SEO as a business practice has always been saturated by black-hat or unethical practitioners who look to amass questionable links. There as an ethical SEO analyst, I look at Google’s attempt to quell down such attempts by introducing its own Algorithms such as Panda and Penguin, to neutralize attempts made by unethical SEO experts, has created greater awareness of the risk of this practice.
One side of Google’s attempt at penalizing attempts at link buying, link exchange and spinning of links using content has been that the popularity of content-based marketing has been on the upsurge.
Content-led inbound marketing strategies
We are all familiar with this approach. Typically, the process flows something like this:
The SEO agency tells the client that its strategy is to create quality content, promote it, and then reap the rewards of the collected developed links. They tell the client that it will run content-ideation sessions where they will vet out all the strategies and ideas and make sure that nothing will be outside their brand or tone guidelines. They may also align their content based strategy with the company’s marketing strategy.
At this point of time, the agency will start using tools such as BuzzSumo to check the content which has become popular and rehash what made it popular so that they can use it in their content. They might match it back to the target audience with the help of client’s wider marketing strategies. With the help of all this data, they will run content-ideation brainstorming sessions and provide clients with ideas to sign-off, and if the client is lucky then the ideas will be genuinely interesting and unique. If the client is also lucky then there will be an genuine realism and feasibility baked into each of these ideas.
After the customer signs-off on these ideas, the ideas will be converted into highly-polished content which will be promoted using a clever, light-touch multi-channel promotion strategy. In an ideal world, all this effort will pay off and both the parties will continue to live off and their content-marketing strategy works to efficiently place the new content under the noses of the ideal influencer in their field of interest.
The problem with this is that it is highly unsuccessful at creating any links of value for the client.
In a survey created by HubSpot where they surveyed 700 marketers, it was found that 67 percent of those marketers were planning on increasing their content marketing strategies in the year 2017, 72 percent of content marketers were terming their current marketing strategies as limited and basic. In addition, 60 percent of marketers termed content marketing strategy as their biggest hurdle.
In another study created by QueryClick, they have been surveying marketers more deeply on the reason for the failure of their marketing strategies and the overwhelming majority of them said that the inability to create high-quality content is the most key factor. The poverty of quality of ideas is also causing an inability in creating quality content. And inability of influencers in moving the content which has been moved from marketed to wrap-up as the key issues related to content marketing
What does content-led strategy failure really mean for SEO?
While it is overwhelmingly known that spending time on content creation ideas which lead to not so high-quality content which does not get out of the gates when compared to quality content may self-evidently appear to be a bad thing, can we quantify what failure in this aspect of your overall SEO Strategy means for organic performance?
Organic traffic may seem a major roadblock in content marketing, Moz comes to the rescue with their own survey in this topic with their survey which was run in 2015, which said that the quality and diversity of backlinks which were created along with the authority of the backlinks as the main cause in driving SEO performance.
Taking the two studies in tandem, we have described the SEO industry which is driven by content marketing inbound strategy as the main reason for the failure of driving high-authority domain links and domain diversity.
How can we work smarter in targeting content strategy?
The failure of the current strategy of content marketing highlights the need of the new techniques of marketing which includes audience-led marketing strategy rather than the content-led marketing strategy.
One of the failures of content marketing strategy is the lack of ideas which are generated during ideation session which lead to substandard content which leads to a failure of content strategy which affects business objectives. The ideation session should rely more on audience based strategies rather than content types. This allows the session to be refocused on genuinely new content ideas that will add value to both their audience, and ultimately provide a better quality of links back to the client website, and ultimately provide a better quality of links back to the client website.
You can use the blended approach of Tendency to Link which mixes both the influencer and their audience’s ability to transform social interest into hard links to the website. By doing this during the ideation process, you can target the audience with your all-encompassing key phrase strategy and build in underlying SEO impact to your creative ideas, no matter what form they take.