How to Balance Storytelling & SEO in Content Marketing

Strategic Marketing | |By: Elizabeth Waickman

When it comes to content marketing, brands need to be smart about what they are putting in front of their audiences–because that can make or break their brand image, reputation, and relationships.

Balancing storytelling and SEO, and by that, we mean integrating brand stories with SEO tactics and best practices, empowers brands to give consumers exactly the kind of content they are looking for. With compelling content, you want to be able to tell a story that pulls at the heartstrings (and the wallets!) of your prospects. With SEO, you want your content to rank highly in search results so your audiences can see it. 

Why is it important to strike a balance between storytelling and SEO? Where storytelling allows you to create a connection with your audience, SEO provides you with the visibility and exposure you need to get in front of your audience.

You can’t ignore one for the other because it defeats the entire purpose of an effective, engaging, and comprehensive content marketing strategy. Here’s how you can make sure you’re not putting off your customers by putting out keyword-stuffed or bland, one-sided content. 

Content Makes Your Brand Unforgettable

You’re always fighting against your competition for a few moments of audience attention. That’s why content that evokes emotion is essential to cutting through the noise and guiding customers to your product or service organically. 

Storytelling makes your content 22 times more memorable than merely stating facts, so in a sea of repeated and SEO-loaded content, this approach enables you to make an impression and make your mark in a crowded marketplace.

Content Showcases Shared Values

Telling your story allows you to create an impression and leave a lasting impact. Much like human relationships, consumers are no longer looking to make meaningless connections with businesses. They want to know how and where your brand prioritizes and aligns their core values before they give you their money.

Your customers want an experience that has them contributing to something other than your bottom line. And this approach works– about 54% of Americans have bought products that contributed to a social cause, which is an increase of 170% from the last decade.

Content Helps You Build A Community

To build lasting connections with consumers, a quality product or a service is a great start. But you need more. Research your audience, analyze what they want and need as well as their pain points, and work on sharing solutions and building trust. Involve people in what you do, encourage their engagement, talk to them via emails, newsletters, social content, videos, and more. 

Telling stories as a business helps you convey a sense of humanity–you are no longer a faceless, lifeless entity. Content marketing that effortlessly incorporates your brand personality allows people to associate better with your organization. It gives you the ability to capture their attention, engagement, and brand loyalty. 

Creating content that tells a story and focuses on SEO can be overwhelming at times. Storytelling through content marketing does not mean that you share a story in the literal meaning. Instead, you want to use engaging narratives and human perspectives to turn bland, forgettable, and dry copy into captivating content. Using keywords that augment your content, rather than using SEO to lead your content, is the best approach. 

Anyone can write optimized blogs–but not everyone can engage customers with their content. Above all, focus on building emotional connections with prospects. Use content marketing to create a narrative around keywords that align with your brand and take into account what your audiences are searching for.  Ready to get out there and start telling your brand stories? Let’s talk about how to take your content (and your business) to new levels of success. 

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