One of the first things a Seattle marketing consultant will tell you when you first start working with one is how crucial having a solid content marketing strategy is to the success of your online marketing campaign.

Content marketing is a phrase that gets batted around quite a bit so it makes sense to qualify exactly what content marketing is before deciding on the specific strategy to go after on your website.

So having said that here’s a good post that describes exactly what content marketing is.

What is Content Marketing?
Posted on April 10, 2013 by Matt LaClear

You can’t come close to achieving online visibility and success without engaging in content marketing. The first question that may spring to your mind upon reading that is, “what is content marketing, anyway?” The concept is as simple as it sounds. Content marketing is simply using engaging, well-written content to draw traffic to your site and hopefully convert visitors into customers. With that in mind, what is content marketing? It’s a means to a very important end. When used properly, it can keep a steady stream of traffic flowing to your site and lay the foundation for long-term success.

What is Content Marketing – The Basics

Content marketing is about using content to market a website or online business. That doesn’t mean that anything goes, though. There are good ways and bad ways to go about it. People sometimes assume that they can post virtually anything to get where they’d like to be, but that’s not the case at all. In fact, that strategy could actually be detrimental in the long run.

The Characteristics of Great Content

After getting an answer to the question “what is content marketing,” people usually follow up by asking what constitutes great content. After all, it’s at the center of any decent content marketing strategy. If you’re not willing to create excellent content, you probably shouldn’t bother at all. It used to be that content just had to have the right keyword densities to propel a site to the top of the search engine results pages. That’s no longer true. Great content features more than optimal keyword densities. Great content meets the following criteria:

It’s Timely – Have you ever visited a blog or website in June and been presented with a story about Christmas specials? Right away, you know that the site isn’t updated regularly. Why should you waste your time there? Visitors are turned off when they can tell that a site is basically sitting dormant. The easiest way to demonstrate that your site is active is by posting timely content. What is content marketing? At the very least, it revolves around up-to-date content. All content grows stale eventually, so you need to constantly generate more to stay on top of things.

It’s Thought Provoking – People have plenty of options when it comes to reading things online. Why would anyone waste his or her time reading something that makes their eyes glaze over? This isn’t to say that your content has to be controversial. It just means that it should make people stop and think. You don’t even need to have all the answers. By getting people to think more carefully about things, you’ll pique their interest and keep them coming back for more.

It’s Engaging – This is similar to being thought-provoking, but it’s not necessarily the same. You could present readers with a bunch of interesting facts, but if they’re conveyed in a way that is dry and dull, your content won’t be any good. Engaging content is well-written, but simply being grammatically correct and free of egregious spelling errors isn’t enough either. Engaging content flows along nicely and is easy to read. More importantly, people actually like reading it and look forward to doing so.

It Prompts Discussions – Don’t make the mistake of disabling comments on your posts. While some small business owners are scared of spammers and trolls, the truth is that it’s actually easy to keep such issues at bay. When people feel welcome to share their comments, they are more likely to enjoy your content. The content has to be written in a way that prompts discussion, though, so keep that in mind. A great trick is to end each post by posing a question to your readers.

It’s Informative – This may seem to go without saying, but it’s amazing how much fluff is floating around out there. Many companies use content to just fill up space on their blogs and websites, and that’s a big mistake. What is content marketing? It’s using informative content to educate readers, visitors and prospective customers. People may visit your site seeking specific information. Are they able to find it? You can use your content to make sure of it. Just make sure you have your facts straight.

It’s Useful – This is another characteristic that may seem somewhat redundant. However, it refers to content that shows people how to do something. A great way to get there is by occasionally posting how-to articles and blogs. No matter what industry you’re in or what you’re trying to sell, you surely have a lot to teach the people who visit your site. A great example is showing people how to use your products in various ways. Pay attention to the kinds of questions you get from customers too. They can be used as inspiration for how-to posts in the future.

It’s Fresh – Content marketing only works if it is used consistently. You can’t just post a bunch of content one month and then completely drop the ball the next. Your readers won’t stand for it, and they will quickly seek greener pastures. If you’re unable to generate fresh content on your own, hire someone to do it for you. You could even hire a few different people to ensure that there’s always a steady stream of new content on your blog or website.

What are the Benefits of Content Marketing?

Despite knowing the main characteristics of excellent content, you may not be convinced of the usefulness of content marketing in general. It would be one thing if fluffy, generic content would suffice. Is it really worth your while to constantly come up with fresh, engaging, interesting content? When you consider the benefits of content marketing, you’re sure to agree that it is. What is content marketing? It’s a way to draw people to your site, hold their interest and keep them coming back again and again. To finish reading What is Content Marketing? click here.

Here is another video seobook posted on YouTube that’s worth watching. Aaron shares several onpage optimization tips on it so enjoy the watch.