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Content to be at the heart of online marketing says report

There was a big bit of research published earlier this month, which sheds an interesting light on the future of the role of content, search engine optimisation and online marketing in general.

Data from eConsultancy (opens in new tab) found that a majority of marketing professionals believe that brands are increasingly becoming publishers – 74 percent in fact.

Their survey of over 1,300 marketers found that 90 per cent see the value in content marketing. But the research also found that just 38 per cent have a strategy in place. As many as 64 per cent of all in-house marketers believe that content marketing is becoming a discipline all of its own.

Content marketing is a growing discipline that incorporates many aspects of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), PR, advertising and journalism. It can be very successful and it is a strategy that many well-known brands are adopting.

For example, a popular national high street retailer has launched its own consumer electronics website with the help of a well-known tech publisher. The website has been listed as a Google News provider for over a year, increasing traffic phenomenally and brand appeal.

“All this means nothing though without top quality content to begin with,” adds the website’s editor Andy Cooke. The decision to build a technology website, offering impartial advice and news to an audience with a switched-on technology profile is another good example of brands becoming publishers.

(opens in new tab)Content marketing may well be the lifeblood of future website engagement. Content not only grabs attention; it can do a whole lot more, too. It can educate and entertain of course, as well as bring customers closer to a brand.

And if you want to start a conversation on a social network – you need content too. The message to brands is this; get the content right and you can succeed online.

As the worlds of PR, SEO, social, advertising and content generation all increasingly merge into one mass communication medium, it is obvious that the role of content and specialist content agencies, is only likely to increase in the years to come. The report is based on Econsultancy’s content marketing survey report (opens in new tab).

Dale Lovell is Publishing Director at Content Agency Search News Media (opens in new tab). You can follow him on Twitter @searchnewsmedia.