Search Marketing is all about maximising the chances prospects have to find you when they are using search engines.
Content Marketing is all about publishing great content that attracts the attention of the right people in the right frame of mind.
A recent post from Brian Clark at Copyblogger raises the question is Google evil?, and then addresses the task of educating us in How to Stop Worrying About Google Once and for All. Definitely worth reading (so if you haven’t, click through now).
It is a masterful post, and demonstrates exactly why a Content Marketing strategy trumps a Search Marketing strategy. Now given I’ve shown you the results of the Google Fight between “content marketing” and “search marketing”, you may think these are pretty brave words (and if you are into SEO, you will realise if I used “search engine marketing” as a phrase the comparison is even worse).
‘Content Marketing’ is not a common term – yet. Content marketing is a strategy that involves publishing content to interest an audience, in the same way a magazine publisher produces content. Good content is often of interest to other web publishers, who may introduce your content to their audience. This builds an audience without search being involved. And to repeat Seth Godin’s formula: Attract people in trouble–>Help solve their problems–>Build your reputation–>Sales happen.
Search is a last resort. People use search when they can’t find what they are after. If you are reading a website or blog that you trust and see a reference to another interesting site, you follow the link. Why search for a great copywriting resource when Copyblogger points you to them? Search is often a last resort, if you haven’t already got access to a resource through your trusted sources of information.
Avoid dependence on one source of traffic. If you attract an audience through great content, your connection with your audience is not dependent on search engines. Sure you don’t ignore search engines, but building an audience is faster when you use the approaches Brian Clark outlines so well.
Quality is more important than quantity. If you are running a business with high value products or services, then qualified prospects are valuable. You don’t need a big readership to benefit. This is very different to websites selling advertising, where getting large volumes of traffic is required to get a financial return.
Running a business that is dependent on Google traffic is not good. A Content Marketing strategy helps you build your online business without this type of dependence.