The Challenge and Opportunity of Content Marketing

Reality check - the internet has become saturated with content, advertising, overkill, addictive use, abuses, scammers, and spammers, and constant changes by the tech firms that dominate the cyber space : Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Twitter to name a few.

It used to be that we ran technology. We used it to further our goals for more information, more transparency, more efficiency, and faster results. We won. Now are we being run by technology, or at least by the needs for constant change and innovation?

It's complicated. There may be no one single answer and it is not a black and white, all or none issue.  What the average business owner does know is that there are so many options out there, and so many solicitations trying to "help" their business with Google or Facebook that is almost impossible to sort them out. . Internet marketing services have exploded, and are competing for a share of the market that "needs" their services.

Google changes the rules, and marketers have to change with them. Facebook changes the rules, and marketers need to change with them also.

Then there is the backlash of internet users who do not want to see advertising, and do not recognize it as the price they pay for having Facebook for free. What if Facebook charged an annual fee to be a member and had less advertising? Would that be an acceptable solution? What if Google charged to use their search engine? Would people accept that and maybe see less advertising? The same idea applies to Twitter. These services are "free" in that they do not charge for usage, or their free accounts. The cost to be a member is to have to see advertising, "boosted posts", "promoted tweets", YouTube ads popping up in the video view, and Google adwords at the top of the page.

Content marketing has become the go-to strategy for internet marketers who want to help their clients increase their Google exposure, their business brand, and ultimately the bottom line. It is the key component in "SEO" or search engine optimization, along with reviews and social engagement. Google likes updated relevant information that shows the author is an authority in their industry, and that there is engagement with the content.

Facebook and Content Marketing - It's Not Just About the Likes 
Billions of users and posts every day. Timelines and news feeds are swamped. How does a content marketer break through all the noise to help business accounts get seen, and to have some engagement in the content posted? It's not just about how many "likes" a post gets, although that is an indicator that the content has some appeal. Usually, the content has a link to a blog, or third party article, and the user clicks through and does not actually click the like button. When there are a lot of likes, comments, and shares, then the content that was posted can be considered successful. However, a post on Facebook may also be successful when the traffic is measured on the landing page that is linked to.

Engagement can be seen on all three levels. Shares are free PR for the business that posted the content. There is some pushback on Facebooks advertising, as many people do not like to see ads or content that their friends liked and that now shows up in their timelines. Content needs to be carefully planned with the target audience as well as the image shown or video, and text used in the post. In another blog post I focused on two top titles that research showed having the highest levels of engagement. Sometimes the titles alone can make or break the level of response.

Consider the following ideas for better engagement with Twitter and Facebook posts:

> Educational content is popular. Help solve people's problems, learn something new.
> Use titles that have had a strong engagement response from research (link-see blog on titles)
> Use recorded or live videos to increase engagement and create  more personal message
> Use events to highlight and showcase important dates, then use the link of the event post
> Use rhymes as a way of displaying unique content (link-see Rhymes blog post)
> Use the higher traffic dates and times as well as the lesser traffic for less competition
> Monitor posts with insights to see the best levels of engagement for certain posts
> Use industry relevant third party articles that have already had a strong level of engagement
> Use non business content - inspirational nature photos with quotes. People like inspiration.
> When using paid boosting of content, use $5.00 one day market tests to check engagement level

Internet users are saturated with content. Attention spans are short, requiring a strong visual engagement to keep attention on the post or tweet, strong titles, and relevant, compelling content to keep the engagement strong. It's a challenge, and it is also an opportunity for new ideas, new creativity, humor, and a touch of the muse for inspiration. (link- see blog - The Legend of the Marketing Muse.