SEO has always been about the content, once you get down to the nitty gritty, as terrible content won't rank no matter how well your site is optimised. In my line of work, the two cannot exist without each other. In a nutshell, they do not compete with one another in any way.
My practice and belief on this matter is that SEO and content marketing are one output, we could also say that SEO should be termed "content optimisation" as if there is no content, there is no SEO. It's that simple.
Image via Pixabay
If you practiced content marketing without SEO, you would be creating "vacuum content", this is content that is created and pushed onto multiple platforms, repurposed and redistributed, but unfortunately wasn't optimised, therefore a total waste of resources and effort. All content that is created for distribution across any platform should be optimised.
The dilemma that agencies and businesses are faced with is where do they put their marketing spend? In content marketing or SEO? To add to this, another issue that we are presented with is that SEO and content marketing are separated across our industry. There is a disconnect. There are few digital marketers that have both skillsets in one output.
True digital marketers will know that content marketing and SEO are a prerequisite and critical for any marketing strategy online, and that they work together like your mind and your body.
I'm not saying that there aren't any differences between the two disciplines, SEO is the technical approach to holistic content. Channelling the technical efforts into content marketing is the way to apply SEO, see the secret to content marketing success is to apply SEO techniques.
The bonuses with content marketing and SEO is the backlink opportunity, both disciplines need these to be effective. Content marketing provides the opportunity of the backlink that SEO demands. Then to add to this, content marketing demands great UX, SEO and UX are part and parcel of the SEO process. The UX is important as it helps the user find the content easier and faster, but still it all comes back to same thing... CONTENT.
An output both SEO and content marketing share. SEO requires consistent output to gain its velocity where content marketing requires this consistency to be effective, as fresh content has better chance of being quickly indexed and will register higher in SERPS.
SEO and content marketing are a marriage made in heaven, a true convergence, it would make sense to start thinking of the two as one output, that way you get the best out of both disciplines.