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A Guide to Holistic Content Marketing

Mar 28th 2014

Actionable insights for improving content in video, PR, and SEO.

Laura (Adpearance’s Social Media Team lead), Ben (an Inbound Team marketing specialist), and I took an #InboundFieldTrip to attend a SEMpdx event earlier this month, titled “Holistic Content Marketing: Actionable Insights from PR, SEO, and Video.” Marketing pros Amy Rosenberg, Michael Cottam, Nathan Issacs, and Anna Hrach instilled us with amazing knowledge and advice, complete with tough love about why Panda thinks websites suck.

Here are just some of our key takeaways from the information-filled evening:

Content Overview

  • First and foremost, have a working website. Content marketing won’t matter if there’s nowhere for you to direct potential leads.
  • Never underestimate the importance of research, calendaring, and comprehensive planning when developing a content marketing strategy. Adpearance’s Inbound Team uses calendars for everything – not only does it help us and our clients stay organized, but it guarantees a smooth flow and decent balance of content throughout the year.
  • Use on-site search for content ideas; visitors are telling you exactly what they want.
  • Context before content – create working personas for your customer base and, using these personas, focus on the individual and balance your content so it provides user value and brand value. Personas not only help our team develop interesting content, but they also help with social ads and promotions targeting.
  • When drafting content, act like a reporter and plan your editorial calendars months in advance. Here at Adpearance, we try to plan content and PR efforts 6 months in advance to ensure a consistent brand voice for our clients.
  • Similar to the point above, check media editorial calendars to see what’s relevant and buzzworthy to relevant outlets and contacts; they’ve already done the necessary research!
  • Also use the media editorial calendars to create a list of newsworthy pitch ideas that fit your brand and the outlet’s audience. At Adpearance, we build each of our digital PR clients custom opportunity lists that can easily be incorporated into an overall content strategy.


  • Just like written content, plan your videos with storyboards, scripts, and shot lists. It will not only save you time in production, but will also allow you to see whether or not the content flows well before pressing record.
  • Remember: quality over quantity for viewers – you don’t have to have the viral video! What counts is who is watching your video, not how many are watching.
  • Ensure your video strategy incorporates awareness, fact finding, solutions, conversion opportunities, and account maintenance. No one wants to visit a channel that hasn’t uploaded content in three years.
  • Repurpose your videos in appropriate places: your newsletter, website, social media accounts, tradeshow demos, public relations, and more.

SEO: “Panda hates you because you suck.”

  • Rich media (including videos, images, maps, and interactive elements) and titles that match the search query are content marketing gold.
  • Hone in on what’s above the fold; is interesting, readable content the first thing you see on each page or is your header filled with junk?
  • Although it’s not a “do or die” factor yet, it looks like original text will start to matter more for Google’s rankings in the near future.
  • Google’s great at detecting repeat images – make sure your visual content is original!
  • Benefits of going with a HTML pro: if the back end looks professionally done, Panda will love it.
  • Incorporate Google Authorship to gain even higher rankings for your content.
  • Stop embedding videos using YouTube. YouTube’s domain authority (DA) will always trump your website’s DA, so Google will send potential visitors from search to YouTube to watch your video.

Some of these might seem obvious, and others not so much, but what they have in common is they are all actionable and easy to implement if you have the guidance and determination needed. Thanks again to Amy, Michael, Nathan, and Anna for the great insights and, of course, to SEMpdx for organizing the event, and Ethology for hosting it!

Let us know how we can help guide your business to develop content marketing gold.

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