Content marketing is almost interchangeable with ‘organic marketing’ meaning you don’t have to pay Google, Facebook, or Linked In for it. It’s popular with small businesses that people are passionate about because often ownership can manage the message themselves. And while we always advocate that clients do both, content and paid marketing, we understand that budget can be an issue. So we say if you have to pick one, pick the one that will drive SEO and ultimately website traffic and sales. Start with content marketing.
Two years ago we were handling almost 100 small business accounts. These businesses were in various industries and we learned a very important lesson about some of them and about ourselves. I’ll call it the “lipstick on a pig” lesson. You’ve heard the expression. It means no matter how you dress it up, how much makeup and lipstick you put on a pig, a pig is still a pig.
Businesses and ideas that people love are not pigs. As a result they don’t have to be dressed up. They’re proud of who they are. And so two years ago we learned through one small account that we can’t make a bad business a good business just by building a beautiful website and posting content to it.
It started innocently enough when I went to a farmers market and bought some soup from a vendor. It was amazing! I was never a soup ‘guy’, whatever that is, but I was into delicious, healthy food. This was it. I became a regular and visited the husband and wife team weekly to sample and purchase their product.
About a year after I became a customer, I met them out and they asked what I did for a living. When I explained, they agreed it was important and that when they had enough capital they would hire me. About 18 months passed from that moment and then it happened. In 2016 we built them a website and began to execute a modest but effective content marketing strategy.
We’ve posted 100’s of times across their website and social media accounts, we optimized all their assets for search, engaged and rewarded their customers, and extended their digital footprint. Today, two years, three months, and twelve days after we launched, my client, in a blind or Google Incognito search, is the number one organic search engine result for “soup” in the zip codes they serve.
Results may vary, in fact they will, but in this case they are number one. And the reasons they are the number one result for “soup” are:
- Their content is all about soups and healthy living
- The images are high resolution and beautiful
- The website and the content within it is all optimized for search
- Their social media accounts are also optimized for search
- We’ve been posting about soup for more than two years
- We incentivize customers who sign up
- They’re not a “pig.” Their soup, like their salads, and fresh-frozen entrees are really, very good.
They have an excellent product combined with a proven marketing strategy which performs on Google. We helped them become the authority on soup and they make the best soup. That’s what happens when you stick with content marketing.
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