In May we asked SEO Agencies for their top SEO tips in 2017. It was fascinating to see so many of the answers centered around creating great content for the audience.
Out of 15 responses, just 12 were relating to improving the quality of the content either on or off site.
It is clear that many SEO Agencies have transformed into Content Agencies.
That’s exactly what Google was wanting to happen, however, it does come with many challenges. The main challenge is, traditionally SEO was a technical discipline suited to data driven and technically minded people.
Increasingly what is needed are creative & imaginative people who are great at creating content.
Content which connects.
Which - let’s face it - is easier said than done.
Just 34% of B2B & 35% of B2C Marketers say that their Content Marketing Strategy is effective in helping their company achieve its goals, despite a 75% increase in content marketing investment.
Pouring money at the problem isn’t helping.
We have an issue!
The point is not to put down all of the hard work that goes into Content Marketing. It is not an easy task. Competition is fierce and it is very difficult to be heard with consumers spending less time than ever concentrating on any one given screen.
We are transitioning from the click web to the attention web. And I feel that needs a bit of explanation as it is a very interesting topic brought up by the CEO of Chartbeat.
Click through rates used to be one of the most important metrics. Just tell me how many people actually came to your site. This is no longer the case. Now it's about dwell time. Tell me how many people actually read your content and enjoyed it.
This is the challenge that content marketers face.
Amidst this challenge we also have the even tumultuous client - agency relationship.
Very often it is not the Agency’s fault that the content is less than creative. Clients, especially large ones tend to push back on big ideas because they are too risky.
Whilst I don’t have a magic wand to wave and solve an entire industry's problem - Seth Godin, can you help?
I do have one potential solution.
There are a very large group of people that spend the vast majority of their spare time creating content for their audience.
I’ll admit, there are some that haven’t quite cracked it yet, but there are many that do an exceptional job. For example, Ana from Faded Spring. Like many micro influencers, Ana has a background in journalism which means her content is outstanding.
Despite only blogging for several years she has attracted over 11k Instagram Followers who follow her vibrant, straight talking and edgy content. Her engagement is through the roof because she is honest, raw & speaks to her audience in a way which a corporate brand could never do.
At this point you might be thinking, bloggers, yes we know about bloggers they are a great way to build links.
And that I fear is the problem.
As SEO’s we just default back to links and it’s the wrong way to look at it.
This is the reason there is such a tense relationship between bloggers, companies & agencies when in fact it is a match made in heaven.
We have a ton of SEO Agency’s who are finding it difficult to create epic content.
We have a ton of micro influencers who are very good at that.
Are you connecting with the difference here?
It is very subtle, but I believe it is a profound shift in thinking that could benefit everyone. Here are the core areas we can shift our thinking when working with micro influencers.
Give More Freedom
We need to take a bit more of a backseat when working with micro influencers. Instead of dictating exactly how they should create the content why not give direction and then allow them to use their own creativity. We should be looking at micro influencers as content creators not handy link building opportunities.
Stop Obsessing Over pure traffic, DA + trust flow metrics
This includes only reporting on these metrics. What about reporting on the engagement of content? The conversation that is sparked around the product or service? Many SEO Agency’s are still focusing on metrics which report on links not on the content.
This means many micro influencers miss out because they don’t have the stats you are looking for - despite the fact that they have a highly engaged audience and they produce very high quality content.
(this guest post we produced for one of our clients has over 2000 pins)
Speak About Engagement With The Micro Influencer
Make it clear that engagement is a metric you are tracking, and that you are looking for content which connects with their audience. This will put them into a different frame of mind when creating the content and results in more creativity which is the reason you are working with them.
Take A Long Term View
It is still true that many Agency’s don’t form proper, long term relationships with micro influencers. It is tough to do that when you have a multi discipline Agency and this is just one part of the strategy you are delivering to the client.
But, taking a long term view and building good, lasting relationships does result in better content. Micro influencers put more effort in if they are respected, just like any human being does!
A great way to ensure you are keeping that long term view in mind is by hiring an Agency who specialised providing high quality placements with micro influencers. An Agency like us, Ginger Marketing.
We supply SEO Agencys with content which sparks conversation. We work with micro influencers in the UK & the USA across a variety of different niches and we’d be more than happy to discuss your project.
Written by Cheryl A Clarke Chief Happiness Officer & Director Of Ginger Marketing (unless stated otherwise)