Content marketing, SEO and paid search need to work in unison to be effective, according to Saf Chowdhury and Mez Homayunfard from Online Marketing Gurus (OMG). The duo spoke about the ever-growing importance of web copy, articles and videos at the recent Mumbrella360 event.
Homayunfard, who is OMG’s co-founder, believes that organic content now takes on a greater role in the general marketing mix as the costs of paid media have skyrocketed during the last five years. He said that content is the best means for generating organic traffic and that, when supplemented by SEO, it is a hugely powerful tool for brands to leverage.
Speaking at the event on 30 June, Homayunfard used a case study involving a popular fashion retailer to highlight how search performance can collapse entirely during web migrations and without a carefully managed strategy. The drop-off forced the company to turn to OMG to rebuild its online presence.
Homayunfard noted: “This client had seen a very sharp drop in rankings – the business lost 86% of its visibility. Fashion is also a fragmented and splintered space and we were competing against a lot of pure-play online retailers. It was not a fun place to start a project.”
Content marketing was one of three activities, along with SEO and PPC, that enabled the company to recover lost ground, and it did so within just a few months. In the medium term, it drove $2m in incremental growth and campaigns centred on content to give it a platform to thrive in the long term without worries about a repeat performance slump.
A combination of content marketing and SEO are now preferable for Homayunfard and Chowdhury due to the rising costs of paid media, which make it difficult to sustain and use consistently as part of marketing and advertising strategies. The pair revealed that paid media now requires 35% more investment compared to three years ago.
As content marketing has matured, brands have turned to the practice to support cost-effective, agile and scalable campaigns. Homayunfard adds: “When we started the business six or seven years ago there was a heavy focus on paid search because SEO was a bit of a sort of Pandora’s Box. There wasn’t much transparency.”
Chowdhury believes content is now “super important” and advised businesses to double down on shorter, sharper and snappier forms of content rather than overlong pieces, though he admitted there is still a wide range of views in the industry about what is the right length of content for each situation.
“No one really wants to be shopping for dresses and then read an essay on the same page,” he said. “You need to look at content differently. You should think of reviews, and frequently asked questions.”
The two gurus finished their speech by saying that their client has been able to rank at the top of SERPS and enjoy significant revenue growth on a monthly basis and with the knowledge that it is a “repeatable process” that will continue to pay dividends.