“Money can’t buy me love.”
While money can buy impressions, it can’t buy organic visibility, social conversations or conversions. For search marketers in the modern media age, relevant content is the new currency.
We are in the sunset of the age of paid advertising as the dawn of content marketing arises. Consumers are now “ad skippers” and “banner blind,” but consumers appreciate relevant and authentic content — even ads.
Great brand stories, images, infographics, information, videos and even ads can be used as a new form of “currency.”
Content as currency can buy opted-in, permission-granted access to a consumer’s contact or other preference information. Content as currency is shared by consumers in acts of friendship to stimulate or “buy” conversations and engagement. Content as currency is displayed and shared in acts of brand affinity to convey short-hand stories or personal status symbols.
A brand’s content is often modified, extended and transformed in a form of virtual alchemy to make content currency more valuable. Consumers often turn even boring and bad content into a valuable and trade-able good or form of currency.
The most interesting thing about content as currency is that there needs to be a balance between its uniqueness and its value.
Coins and paper bills are minted and printed to create currency. It must be standardized, portable and convertible for many uses. Content, however, is often more valuable if it is more creative and unique.
Blandly created, syndicated content (e.g., press releases, product collateral) are often viewed as “duplicate content” by Google. Generic and duplicate content is skipped by consumers who are as blind to boring content as they are to banner ads.
Clever, humorous, newsworthy, emotional and/or beautiful pieces of content that are “bespoke” are the ones that take off virally. Bespoke viral content is traded between marketers and consumers as a form of currency to gain search engine visibility.
Content as currency must be considered as currency fluctuates in value based on supply.
Marketers focused on smarter search results need to understand which content-currencies are the most valuable for SEO.
To maximize your content currency, get your valuable content found, “friended,” followed, and forwarded. Maximize distribution of your content currency and measure all pieces closely to maximize its value.
Treat your content like currency and it will become the “gold standard.”
Originally published in Marketing Daily on the MediaPost website.