Content marketing is a wide palette with many different purposes. And it is usually a strategic long-term effort rather than a short-term tactical exercise. Sometimes, though, it can be both at the same time…
Content marketing in an SEO context should usually be based on relatively long articles that offer true value to the reader. There may (or may not) be a reference to a certain product or service as an underlying theme, but it should rarely be the main topic or a disguised sales pitch. Typical genres in this category are educational, case studies or historic articles.
The Long-Term Example
We recently did a SEO piece on a specific technical topic for a client, Digital Audio Denmark who develop and manufacture high-end audio routers and AD/DA converters. There are many different topics to talk about within their platform and product range, but there is one more general topic that they wished to emphasize. In the pro audio world, many studios and post production facilities are in a transition period, moving towards networked audio – or IP Audio. In short, you connect devices via Ethernet cables and assign IP addresses to your hardware units.
To many audio professionals, this seems like (and can be) a rather drastic change. So, we decided to create an article answering 10 common questions. The objective was to briefly clarify some of the doubts there are among audio professionals, who consider redesigning their studios to an IP Audio infrastructure. How will this fundamental change affect audio quality? Latency? Digital clock? Etc.
Also adding to the ‘long-term’ aspect, this article was deliberately designed and structured for a ‘Momentum Stretch’. The article was launched on Facebook and Twitter as the ’10 Things to Know About Dante’ – just as you would expect. Then, with several weeks in between, we re-published the article by zooming in on a specific topic – in the first case focusing on ‘bandwidth in a single Ethernet cable’. A few weeks later, we ran another campaign focusing on ‘latency in a networked audio setup’. Ultimately, the article could potentially represent 11 individual campaigns with completely different headlines and graphics, but linking to the same piece of content.
Taking the SEO Highway for an Additional Short-term Payoff
The article performed really well, and created a lot of attention within the niche audience that are potential IP Audio converts. So pro-tools-expert.com also noticed it and asked permission to publish it on their website as a tutorial piece. We decided to let them run the article, but also had some concerns.
Their website has a much larger audience, and there is a link to the original article, which would of course be good for driving additional traffic. Further, having a one-way, incoming link from a site with a very good page ranking would no doubt have enormous SEO value. Finally, we would also gain great DAD branding on a highly context-relevant and acclaimed website.
However, the main concern was that they would in fact outrank the original article in organic searches. And yes, the result very quickly turned out that they did indeed outrank the original article, BUT it turned out to be worth it. Just a week before the pro-tools-expert.com article, if you ran a search for ’10 things to know about dante’ (which you might do if you had seen the Facebook campaign and remembered the name, but not clicked it at the time you were exposed to it), the article would likely be on page 2 or 3 of the search results. Just one week after the PTE article was launched, both articles would come up at the very top of the first page – PTE as the #1 search result, but with the original article as #2 right below it.
Further if you make a more generic search like ‘dante latency’ (at the time of writing) the original article is likely to come up on the first page (maybe not at the very top), but the PTE article does not.
Creating the article in the first place was a ‘classic’ SEO effort that we are sure will serve as such in years to come. But the opportunity of having a major website ‘endorse’ it, gave these additional benefits and helped speed up the SEO value:
– Much higher rank in relevant searches
– Crucial jump from page 2 to page 1
– Incoming (one-way) link from a website with a high page ranking
– Branding on an acclaimed and context-relevant website
– Product mentioning/image on an acclaimed and context-relevant website