Content Marketing Is An Answer Engine World — UnboundB2B

Introduction

As the Web evolves, so has the way people search and the way marketers have had to adjust their strategies to maximize reach. For the SEO community, Voice Search and mobile user experience are top priorities, since so many “Assistant” technologies continue to emerge, untethering us from our phones and keyboards to get the answers we are looking for.

What’s an Answer Engine?

In 2014 Amazon launched the first tabletop voice assistant they named Alexa who consumers could talk through via a device called the Echo. You asked a question; Alexa would spit out an answer.

Position Zero

The Featured Answer4 you often see in a Web search or hear as the exclusive answer on a voice search is often called Position Zero to a search engine marketer. The ranking of which has a unique recipe that (unfortunately) many aggressive marketers are already attempting to manipulate.

  1. Syndicate and share the summary of that answer wherever and whenever possible
  2. Listen and respond to help requests with the verbatim answer text
  • How To’s and Guides
  • Sharing Checklists and Templates
  • Humorous Skits — (builds authenticity and transparency)
  • Surveys and Quizzes
  • Weekly Vlogs and/or Podcasts
  1. Short 1–2-minute HD videos, or perhaps an explainer video if appropriate
  2. A short summary at the top of the page, some readers don’t have time to scroll
  3. Using lists (yes, like this list you’re reading) rather than a waterfall of paragraphs
  4. Featuring quotes from experts or industry influencers

Sharing and Syndicating Your Summary or List

Share Via Social Media

Once you, your team, and maybe a handful of critics who don’t work for the company have reviewed and love a piece of content, the next step is sharing it with the world. In particular, sharing the short summary or list to earn that coveted Position Zero discussed above.

Share Your Media

Media-sharing platforms such as Pinterest, YouTube and Reddit have plenty of description space to drop a short summary and a link. Keep in mind that most links from popular websites are either not-crawlable by search engines or have a rel=nofollow attribute that won’t pass PageRank5 to boost rankings; and that’s absolutely fine, since you’ll still likely receive referral traffic from those links.

Listen and Respond

If social media is an initiative of your company, then you’re likely already listening to what users on social channels are saying about your business, picking up tags, mentions, or maybe even competitor mentions. Why not add to that listening task by including questions your landing page solves for and dropping in your short summary or list?

Measuring Your Results

Whether you’re using a sophisticated content marketing platform, or just a Google Sheet, tracking content could include the following metrics (typically measured monthly or quarterly):

  • Links Earned (Google Search Console, and try SEMrush, AHREFS, Majestic)
  • Shares, Likes and Comments
  • Mentions, Curations (quote-search a phrase from your page in Google)
  • Web Traffic, Conversions, Revenue (Google Analytics or other web analytics)

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