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Content Marketing vs. Content Development: One in the Same?
Friday, September 03, 2010
A few weeks back, Adam Singer from TopRank Marketing featured some great coverage of TopRank CEO Lee Odden discussing content marketing at SES San Francisco.  Adam shared a detailed recap of Lee's presentation which we thought was tremendous.  We are big fans of Lee and enjoy his presentations and commentary.  He is one of the truly knowledgeable experts in the industry.

Lee's topic of discussion got us thinking.  Is content marketing and content development the same thing?  One thing is for sure, at the heart of any search or social media marketing program, the focus should be on content.  So what exactly is content marketing?  According to Lee,
It’s creating and distributing relevant content to attract, acquire and engage customers which you know detailed information about. 
Content Development as we define it is:
Creating and communicating content that is relevant to your desired audience to provide them with the information that they are looking for.
Content development is also about attracting, acquiring and engage the audience.  The definitions are very similar.  So is content marketing and content management one in the same?  We think so.  Frankly, the way that we see it, content marketing is a new marketing buzzword that  is really a fancy term for content development.  Lee suggests that one of the main differences between the two is that with content marketing there is a need for developing personas and that this came from the B2B marketing space.  I have a lot of experience and the B2B space, especially when it comes to content, but I am not entirely sure that developing personas is specific to content marketing as opposed to content development.  In fact, we have also used personas for the purposes of establishing content development strategies regardless of the B2B or B2C space.

In the recap of Lee's presentation, Adam reminds us that "Content is why search exists – to organize the world’s information.  Content is also an outcome of social interactions.".  We could not agree more.  From a search perspective, content is not just king, it's the entire kingdom.  Content is the reason why you may be found in the search results at all.  It is why a visitor arrives on your site.  Content is why your visitor comes back to your site.  Content is the life-force of the online universe.  Therefore the need to produce timely, relevant and useful content is critical.

Content Development: 11 Must Reads from Marketing Jive

With Lee's presentation, he discussed 10 things to consider to get the most out of content and SEO.  Lee pretty much nailed it, but we would like to add some additional comments to each of Lee's items:

  1. Goals - strategy is about the big picture, with your content development strategy, you really need to establish clear goals as to what you need to accomplish with your content.

  2. Buyer personas - you should have an understanding of what content that your target audience is looking for.  This helps you tailor that message.

  3. Keywords -this gets back to understanding your audience and understanding just what the are looking for.  As Lee mentioned, "If you attain insight into what it is people are talking about, you can use that to fulfill future search demands ahead of competitors."

  4. Content & digital assets -understand where and what the buzz is and learn how to best serve up your content and through which medium (blogs, video, tweets, news releases, articles etc.)

  5. Editorial plan - helps to prepare for communicating content that people are looking for today but also in the future.  Timing the release of content provide huge benefits from a Search and SEO perspective.

  6. Operationalize SEO - Lee said it best, when he stated, "Many folks in the content optimization process within a company might not care about SEO.  But if you can share keyword lists with team members to inculcate their messages with, these team members can help.  It’s important to make everyone a part of the process."  I could not agree more.

  7. Develop off-site assets - whether online or offline, your content, more specifically, your messaging should be consistent.

  8. Socialize - people are hanging out in social environments online.  You cannot just optimize for search, you need to participate in social discussion, wherever that might be.  

  9. Promote your content - again go where your audience is.  If they are active on Twitter, perhaps you should be as well, notto push your content, but to promote within part of the conversation.

  10. Measure - you are not going to hit the ball out of  the park all of the time, so you will want to monitor your content to ensure that users are engaged and actively frequenting your content.

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posted by Jody @ Friday, September 03, 2010  
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