By Amanda Guisbond (@agbond)
Recently (Friday, July 9) I took the opportunity to attend Social Media Breakfast (SMB) #18: Content Creation in the New Age of Search and Engagement, held in Watertown, Mass. Three presenters discussed what they believe are the new trends in content “creation” and “curation” – Pawan Deshpande, CEO of HiveFire, Robert Davis, SVP, Digital Marketing at PJA, and Andrew Davis, chief strategy officer at TippingPoint Labs.
Having attended SMBs in the past, I was ready to take notes – lots of good ideas come out of the sessions, and many are immediately relevant to the work we do at SHIFT, and in the greater PR world. For example, I was looking to get some fresh ideas on how to build out content on a client’s blog. Following are my “curated” notes or key takeaways from the event (which boasted an impressive turnout, despite the summer heat):
1) Great content is the key to traffic to your website/blog/group, etc. – not SEO
2) Content brand aggregators are a great way to find out what kind of content will be relevant to your audience – Andrew Davis defined content brand aggregators as “human-edited, trusted sources of a consistent quality and volume” otherwise known as Yelp, Wikipedia, TripAdvisor, etc. For example, if you’re a small business with say, a focus on organic products, you might want to investigate how prospective customers find information about organic foods, including reviews/references and recipes, via some of these aggregators. This will help determine what kind of content attracts your customers and how that can be used to develop original content for your brand.
3) There are already several content “curators” out there today – social curators (Diggit, Reddit), machine curators (Google News) and editorial curators (FierceMarkets was a great example from Deshpande of an online media outlet that picks and chooses relevant news and then repurposes it with links to the original stories). Brands, too, can curate what’s relevant in the industry to them, organize it into repurposed/original content, and share it via all of their external channels – kind of like a super savvy strainer.
4) If your intended content or key message is not already out there being discussed, look for opportunities to “build bridges” using “today” terms and topics that already drive search results, page views, etc. Robert Davis gave the example of “cloud computing,” a “today” buzz term that one of his clients was blogging about as a bridge to discussing its target “tomorrow” term of “workload data management.”
5) Content is not just what you put in a blog – it’s what you put into every extension of your brand! This wasn’t discussed by the presenters, but was something I was thinking about as Andrew Davis gave his presentation using Prezi, a really, neat software that I hadn’t seen before (refer to SHIFTer Mikinzie Stuart’s great post on Prezi to learn more!). His ability to give a stand-out presentation (and make people laugh) made you think, wow, he’s a sharp guy, TippingPoint Labs must know what they’re doing. Putting the extra oomph in a presentation to a room of 50 people at SMB 18 was, for me, an example of taking great content wherever you go.
For me, SMBs always end with a desire to go online and check out some of the cool companies/brands that were mentioned during the presentations. Thus, I present Link Love:
- Kosmix – Search engine that aggregates different kinds of results – video, news, reviews, pictures, etc. – and not just web links.
- Duck Duck Go – Another search engine that will ask you up front whether you meant wooden “doors” or “The Doors” the band and tell you how it came to those different conclusions.
- 5min.com – Instructional, “how to” video content, all under 5 minutes – sorry, Lebron.