Whilst each functions independently of the others online, they cannot do so effectively in the context of digital marketing.
In the words of Seth Godin, “Content Marketing is the Only Marketing Left”. In other words, businesses are what they share because we are all master marketeers and publishers of our own online content, THE pivotal role in our online presence and visibility. In the digital age, it simply isn’t enough to use SEO in order to be found easily online and ranked highly in Google search results. The more prolific and active you are online, i.e. the more content you post, be it through your blog, Facebook, LinkedIn or other Social Media profile, the greater your website presence providing that you are producing content that followers deem valuable enough to engage with and share.
If we’ve ever had a conversation about digital marketing, website development, Social Media marketing, and Search Engine Optimisation, you’ll know that I’m a staunch advocate of the Three Musketeers of Digital Marketing: Content, Search and Social, in every internet marketing campaign. Which, when they are combined, produce a heady mixture of blog and website traffic, Social Media reach and engagement and ultimately a Return on Investment (ROI).
The Three Musketeers:
So how do you post and share valuable content and what is deemed valuable and compelling content? Well, content comes in many different forms and it isn’t all about the text; images, videos, blog posts, articles, eBooks, Podcasts, Slideshare presentations to name a few.
Now that you have all this valuable and compelling content, how do you optimise it for search? And by that I don’t just mean Google, Bing and other search engines but also the Social Media networks. In other words, Social Media Optimisation?
The term Social Media Optimisation is by no means a new one, not in terms of digital marketing anyway. In his blog post “Social Media Optimization: It’s Like SEO, For Social Sites” written in 2006, technologist Danny Sullivan cited marketer Rohit Bhargava as the progenitor of the term “Social Media Optimisation”.
In essence, Social Media Optimisation is rapidly replacing Search Engine Optimisation, at least terminology wise, as improved search ranking is also a benefit of successful SMO. It focuses on driving traffic from sources other than search engines; YouTube for example, is the second biggest search engine after Google (also its owner).
Now that you’ve created your invaluable and compelling content, you need to share it.
These days it isn’t just about Google, Bing and Yahoo, say. Social Media Optimisation is simply ensuring that the content you post, be it through images, videos, blog posts, articles, eBooks, Podcasts, Slideshare presentations or other mediums, is shared by people via Social Media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and Pinterest.
A great place to start is with your captive audience, i.e. your Social Media followers. But you still need to ensure that the content is compelling enough to be Liked, ReTweeted, Favorited, +1ed and commented on, etc.
The most important strategy is to keep your content fresh and regularly updated as much for the fact that the search engines love new content. Also keep in mind that every point of engagement is deemed as social proof by Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines, i.e. a major accolade for the quality of your content which they will then rank higher in searches.
Check out this excellent Pinterest infographic about how Social Media supports SEO in 7 steps:
Whilst content will always be king, successful internet marketing in 2014 will rely on a regular mix of Content Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation and Social Media Optimisation to make it shareable. Which brings me to the question Content Marketing; is There Any Other? What do you think? I’d love to hear about successes you’ve enjoyed as a result of engaging the Three Musketeers of Digital Marketing.