sábado, 6 de mayo de 2017

Search vs. Social Media: How Audience ‘Intent’ Can Affect Content Marketing Performance

Tell me if this scenario is familiar:

You decided to create a piece of content for the brand. You used semantic research to find the topic and created content that is fun, valuable, and informative. Finally, you attached goals to this content in terms of performance, such as:
Have the content rank for the semantically relevant search terms on Google
Go viral on social media
Generate leads and product purchases

Realistically, you have return-on-investment ambitions that the content will tick all three of these goals. But then you publish the content on your blog and amplify it across all your social media channels, and it goes nowhere. A handful of “likes” does not rank on the first page of Google and does not generate any leads for you.

Sound familiar? If you are creating multiple pieces of content a month, you are probably seeing this scenario play out so many times that it has become almost routine.

Our natural conclusions about why content underperforms are often that the quality isn’t good enough, or that the calls to action are all wrong, or even that content marketing just doesn’t work.

In reality, it’s not just about the quality of your content – it’s about your content marketing strategy.

For reasons of convenience, cost, or misunderstanding, you’ve been creating content to be a one-size-fits-all solution across both search and social media channels. This is not effective because the audience’s intent and expectations on search compared to social media are completely different and often your content does not fit their needs.

So let’s take a deep breath and go back to basics. We first need to understand how people use and engage with content on the two primary online channels – search and social media.
What is search content?

Think of search content as search engine optimization (SEO) content. You compose this content with the intention that it will rank in Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) and primarily attract organic traffic to your website. You want your content to rank on Google because:
Ranking content is perceived to be trusted content.
Traffic from organically ranking content usually is the highest quality.
Audiences attracted to this content often are a good source of conversions and higher quality leads.
Your content ranks on merit, not budget.

When I discuss search content, I am specifically talking about those pages that people like to find through Google, such as your home page, product, About Us and FAQ pages, and even some evergreen blog posts. These pages should contain semantically rich copy designed to both inform and educate your visitors, or encourage them to perform a specific action (such as making a purchase).

What type of audience is attracted by search content? It’s someone who wants to find it. People naturally search to find a solution to their problem. Your search content should provide this solution.

Over the years, search engine algorithms have become good at providing solutions to searchers’ problems because they understand the searchers’ intent. It is important to understand intent because it will help you create better search content. Essentially, there are three primary ways people search for content on the web:
Informational: These generic search queries satisfy a broad topic. People tend to use just one or two words – party balloons, elephants, architecture, or content marketing strategy.
Navigational: These more refined search queries often occur when the searchers know the website or brand they want – Facebook, Samsung, or iPhone.
Transactional: These queries show that the searchers intend to perform an action – buying a product, signing up to a website, or downloading an infographic. These queries often use words like buy, review, deal, or download – buy Nike shoes, cheap flights to Fiji, download content marketing report.

When you look at the searchers’ intent, you likely know where they are in the buying process and can provide content accordingly. For example, if you want to reach people using a brand or product name in their search, you should create search content that targets audiences in the discovery or transactional phase of the buyer journey.

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