Veb is an inbound marketing agency with a particular affinity for content marketing. In sum, we build & manage informative, lead-generating websites. Learn more...

The Evolution of Content Marketing

Content marketing has seen an evolution from what was previously referred to as SEO Web design. Today, it is a more accepted form of online marketing, and with its refinement from a stance of manipulating search engines to simply telling a story and educating target users, it has become an established method for promoting your site. Its appeal cannot be denied as nearly all individuals and all companies would want to keep visitors on their site (something content marketing [otherwise known as, and a subset of, inbound marketing] was designed to do).

Creating great content (which for most Internet entrepreneurs [or infopreneurs] and Web marketing agencies emcompasses writing articles exclusively) should be a natural activity on any site. You provide something free, and people get to see what you're about as a result. Sometimes the content changes a person's life, which opens the door to receiving a lifelong customer. At the very least, it encourages readers to subscribe to your newsletter in a subtle way; Coupled with an informative ebook or mini audio course, it virtually guarantees it.

For a while, many of us Web publishers were on shaky ground, or perhaps we just thought we were. We had become obsessed with the search engines and our never-ending pursuit to please them. Changes in their logistics were forcing us to go in directions we didn't want to take, or adapt to, rather. But it was for the best, as the shift allowed us to remove many of the shackles that had been beset upon us. We got fed up with trying to satisfy the search giants, took a step back, and were able to see the grander picture... which was to work towards helping people as opposed to appeasing Google and others of the like - a vitally important task we previously lost sight of.

But SEO still works, almost as effectively as it used to. The drop in rankings of countless, once-performing websites in recent years is due to several reasons notwithstanding an update by the SEs. In many ways, the updates actually fortified these same sites, because their favoring of brands got publishers to re-think their online marketing approach. It eventually resulted in them carving out their own path, moving at a faster-than-ever pace.

Content marketing in its current state also sees local businesses finally getting on-board. Search engines favor them as well, so a well-presented website including many of the essential ingredients (eg: mobile-friendly design, creative logo, contact forms, title and heading tags, and of course information about the company/organization along with their products, services, process, etc) can safely rank above its competition with not much effort or investment at all.

It's difficult not to find humor in that for the majority who have missed the first train, 'SEO' continues to be the designated name given to this type of action plan; Their title of choice trumps over terms like content marketing and inbound marketing for which they seem to be oblivious about. By the same token, they also have a particular affinity towards social media marketing, thinking that they have to take their business to the popular social networks (a strategy we feel can be disjointed and often lead to businesses spreading themselves too thin).

In truth, it's hard for even the most seasoned webmasters and Internet marketers to express what it is that we do. If we work with video and audio (let alone standard images and infographics), we call ourselves digital marketers. If we mainly write content, we likely call ourselves content marketers. And if we publish to our own sites and blogs (working primarily on personal projects), we call ourselves bloggers or online authors {We prefer the latter as it sounds more professional to us; That said, it leaves some mystery as to what we do and can leave a person confused about our career choice}.

Whatever your trade is, and whatever name you give it, no one could dismiss it as if to be unimportant. In our minds, the Net was supposed to be a form of communication and transferring of practical information above all. It's taken even large enterprises some time to realize this, but content has now become a definitive influencer in their sales funnel. More quality content equals a bigger bottom line, period. This will never change.

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