“Content marketing vs. SEO – the best choice”
“SEO and content marketing – which is best for your business?”
“Should you invest in SEO or content marketing?”
I’m sure you’ve seen tons of headlines like this. And I have and I decided I’ve had enough!
I’ve also heard this question from a lot of my agency’s clients during the onboarding process. “Yeah, content marketing sounds good, but I’ve read that SEO is better.”
Yes, that happens in 2017. Shoot me now!
Such questions and headlines have clearly shown me there is a serious shortage of education on the matter. More people need to understand that the two aren’t mutually exclusive. At all! Quite the opposite actually. I would go as far as saying that they are interdependent and crucial to a coherent digital strategy.
Much like peanut butter and jelly are for a really good sandwich.
Let’s see why.
Defining the terms
According to the Content Marketing Institute, “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Search Engine Land tells us that SEO (search engine oOptimization) “is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines.”
There is something that the two clearly have in common: “attract (…) a clearly defined audience” and “getting traffic” or attracting traffic.
Does this mean that they do the same thing and that you have to choose between them? Absolutely not.
A battle that’s artificially fueled
The type of headline cited above is only designed to “help” you allocate your resources where the publisher of the article needs you to.
For instance, let’s say your budget is $4,000 per month and you have the same dilemma: should you invest it in SEO or content marketing. When you Google your question you’ll get quite a few results. Each article you read declares a winner.
Some will tell you that you can get nowhere without SEO in this competitive world. Others will argue that all the recent Google algorithm updates killed SEO and you have to move your budget to content marketing.
Guess what? In most of the cases, the first ones are selling SEO services, while the latter are content marketers. There is an incredible scarcity of unbiased articles that advocate the need for the two to coexist.