SEO & Content Marketing: A Match Made In Heaven

The professional separation between SEOs and Content Marketers in some organisations never fails to stop intriguing me. At one prestigious agency I was at last month, I learnt that there was next to no dialogue between their SEO core and their Content division. I found this incredible. Hopefully, as content marketing continues to mature as a practice, agencies and in-house marketing teams will begin to see the value of co-operating and co-labouring with their SEO and content teams, for both strategic and commercial imperatives. This is particularly important as creative, marketing and PR agencies shift to becoming the much-vaunted, all-conquering ‘Customer Engagement Agency’. Marrying the disciplines of content marketing and SEO shouldn’t be a big ask, indeed it should be a natural partnership:

SEOs Are Perfectly Placed To Engage In Content Marketing

The skillset of SEOs matches extremely well with what it takes to win at content marketing. Both require similar processes:
  1. Researching & identifying influencers and communities
  2. Keyword research & analysis
  3. Competitive content research
  4. Creative content generation
  5. Outreach and promotion
  6. Analytics, measurement and tracking

Content Marketing is about utility. SEOs are the ‘good guys’.

Despite the efforts of Jeremy Shoemaker, SEO has never been sexy. In fact, most times it’s seen as downright nefarious – a dark art practised by digital marketeers which is pilloried and misunderstood. Similarly, brands whose marketing and comms are interruptive, spammy and irrelevant have suffered the ire of consumers in many different ways. Content Marketing reflects a different kind of strategy by brands – one where they’re only there when consumers need them or are purposefully seeking them out. In practice, this means providing relevant, educational, helpful, compelling or engaging content which meets a customer need. Brands know that branded content is not just to maintain visibility but also provide utility.

Content Marketing is revolutionising the idea of SEO  – SEO is not just serving the search engines but the people who actually use the search engines.

Likewise, SEO extends this utility by making *relevant* content, *educational* content, *helpful* content, *compelling* content or *engaging* content for findable and searchable. Content Marketing is making SEOs look like the ‘good guys’ of marketing.

Brands want to be publishers. SEO are their publicists.

Early 2012, Coke made a very public paean to content marketing: