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The industrial revolution brought about a change in our society unparalleled to any other event in history. That was when globalization started and the world became a smaller place. Trading and commercial activities between nations all around the world became much more frequent, easier and less risky. The twentieth century witnessed the creation of the Internet and other breakthrough inventions that simply revolutionized not only how commerce was conducted, but other types of human activities as well.

This age made information more readily available to just about anyone who had access to the Internet. Also, ease of communication – regardless of physical distance – made it easier for data to be extracted from sources that were earlier inaccessible. This led to more content being published and shared on the Internet by people.

One of the many products that the Internet has bestowed us with is online marketing,the field that allows businesses to promote and sell their products or services on the Internet. It includes other activities too, such as gathering customer information, interacting with potential and current clients, and collecting customer information for research. One of the ways businesses promote their products and services is through content marketing.

[heading color=”black”]What Is Content Marketing?[/heading]

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The Power of Search Engines

In the 1990s, the Internet was a relatively small place with a few thousand websites. There were hardly any directories people knew of, where they could find out about new websites. However, with time, search engines evolved. And you know all about the power giants such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo! have.

Today, Google.com is one of the most visited websites in the world. And the reason is very simple:people are searching for  more than just information nowadays, they are also seeking out products and services online.

How Businesses Reacted to the Search Engine Revolution

One of the parties present on the Internet is businesses. They understand that there are people searching for the products and services they sell. Hence, to capture the attention of potential customers, they do what is required to appear higher among search results, which is search engine optimization. One of the ways to increase a website’s rank among search results is through content marketing.

The Execution of Content Marketing

Content is developed for websites in a way that helps a website to better align itself to search engine results. This is done by adding keywords to the text published on businesses’ websites.

Non-SEO Content Marketing

Not all businesses create content for their websites while keeping search engines in mind. Some businesses do not consider search engine results a critical component in attracting new customers. Hence, they keep in mind factors other than keywords, such as:

  • Quality of text – this includes tone, length, complexity, authenticity, and other aspects that determine the quality of any piece of writing in general.
  • Relevance of content with the needs and wants of the target market.
  • The freshness of the material.
  • Originality of content.

These factors contribute to the experience of the people visiting businesses’ websites.

[heading color=”black”]What Platforms Are Used for Content Marketing?[/heading]

As mentioned earlier, content is posted on websites in order to create a positive impression of a business’ products and services on visitors.. In addition to websites, there are other platforms where content is posted for readers. They include:

i. Blogs – Blogs let businesses keep in touch with their target audience by posting information relevant to their products, as well as the current issues.

ii. Social Media – Fan pages on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace, Google+, and other social sites require content as well.

iii. Press Releases – In case there is an announcement to be made by businesses, press releases are issued. This too is included in content marketing.

v. Discussion Forums – Discussion forums on websites, blogs, and social sites also support real time content.

[heading color=”black”]Who Delivers Services Related to Content Marketing?[/heading]

The production of material for content marketing is conducted in two different places – in-house and outsourced agencies.

In-house production – Larger companies with bigger budgets and higher content development requirements hire copywriters who deliver their work  when required.

Outsourced agencies – Small and medium sized businesses requiring content development services, be it when setting up their new website or for specific occasions, prefer using the services of content development agencies. All they have to do is search for them on the Internet and let them know their requirements.

Given the relative ease with which any one can serve clients in need of content, thousands of content development agencies have emerged on the Internet.

[heading color=”black”]Are There Any Disadvantages to Content Marketing?[/heading]

Even with the many advantages content development has, it does have disadvantages too. Some of them include:

i. Quality Control – Although there are hundreds of content development agencies on the Internet, very few generate quality content. Most of them simply reproduce what is already on the Internet. It is possible for a company to pay an agency for work that is low in quality and later not be able to use that content, because of copyright infringements

ii. Inconsistency – It is also possible for an agency that used to produce quality content to be shut down. In such cases, it becomes difficult for their clients to find another agency which produces content of similar quality.

iii. Reputation – Often websites publish content in the name of a certain writer while the content was written by a ghost writer. If readers discover this fact, the website (and the company behind it) runs a risk of being accused of unethical behaviour.

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Posted by Tim Wilson

Tim Wilson works for HostPapa, a website hosting company serving over 100,000 customers around the world. Since launching in 2006, HostPapa has offered reliable, budget-friendly, easy-to-use web hosting solutions for small to medium-sized businesses.

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