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Archive for January, 2010
I came across a useful posting about Internet content by Leo Demilo on his Internet Marketing for the Rest of Us blog. He writes:
“There are a lot of people who say that content is not king. And while I am not saying that content IS king, I don’t fall into the camp that content is NOT king either….. I believe that REMARKABLE content is king. Why?
- Remarkable content gets talked about by other bloggers and webmasters.
- Remarkable content get links by other bloggers and webmasters which in turn get MORE links (links beget more links)
- Remarkable content establishes your site as an authority site BECAUSE of the links from your peers.
- Remarkable content confirms that your site must be good because it is talked about (social proof)”
While Leois writing specifically about people setting up their own blogs, I think the same principles apply to corporate website content - and they are a strong argument for setting up a corporate blog if you don’t have one already.
What does he mean by remarkable? He means copy that doesn’t just use well-researched keywords to draw the punters in, but content that is interesting, original and thought-provoking. It’s not enough to just drag someone to your site; you need to give them a useful experience once they get there.
If people find you via a search engine (and that is the case with the vast majority of web traffic), then they want to find out more about you and are thinking about doing business with you. Give them a reason to do that with remarkable content.
To those of us who remember school as a distinctly low-tech experience, it may come as some surprise that teachers are turning increasingly toward digital content to make education more engaging and effective.
A report on THE Journal highlights a recently-released study showing that more than 75% of K-12 teachers were using digital tools in the classroom last year, up from 69% in 2008. Meanwhile, 72% of teachers reported they stream or download content from the Internet, up from 65% in 2008.
According to the study, “A majority of preK-12 teachers indicated they strongly agree that TV and video content is more effective when it is integrated with other instructional resources in the classroom. A majority of teachers are more likely to use five- to 10-minute video segments rather than entire programs. This is one indication that teachers are becoming more strategic in their selections and targeting use for specific purposes.” Or it could just mean that they are reacting to the fact that attention spans are getting shorter and shorter.
This means that companies will need to rely on digital content more and more as the next generation graduates into the workforce. I’ll avoid the obvious pun about an Apple for teacher…
Ray Welling, Content Guy
Blogger T.J. Philpott has published a good summary of how you can create content and re-work it in several ways for use in marketing your business online.
He writes: “Useful information is always in demand on the internet. Assuming the content you produce is of good quality using content like this in multiple ways is a very efficient use of a one time effort.”
He outlines seven ways to use a single piece of content:
- Distributing content to article directories
- Creating info products by putting several pieces of content together cohesively
- Compiling pieces of content into an ezine you can offer to site visitors
- Newsletters - similar to ezines, but sent regularly to customers
- A blog post is a good way to flag new content on your site
- Online press release services can also be used to flag new content or services
- Most new material starts out as website content
I would add video content to this list. You can often find a way to create compelling video content out of text-based content, such as interviewing a customer who has had an interesting experience, or a how-to video on whatever service you were discussing in the text content. Note that I did not say create a talking head video where your MD reads out the original piece of content verbatim - this will not get you anywhere.
I have been reading quite a bit of late about the concept of content curation, a term coined by marketing strategist and blogger Rohit Bhargava to describe the role of “someone who continually finds, groups, organizes and shares the best and most relevant content on a specific issue online. The most important component of this job is the word ‘continually.’… (It is s)omeone whose job it is not to create more content, but to make sense of all the content that others are creating. To find the best and most relevant content and bring it forward.”
He writes that, “In the near future, experts predict that content on the web will double every 72 hours. The detached analysis of an algorithm will no longer be enough to find what we are looking for…. The future of the social web will be driven by these Content Curators, who take it upon themselves to collect and share the best content online for others to consume and take on the role of citizen editors, publishing highly valuable compilations of content created by others. In time, these curators will bring more utility and order to the social web. In doing so, they will help to add a voice and point of view to organizations and companies that can connect them with customers - creating an entirely new dialogue based on valued content rather than just brand created marketing messages.”
Robin Good writes on the Master New Media blog, “I think, that at least for now, curating content is the one thing that Google can’t take your place in doing. When it comes to researching, selecting, picking, editing, juxtaposing, illustrating, complementing, referencing, crediting, commenting and introducing, Google can just pack its stuff and go home.
“….Unless there is a growing number of active newsmasters, content curators and editors/publishers checking, digesting, filtering, grouping and organizing information inside vertical information silos you will be either submerged by information or you will be left behind when it comes to staying on top of the information you need to operate in your field.
“Business-wise, content curators could also offer an interesting marketing opportunity and a new business model that makes a lot of sense to me.”
Meanwhile, Australian digital recruiter David Jackson writes on the Digital Ministry website, “There are already a few people performing this task for companies, and it will only grow in importance. The problem I see with content curating is that most companies find it hard to place much value on the role. Although it requires a skill set that combines the sharp mind of a research analyst with the communications flair of a journalist and the commercial nous of a marketer, curating content, like creating content, often attracts a wage more akin to a junior administrator.”
Links on this topic:
Daniel Flamberg, managing director of marketing agency Booster Rocket, published his predictions for interactive strategies for 2010 on iMedia.com this week. One of them was about the growing use of online video for business. He wrote:
“Video is the meme of choice online. It seems that everyone has and uses a video camera to upload all kinds of content online. In 2010, if you can’t be found on YouTube and its competitors, you will be invisible. (my emphasis) Look for considerable competition among sites vying to rank second. Watch vertical video sites attempt to increase their visibility, if not their utility or viewership.
“….Also look for new ways to emerge to tell stories in video. There appears to be a very broad tolerance for homemade videos and video with very modest production value. Videos will be shorter and better tagged. Many will be clickable, and some brands will try to create (or re-create) a branded online serial aimed at their psycho-demographic target. The Holy Grail is still the video that achieves altitude and is virally passed to zillions around the world.”
As more companies realise the importance of Internet content to sustaining their business, more and more will turn to low-cost video content for their websites.