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How to avoid content terrorism

I went to Brighton SEO on Friday to learn a bit more about, well, SEO. My key take-away was that there is a divide between traditional SEO and the new way of thinking. This is essentially the view that we should forget algorithms and trying to keep up with Google and start getting consumers to share content.

However, news such as the recent ‘twitter terrorists’ story, in which 2 people spread rumours on twitter that gunmen were attacking schools in Veracruz leading to widespread panic, are becoming increasingly familiar. People are continuing to share content online irresponsibly and the punishment for doing so is becoming increasingly more severe. Content sharing over social networking sites such as twitter is no longer seen as a joke and as a result, brands are under even more pressure to get it right.

In addition, with 27,000,000 pieces of content being shared a day, it is extremely important for brands to not just add to the ‘noise’. @HabitatUK is just one example of how doing this without much thought can go very wrong after it used several trending topics, which had nothing to do with furniture, on twitter to get its tweet noticed.

So what sort of content should brands be looking to create?

Here are my 5 top-tips:

1. Be relevant.

Take Kleenex’s hayfever map for example. Kleenex built a real-time picture of the worst places to be affected by hayfever in Britain using twitter. By creating a piece of content that is relevant to the public, Kleenex said it managed to reach over 75 million people.

2. Be helpful.

Recently Propellernet visited us here at NM towers to talk to us about how they create content with the aim of getting people to share it (which in turn affects SEO). One of the pieces of content they showed us was a video for running shoes advice, which could then sit upon sportsshoes.com. The campaign was hugely successful and traffic to the advice page increased by 57% because the content is extremely helpful for the targeted audience.

3. Be personal.

You’re all probably familiar with the Old Spice campaign but I had to include it in the list because the videos are one of the most shared pieces of content of all time. There are several reasons for this but one of them is how Old Spice seeded the videos in the first place by sending personal video replies to consumers via twitter.

4. Encourage your audience to make their own content.

Consumers trust peer to peer recommendations over brands. By encouraging your audience to create their own content, organic sharing should follow. There are tons of examples of this but one good example made-up part of WWF’s Earth Hour campaign in which they asked participants to upload images of light-writing.

5. Be compelling.

Give your audience incentives to share content just like Perrier did with their awesome and compelling YouTube video in which as more people watched it, stages of the video were unlocked, more content was shown and the ‘party got hotter’.

So there you have it. If you have any more top tips for good content creation then please feel free to share them in the comment section below!

(Thanks to Pedro Vezini for the pic)

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