Resistance Is Futile – The Content Revolution is Here

Mary-C-LongBy Mary C. Long, Chief Ghost, Digital Media Ghost

According to a recent Searchmetrics survey of US domain winners and losers over the past year, when it comes to site visibility, content sites really pushed through and came out on top above social sites. Does this mean social is dead? No – but it does mean the content revolution is underway.

Here’s how to embrace it.

Be mobile friendly

Everyone keeps saying it, but you’d be surprised to learn how many sites still aren’t optimized for mobile. Really. Searchmetrics found that all of the content “winners” also had a working mobile component. Surprise, surprise: the losers did not.

Content RevolutionAccording to a recent report by Ericsson, the “growth of mobile traffic will be exponential in the coming years.” They predict there will be some 6.1 billion smartphones in circulation by the year 2020.” That’s a leap and a bound – but not a stretch; mobile is already growing.

The rise of mobile has changed everything – about how we communicate with users, and yes, how we consume content. Content marketers must now think “mobile first.” Nothing is more frustrating for mobile users than a buggy or broken link, or having to scale a page for their device. They just won’t bother.

Smaller screens and shorter attention spans mean that the focus has to be on the quality of the copy as much as the overall experience. The content revolution isn’t just about spewing sponsored paragraphs into the ether. Because of various Google updates to SEO algorithms, only the best content will survive.

Google has made some leeway for duplicate content, but has started to really reward sites with relevant, user-focused content. It’s not enough to just have the content – it has to be relevant and up-to-date. If you have a stale campaign, it’s time to breathe some life into it. And be sure your content is focused to match up with the user’s intention when they started searching.

Get it together

Though content is certainly gaining ground, given the stats, many digital marketers are still lagging. It’s possible they’re not unifying their content marketing efforts. There are still silos in place in many organizations– keeping storytelling from being cohesive, with assets like images and video being managed separately.

In fact Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Marketing Industry Report 2015 shows there’s a major disagreement among marketers about what type of content matters most:

  • 34 percent believe visual assets are most important
  • 45 percent think blogging drives the most results
  • 19 percent see video as most important

If 34 percent of your team is focused on an infographic (which they’re hopefully doing better than these people) and 45 percent are creating relevant and SEO-worthy content for your blog, while another 19% are tasked with keeping your YouTube channel active – well, that’s all well and good if they’re communicating with each other.

Because whatever the content, it needs to be optimized. Google is looking for relevant search links and articles as much as it is quality, optimized video. If you’re not creating or using all these assets equally, you’re in trouble.

Success depends on accepting the shift in the marketing paradigm. SEO optimization, content marketing, and video assets aren’t dirty words. They’re your best soldiers to harness all the benefits of this content revolution.

It’s never easy to get everyone on board with a shift, but it’s time to push towards content because the trends show it’s not just a passing phase. If you’re sticking to search and social, you might be on the wrong side of digital marketing history. Viva la revolución!

 About the Author: Mary Long is Chief Ghost at Digital Media Ghost, where she’s been scaring up traffic for websites, ghostwriting and teaching clients how to “do” online since 2010. Named to Kred’s Top 50 Social Media Bloggers, a Leading PR Pro by Entrepreneur Magazine and an Expert Marketer by Inc Magazine, Mary knows how to find – and get you noticed by – your target audience.