August was a big month for content marketing, with not one but two industry reports pointing to mainstream adoption. Plus, Matt Cutts offered insights on the future of SEO that businesses might want to consider when planning website and social content.  Check out Brafton’s August recap of content marketing updates and what they could mean for your content marketing strategy in this video (or read our full blog post below).



Update: Industry reports reveal marketers use diverse content formats

  • On August 22, IDG Enterprise released its B2B Content Marketing Trends report. It found 84 percent of marketers say content production is on the rise, and the majority use 10 or more different formats and content tactics they deem effective. IDG respondents say “compelling storytelling” around their business is the most effective element of content. The most effective content types referenced in the study include:
    • Case studies
    • White papers
    • Online articles
    • Videos
  • The SEOmoz industry survey also speaks to the rise of content marketing. Seventy-one percent of respondents said content is part of their marketing mix 56 percent say content demand is growing. Participants also reportedly use a span of content types. (SEO was still most the most pervasive internet marketing strategy cited in the study, with 92 percent naming search optimization part of their marketing mix.)
  • What does this tell us? Diverse content is a competitive necessity, and it’s important to work with content writers and producers who can provide quality across formats. Marketers should start moving their strategies toward more diverse content offerings to appeal to unique audiences at different phases in the purchase funnel. 

Update: Infographics fastest-rising content type on the web

  • According to IDG, infographics are the fastest-rising content type, with use increasing 1.5 times over last year. 
  • What does this tell us? More companies are turning to visual content to engage audiences – but brands should proceed with care. Brafton’s best infographic marketing practices remind marketers to focus on editorial research and audience relevance for graphic content – especially important as Google’s Matt Cutts has noticed spam infographics across the web. 

Cutts said, “Any infographics you create will do better if they’re closely related to your business.”

Update: Matt Cutts talks Google SEO transparency at SES San Francisco

  • At August’s SES San Francisco, Cutts said transparency for marketers is a goal for Google. This is probably connected to the company’s newly released search query alerts that help site owners understand SEO changes related to technical issues and demand for site content. Cutts suggested Google’s move for more transparency was connected to the updated link warnings (covered in-depth by Search Engine Land) that many marketers reportedly received over the course of the month.
  • What does this tell us? Google wants to make it easier for marketers to understand when they’re doing something right – or wrong. Because it’s in Google’s best interest to promote the best possible user experience, SEO is tied to creating value for users. The company’s alerts can help marketers win insights on when they’re meeting quality standards. Notably, Google has shared insights on how to create quality sites in a blog post (which it has shared every time it makes a Panda tweak…)

Update: Panda 3.9.1 and Cutts’ insights on Penguin as the future game-changer

  • Google announced Panda 3.9.1 last month, which impacted roughly 1 percent of queries. But Penguin is the one to watch…
  • At SES San Francisco, Cutt’s said updates to Google’s link scheme and webspam algorithm, Penguin, could rock SEO results. 

“Expect that the next few Penguin updates will take longer, incorporate additional signals, and as a result will have more noticeable impact,” said Cutts. 

  • What does this tell us? Panda has stabilized, though maintaining quality content creation will be key as it will receive data refreshes to penalize slackers.With Penguin being named the algorithm that could shake up SEO, it will be increasingly important to avoid webspam practices, and use white hat link building practices to stay ahead in search engine results pages. 

Update: Google and Bing test variations on the standard 10 results

  • Google and Bing, the two leading search engines, are altering the number of results for more queries. Moving away from the traditional 10 results, Google is delivering seven results for more queries. Bing, on the other hand, is still testing the ideal number of results for various searches with no noticeable pattern. 
  • What does this tell us? The change might not have implications for rankings, but it does reinforce that top organic spots win more visibility. 

Those are August’s content marketing updates – stay tuned for next month.