In a fast-paced, digital media world, a company’s success or failure hinges increasingly more upon its web presence. Thanks to the ascension of Google and the advent of the smartphone, it has never been easier to compare or contrast businesses. This rapid evolution in the way business had been traditionally done shifted consumer habits and preferences, which has had a notable impact on the realm of marketing. Now, online content is king, and largely responsible for a shaping brand’s image and influencing whether or not it succeeds.
In the realm of digital content marketing, producing strong editorial content is imperative, especially if you are a B2B company. Editorial content lets you demonstrate your knowledge, experience, and authority without primarily focusing on selling your good or service. If you are not taking the time to build out content that is educational and informative about aspects of your industry, you are missing out on a golden opportunity.
Below, we will discuss SEO and why you should prioritize editorial content when it comes to your content strategy.
The modern consumer, whether a B2B or B2C, will rely heavily on search engines for the vast majority of their questions, needs, or purchases. According to a Google study, more than half of all B2B researches are millennials, and more than 71% of all researchers begin their research with a generic search. As a result, Google is one of the best ways to go about bringing in new visitors and then converting them into customers.
SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, is a phrase that is commonly bandied about in the world of digital marketing. At its essence, it’s about utilizing Google’s search algorithm in order to rank higher on its pages. The higher up you are, the more likely someone is to click your page. Advanced web ranking analytics shows that the first page gets the lion share of clicks, with nearly 75% of clicks going to the first page on the search results. Ideally, you’d like to be the very first result that comes up when someone searches something related to your business. The same chart shows that the top 3 results account for approximately 65% of clicks:
- First position
- Mobile – 22% of clicks
- Desktop – 31% of clicks
- Second position
- Mobile – 14%
- Desktop – 16%
- Third position
- Mobile – 9.5%
- Desktop – 10%
Creating SEO Rich Editorial Content
To rank highly on SERPs, Google rewards companies that provide regular editorial content that upholds the following standards:
- Keywords – The algorithm searches for target keywords that are related to the given search. Ideally, your editorial content should discuss the specific keywords at length in an informative and unique way while avoiding simply spamming them. In days past, people gamed the system by merely stuffing a piece of editorial content with keywords. This is no longer allowed and can result in a total ban from Google if you are caught trying to game the SEO system.
- New and fresh content – New content tends to draw from the most recent pool of current and up-to-date information. Older material may be incorrect or lacking relevant changes or trends. As a result, you will have to regularly produce content about your industry even if it means talking about the same aspect of your business but examining it in a new light. That said, duplicate content, either your own or from another website, is a giant red flag.
- Links – Editorial content should be filled with internal, inbound, and outbound links, which can either lead the reader to another page or blog post on your site or direct them to another trustworthy site. By associating yourself with sites that already rank highly, you create a network of authority.
- Titles – Forming titles that are interesting will not only help with keywords but also impact whether a visitor will read the editorial content.
Why Editorial Content is Important for Your Content Strategy
In the past, marketing considered editorial content mostly as an afterthought. Marketing used to be one-sided conversations directed at customers. However, in the last few years, content marketing has now become an integral facet of marketing, resulting in a more conversational relationship between the brand and its audience.
According to the 9th B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America Report, “Nearly all of the most successful B2B content marketers (90%) prioritize the audience’s informational needs over their sales/promotional message, compared with 56% of the least successful.” As a result of this shift in B2B content strategy across various industries, “Content creation is the area of content marketing where there has been the most reported increase in spending over the last 12 months (56%).”
In addition to helping your website for SEO purposes, editorial content provides a host of benefits. Examples include:
- Build trust with customers – The editorial content crafted by your team and published on your blog will work to develop your website to be a credible source. By publishing this content on your company’s blog, you will become a resource for people looking for answers pertaining to your industry and they’ll start to trust you more. Editorial content can help build trust in your brand without coming off as an on-the-nose sales pitch. You are not directly selling a good or a service; instead, you are selling your expertise. Over time, if readers start to trust your opinion, they will have less of an issue purchasing your product when you are the one telling them to do so.
- Establishing your business as an authority – Similarly, publishing editorial content helps you establish a foothold wherein your business and team are considered thought leaders within a space. Part of being considered an expert on a particular field requires that people view you as such. In essence, you need to earn that title. Once earned, people will circle back to you because they see you as a useful source of information. If done correctly, your credibility transfers to the overall brand and can lead to increased brand awareness.
- Building up a library of content – As time progresses, you will build up an archive of relevant topics to your industry and business. This accumulation of information not only helps with your SEO, authority, and branding but also can be used for a variety of purposes.
- Utilizing the library of content for cross-channel promotion – As mentioned, this wealth of articles and blog posts give you a huge advantage in that you can repurpose those articles for cross-channel promotional strategies. For example, you can use editorial content for:
- Thoughts of the day
- Social media promotion
- LinkedIn Promotion
- Enticing new visitors – An insightful piece of editorial content can attract a new pair of eyes that could eventually turn into a customer, even if that was never their original intention. People like informative and helpful information. If you write one thing they like, they might return the next time they want to discover something related to their original search.
- Improving inbound lead sourcing – Lead creation is the primary force for a company’s growth and continued success. With the decline of the efficacy of outbound techniques, inbound sourcing via editorial content has now shifted to the forefront. Leads who are familiar with you and who place their trust in you are far warmer than cold sources.
- Building Your Brand – Building a brand does not happen overnight. In order to rise to the top, you will need to hustle and make a concerted effort to get your name on everyone’s lips. Strong editorial content is something that can be shared and disseminated in such a way that it always has the possibility of going viral.
Optimizing your Editorial Content via User Personas
If you want to create relevant and compelling editorial content, it is critical that you build out buyer personas via customer insights. Using qualitative (customer testimonials/customer research) and quantitative (Google Analytics/Facebook Audience insights) research, you can group and categorize potential customers to better understand their specific needs or desires.
Typically, a business will create anywhere from 3 to 5 personas that act as semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer within that group. Once those are built out, you can tailor your editorial content to target each group specifically. Crafting messages that are intended for a specific audience help you create content that is more meaningful, effective, and relevant to that person. It treats the audience as an individual instead of as a generalized, nameless, faceless, customer.
Building Out your Editorial Content
In recent years, editorial content has become an ever more important aspect of any successful content strategy. Written content provides a host of benefits, including:
- Increasing search engine rankings
- Improving click-through rates
- Establishing expertise
- Creating consumer trust
- Building brand authority
If you want to succeed, it is critical that you not only begin building out your editorial content immediately, but that you also make a concerted effort to provide visitors with information that is useful, pertinent, and speaks directly to them.
- Snyder, K. Think with Google. “The Changing Face of B2B Marketing.” (2015). https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/consumer-insights/the-changing-face-b2b-marketing/
- Advanced Web Ranking. “Google Organic CTR History.” (2019). https://www.advancedwebranking.com/ctrstudy/
- Content Marketing Institute. “B2B Content Marketing 2019.” (2019). https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/2019_B2B_Research_Final.pdf