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No matter how you look at it, content is a main staple in our everyday lives. From the moment we open our eyes in the morning, the steady flow of content reaches us from a number of sources. The radio script read by your favorite morning show, the newspaper you pick up over a cup of coffee – both of these are forms of content that our brains begin to process the moment we get up. Content plays just as great a role in another part of our lives…in digital.

It’s estimated that in 2013, 2.1 billion people will be using the Internet on a steady basis. That is nearly 30% of the entire world’s population and 77% of the U.S. population uses the Internet, so it’s safe to say that digital is a constant in many of our lives. Digital is also still very new to us. The world has experienced a 550% growth over the past decade, and continues to grow. This leaves us with a giant hub of information, growing at a rapid rate, which we’re all still trying to figure out.

Alas, the vastness of the Internet will have to be explained another day, but I would, however, like to give you my take on how Content Marketing has grown, and the context in which it can and should be used… in the digital sense.

As digital marketers, we use content in a variety of ways…

 

Social Media

The world is hastily moving toward a digitally-centered social interface. With multitudes of platforms literally at users’ finger tips, it’s become a simple way to socially interact with family, friends, celebrities, brands, and any other source you might be interested in. But what is this great congregation of social interaction without content? The tweets, the posts, a video that goes viral, a comment on a location – all this content facilitates the social interactions that make social media what it is. As users, we use this content to express how we feel. As marketers, we use this content to engage these users in social conversations that benefit the majority.

 

Paid Search

Some who have not had the luxury of hands-on optimizations with Paid Search Campaigns may not be aware, but this form of marketing is highly reliant on the content connected to their ads. For those who think Paid Search is simply “pick a keyword and start a bidding war”, you haven’t heard of “Quality Score.” Quality Score is what Google uses to determine the relevancy of your ad. This takes into account (you guessed it) the content affiliated with the ad, as well as a multitude of other variables. Anything from the use of keywords in the ad to the content of the landing pages can affect your ad’s quality score.

 

Search Engine Optimization

Most of us know that no one knows exactly how Google decides their organic rankings. Confusing, I know. But what we can conclude is that there are many facets that make up the algorithm used by Google. We can also conclude that Google, in the past year, has hammered down on any “black hat” tactics used to gain a desired page ranks with the launch of Panda and Penguin. Both of these deviously cute creatures released by Google aimed to ensure that the pages they displayed as their search engine’s results were receiving rankings based on genuineness and quality, and not from false content and spam. Due to this, we have seen a trend among many SEO companies that lean more towards the use of content marketing to supply a steady stream of credible content to increase organic rankings in search engines.

 

In conclusion, whether it’s outbound or inbound marketing, whether it’s waking up in the morning or surfing the web, we live in a world where content rules. As marketers, it is our duty to use this at our advantage, and give content the respect and recognition it deserves.

 

Written by Evan Calafates, Search Coordinator