Good search engine optimization (SEO) is essential to reaching new customers and establishing your organization as a trusted expert. As part of its relentless pursuit to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful, Google is constantly evaluating which elements indicate a high-quality website for its users.

The more interesting and useful your content is to searchers, the more likely Google will show it as a top search result. For this reason, good PR can (and should!) play an important role in SEO optimization. And Google agrees, pointing directly to content marketing as its #1 SEO ranking factor. The company’s official SEO Starter Guide puts it this way:

Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website more than any of the other factors discussed here. Users know good content when they see it and will likely want to direct other users to it. This could be through blog posts, social media services, email, forums, or other means.

Organic or word-of-mouth buzz is what helps build your site’s reputation with both users and Google, and it rarely comes without quality content.

Boom! There you have it. But what is content marketing and why is it so crucial to not only do it, but do it well?

Let’s start by breaking down what content marketing isn’t: advertising. With advertising, you’re essentially using another party’s platform to get your message out in front of their audience. With content marketing, you’re zeroing in on a very specific target audience and committing to deliver relevant, compelling, and valuable information to that audience indefinitely – and you’re doing that with the goal of seeing behavioral change (that’s the marketing part). In other words, you’re not using marketing messages in your content, you’re using content to attract an audience to you (also known as attraction marketing).

Attraction marketing is successful because it convinces your audience that they need your organization’s product or service without you ever actually telling them so. When you’re identifying your target audience, consider your ideal customer, and build your content around that persona. You want to consistently provide value and (eventually) convert them. Conversion looks different for every organization, but some examples include: subscribing to your blog, sharing your podcast, downloading your case studies, attending your webinars, or purchasing your product or service.

Content marketing goes hand in hand with attraction marketing. When the two are combined, they become one of, if not the, most economical forms of marketing, but it takes time and a robust strategy to master. You can spend a fortune on display ads to get in front of a fraction of your audience for a couple of seconds. Alternatively, you can create content that will live on your domain and work for you forever. As an example of this long-tail effect, many of our older posts on the Voxus PR blog continue to see high traffic because we regularly cover evergreen topics that we know our target audience will continue to seek out.

For any organization, especially those in the tech industry, there are plenty of competitors out there aiming to grow faster than you by leading with a content marketing strategy. Because as they’re figuring out content marketing – developing articles or producing a podcast series, etc. – they’re getting in front of, and building the same target audience you’re competing for. Understanding this strategy and embracing content marketing sooner rather than later will keep you in the running. Done right, content marketing can help you and your business lead the race.

If you’re ready to chat further about your content marketing strategy and the tactics mentioned in this post, contact us today.