The term ‘Content Marketing’ is being used everywhere at the moment. And that’s not just a perception. Take a look at the Google Trends analysing the growth of the use of the phrase ‘content marketing’ in search queries. You’d be forgiven for brushing it off as the latest buzzword to grace the marketing and digital industries.
But content marketing is getting serious. Investment is growing among big companies globally as well as smaller businesses. More importantly, it’s yielding results in sectors, including gaming.
Content Marketing Defined
There’s a host of definitions out there, with the most commonly cited being Content Marketing: But ultimately, I’d take a simpler approach to defining it.
To me and to my team involved in content marketing projects at Tecmark, content marketing is just the use of content to achieve or contribute to certain marketing goals. These goals vary from client to client and campaign to campaign. In some instances, content is designed to drive a new audience all on its own. In some cases, it’s designed to educate and improve the conversion rate of an existing audience. And increasingly commonly, content marketing campaigns we’re involved with have objectives related to the acquisition of organic links to benefit SEO campaigns.
Content Marketing is NOT New
Although the term “content marketing” has only recently become embedded into the vocabulary of the masses, the act of marketing through content is by no means new:
• Let’s go back 114 years to 1900. In that year, Michelin launched its ‘Michelin Guides’. Through the production of content advising drivers on maintaining their cars, they reached and engaged their audience
• In 1904, Jell-o distributed a free recipe book that they attributed $1 million in sales to over the following 2 years. Brands have been engaging audiences and winning customers through content for over a century.
But what has changed is the fact that we can now reach an audience through more media than ever before; mobile devices, tablets, computers, TVs, social media. We have more opportunities to find our audience than we’ve ever had before. And that is huge for the gaming industry too.
Content Marketing in the Gaming Industry
My background is in SEO and, as I’ve mentioned, much of the content marketing work I carry out has SEO related objectives. The gaming industry was hit hard by Google updates that penalised some of the poor quality link building methods that were used to inflate search engine visibility.
A huge number of operators and affiliates alike have fallen foul of Google for poor practices (though, of course, there are plenty of examples of such practices still proving effective). Building links without putting your site at risk of Google’s judgement means getting more creative. And Paddy Power represents a superb example.
Through the use of effective content, Paddy Power is consistently:
• Building new links to its website thus bolstering and building its already phenomenal level of visibility from a SEO perspective
• Getting people talking about its brand online (often in a positive context, sometimes not so much!)
• Building a wider social audience it can then market its promotions to whom. The clever approach to content taken by Paddy Power is to cite powerful emotional responses (hilarity or, for the more easily offended, absolute fury).
But ultimately, their content gets people talking. And talking online often means linking. Then their content has such a reputation in its own right that they build more links and traffic by people talking about just how good their content marketing is! And while they’ve proven they’re not afraid to throw big budgets at content led campaigns (like taking out billboards in prominent London locations just to annoy an Olympics Committee) not all of their projects are big budget. They’ve got the balance right. More to the point, their efforts are a big contributing factor, hence they appear right up there in Google (organically) for prominent search terms like “online betting,” and “sports betting,” amongst a long list of others.
Can Anyone Else Compete?
This is gaming. By its very nature, it’s supposed to be fun. So I, for one, don’t subscribe to the notion that this is a difficult marketplace to carry out content marketing in. It takes: Commitment; Creativity; and an approach that centres around the ability to measure impact.
So yes, I believe there’s space for us to see someone achieve the same level of success in content marketing as Paddy Power have. Whether that’s your company or not, well, that’s up to you. But like it or lump it, content marketing is winning the Internet.