“What drives Digital Marketing?” I was asked this innocuous question in one of our workshops.
I could have answered the above question with an answer filled with all digital marketing jargons like email marketing techniques, seo techniques, etc, etc.
But I take digital marketing classes to simplify digital marketing and not to scare the candidates by bombarding them with jargons from the world of Digital Marketing.
I decided to cut the jargon-filled talk and take them through my journey of how I learned digital marketing.
I knew the answer the question lies in my journey as a digital marketer.
A few years back, I started a blog (lessons at startup) which was about sharing my entrepreneurial journey with the startup community across the world.
Like every blogger, I started writing frequent blogs without realizing the essence of readership.
We, the bloggers are a passionate lot. We at times do not worry about the readership.
We write to fulfill our insatiable desire to write.
In between, we forget that readers only come to read our blog, when we promote it to them.
Incidentally, we are too busy to notice the value of readership.
Within a month, I had 3 blogs with little or no readership.
And then the predictable happened (I know it happens to a lot of bloggers. Thereby, I call it “the predicable😊 “)
Without any readership, the enthusiasm fizzled out.
Since I did not know anything about digital marketing, I kind of gave up on driving users to my blog.
Rather than writing on the blog, I started participating in discussions on platforms like Quora and LinkedIn.
There was a wider reach there.
And then, something unexpected happened. The content I wrote there started getting a fan following.
Within a month, I was one of the top writers in multiple categories on Quora.
Oh Boy! I could write, and everyone was loving it.
Since my profile had my blog’s link, the users on these websites started visiting my profile after reading my answers to questions.
The fan following started subscribed to my blog.
Within few months, I had around 350+ subscribers to my blog.
I still was clueless about digital marketing. But as they say “ignorance is bliss”.
My ignorance of digital marketing worked here to my advantage.
Since I did not know anything about digital marketing, I just focussed on writing good content (at least that’s what everyone thought). The content drove traffic to my blog.
With time, the traffic flow to my blog reached a decent number. A number which encouraged me to write more blogs.
I had tasted blood.
The trick to getting readership to my blog was with me and the trick was minus all the heavy lifting which comes with knowing Digital marketing.
Soon I was trying different styles of writing on these platforms. For ex, I would use my blog’s link in my profile or at times, I would use my blog’s link as a reference inside my discussions.
The traffic changed fluctuated invariably over time based on my experiments but there was always something new to learn with every step of the experiment.
I had learned to write engaging, simulating content without worrying about Digital Marketing.
My methodology involved something they refer to now as Digital Content Marketing.
From writing on these platforms to writing on my blog, I was trying everything in the book of Digital content marketing without knowing what is Digital content marketing.
In between, I came across a term called as Guest Blogging.
I sent few of the articles I had written to a few famous websites in India and guess what, they accepted the articles and published them there.
As soon as the articles were published, the traffic flow to the website again increased.
Again, content did the magic.
My journey as a digital marketer had started.
Within next few months, I learned the finer details of digital marketing. Especially, SEO which did involve learning few technical things from SEO perspective.
Within no time, from keyword search to link building, I was trying everything in SEO.
Do you know what was common in everything I learned?
I was learning how content marketing worked.
Digital Content marketing also referred to as only “content marketing” is an indispensable part of every single module of digital marketing.
For ex, if I plan to start with a seo campaign, the steps would be:
- Keyword research
- Article/blog as per the keyword
- On page SEO
- Good backlinks
Two out of the 4 steps listed above require good engaging content.
i.e, you should write a good content to engage readers to the website and you also need a good article to get decent backlinks to your website.
Content marketing’s relevance can also be seen in Social Media Marketing.
When I started learning social media marketing, every blog I read about social media marketing only spoke about good engaging content.
The famous social media marketers expected you to add value addition to discussions.
Wasn’t I already doing that?
Looks like I was already unknowingly a part of social media marketing.
Everything I learned about digital marketing involved Content Marketing.
Which brings us to the answer to the question I was asked.
Question: “What drives Digital Marketing?
Answer: “Good Content drives Digital Marketing”
Why did I write the above article?
Other than demonstrating you the importance of content marketing in digital marketing, the idea was to help the old breed of digital marketers understand that without good content their website will duffer.
The Digital marketers forget that even when they rank high in google with their bad content (a rare possibility, since Google has started placing a high value on good content), they are not providing any value addition to their readers.
The bounce rate on their pages will be high.
Sooner or later, Google will notice that the traffic coming to the website is just bouncing off and Google will push your website down the rankings.
My digital marketing journey started only with content and is only moving forward because I give a lot of effort to write good content.
I learned the other finer details of digital marketing on the way and they have all helped me but my love for writing simulating content is what has helped me be a better digital marketer.
For me, Content came first -> Technicalities came in much later.
I am not saying, you do not need to learn how SEO works, etc. Steps like keyword research, backlink building are crucial to SEO.
Still, they cannot work in isolation without good content.
You can still have an article without keyword research and can promote it using social media promotion by participating in discussions, etc but you cannot run an SEO campaign without relevant content.
The other day, I was discussing the evolution of digital marketing with fellow digital marketers and we all agreed unanimously on one point “Despite Google’s algorithms changing over years, content written with ingenuity has survived every single google update”.
The websites, which have provided content with no intention of cheating google have done well in SEO.
They were and still are the darlings of google.
Undoubtedly, Content marketing is the future of Digital marketing.
He shares his startup experiences at http://lessonsatstartup.com
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