Leave it to a sassy Aussie to break it down for me! I recently sat down for dinner with my good friend and expert freelance content writer Melinda Barlow for a little chat about our transforming online world. Trust me, it was the opposite of dry and that wasn’t JUST because of the wine. The next day she sent me this kick ass piece about search engine seduction. You’re welcome.
Brace yourself people – things are about to get serious. Google has developed a brain. Not just any old brain either, but an intelligent, ‘I-want-to-be-wined-and-dined’ brain. Google doesn’t want to be romanced into bed anymore with your empty words and half assed content. Now Google wants to be intellectually stimulated as well. The days of just showing up when it suited you and delivering the basics are over.
Now Google wants to know you care and the way Google can tell is by seeing you have a content strategy. Google wants to know you understand her; that you appreciate all the effort Google makes and recognize all the little things she does. This is why you need to leave your big bag of overused keywords in the 1990’s and develop a really kick ass content strategy.
It’s a quiet revolution, but one that was bound to happen. Viral content is out, and shareable content is in. What’s the difference? Well a virus is not necessarily something you want to share with other people specifically because it will make them feel good. Because it will do quite the opposite in fact. Ebola anyone? Viral content is the same. You might have it, but that doesn’t mean you should give it to others. It’s like coughing without covering your mouth.
Shareable content is the opposite. It has a purpose and is shared because somewhere, somehow it matters to someone and will make them feel good, increase their knowledge, offer them solutions or inspire them to be better. That someone could be your cousin or your colleague, but it matters more if it’s a stranger you don’t know yet who knows thousands of other strangers in the giant club that is the world wide web. It’s only a matter of time before there are less strangers and more connections.
The reason this matters is because constantly nurturing those contacts keeps you in the game. You become a vital and important member of the community. That’s how Google gets to know you and decides she wants you and that is why your content strategy is so essential. It seems like a lot but actually it’s very simple. There are three very important things to keep in mind when it comes to deciding on your content strategy and developing quality optimized content that makes internet marketing work for you.
1. Make your content count.
After many years of being bombarded with rubbish, users have developed filters for content that doesn’t matter and are actively trying to avoid it. Now they are seeking out the good stuff and sharing the content that does matter. Why is this relevant? Well, for those of you who have been living under a rock, Google no longer judges websites based on keywords alone. Being relevant has become irrelevant. Now Google decides how interesting you are based on how interesting you appear to be to everyone else. What is your message and are people reading it? Do they like it? Are they telling other people about it in a meaningful way? Your commitment to producing quality share worthy content will determine how important Google thinks you deserve to be.
2. Your friends no longer matter.
By now, everyone you know knows what you do, and they’ve told everyone they know. Everyone in your immediate network becomes useless pretty early in the game. Now you need everybody you don’t know, to tell everybody they know. Get it? This is networking 101, but in the modern age of internet marketing you need to be much smarter about not just what you say but also who you are saying it to. You can stand out on the street in a bikini with a sandwich board or you can learn how small the world really is today and start to make social media work for you.
3. Feed the machine.
This is where creative thinking comes in and that kind of thinking is the key to effective social media marketing. You must define your content strategy before anything else and then feed the machine every single day in some tiny but powerful way. Your website, your business, your brand all need to be defined in such a way that you become instantly recognizable. Your voice has to shine amidst all the noise already out there. Knowing what your themes will be, what topics you will cover and how you want to deliver your message will ensure you are providing enough of the right kind of sustenance on a regular and consistent basis. Feed the machine but do it well. Learn how to use Twitter properly. Make your Pinterest boards relevant to your brand and be sure to keep on message with all the content you produce. Be selective about which social media tools you choose and don’t neglect them.
Yes, the dark ages of internet marketing are over and the era of feminine rule is now in place. Google is now the matriarch of the world wide web. You can do whatever you want but its crucial that you say what you mean and mean what you say. Because FEELINGS people!