your website
- Number of people who “have you in their circles” (Google+, obviously)
Great content marketing naturally encourages high numbers of social media signals. When you’re publishing engaging, high-quality work, people will want to share, follow and mention you. And, according to a study by Searchmetrics, that is directly affecting your rank.
Social Media legitimizes you on Google
This is easy to see, just search for your name or your company’s name, and the first results will be your Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook profile. Having a strong social media presence will improve your rank.
To understand how we ended up in this situation, we have to look to the two big brothers, Facebook and Google.There are many good reasons why quality content is important but probably the main one is that quality content is important because Google and Facebook think it is important.
Facebook has shifted from a social platform to a content platform. Every day, you see less about your friends and more about what Facebook believes you are going to like. It’s algorithm is quite complex, it goes far beyond shares and likes, some of the variables is time spent on the content (gives a clue on what kind of content Facebook wants), if you enable sound or if you turn your phone to watch a video in full screen, among others. Other Social platforms like Instagram (owned by Facebook) or Twitter follow the same or very similar rules. At this point it is clear why high-quality engaging content is important for social media.
Jumping to the next point, why is content important for PR?
The launch of your new app might be the event of the year for you but guess what, no one cares, especially journalists. PR is about relationships, and as in every relationship you have to give, in order to receive. Do not limit your PR to announcements. Give publishers information they actually want to cover. Original research and access to data and guest bylines are some of the things you can do.
What about SEO? How content effects SEO?
Google wants its users to find the best results for their search queries. So if you are not committed to creating quality content consistently, please do not even try, there is enough crap in the web.
Let’s see some stats
- Content rich sites generate 97% more links. Don’t expect links to your “about us” page.
- Companies that blog have 435% more indexed pages. (Spoiler: a blog is not enough, but we will cover this another time)
- Google loves fresh content. SEOs understand that fresh content gets indexed rapidly and often ranks higher than older content. If your site releases new content, and the site itself has historic authority, you’ll get an initial SERP (Search Engine Result Pages) boost just by hitting “Publish.”
Try to have a global vision on marketing and create quality content accordingly, on a constant basis. Do not expect overnight results, be patient, content is about relationships that need to be nurtured and taken care of. Social and search algorithms are changing constantly and nobody knows exactly in which ways but if you take this content approach to marketing you will be able to manage your Social Media, PR and SEO in a more consistent and global way, resulting in an optimization of your budget.