The #1 biggest mistake I see is that most brands have not noticed, OR are not willing to accept, that we’re moving to a “connection economy,” and that producing ongoing content at scale that meets the new search “relevancy” standards is incredibly necessary. They need to study their audiences, customers, and prospective customers, listen to their social conversations, and develop plans to use that content in their social profiles to emotionally connect to their audiences and encourage conversation. When it resonates, it gets shared and receives comments and likes, which makes that brand more visible both in people’s feeds and especially in their searches.
The second, and another critical mistake/oversight, is not empowering their employees to create content on a regular basis. Brands that will win this new journey are providing large quantities of fresh and relevant content for shoppers to use when they actually need it. Not only does this help simplify shopping, but it also has a lasting impact on the algorithms that affect what shoppers find across all forms of search.
Especially effective is localized content, as search becomes much more geo-specific. In the face of declining returns from digital advertising and the growing need for more of this kind of superior, impactful content, collaborative content creation (crowd marketing) offers a highly effective solution.
Did you know that employee-generated content receives eight times more engagement than content shared by the company itself? On top of that, employee content extends brand messaging by over 500%. Crazy, right? So why aren’t more companies getting employees engaged in content creation?
Employee Created Content (#ECC) and Community Created Content (#CCC) is so valuable and overlooked by almost every brand. First, ECC and CCC leverages the personal influence of the content creators, thereby delivering substantially higher engagement rates than corporate branded content. For larger organizations, such as franchises and retailers, ECC helps to localize and personalize content in a way that isn’t possible with geo-targeted advertising alone. Finally, since ECC using common brand assets is all customized and shared by the different users, its impact on search-based algorithms is profound. Deployed at scale, crowd marketing can significantly augment corporate digital media efforts and it allows the organization to empower its employee base in this effort as well.
It’s well known that companies with engaged employees outperform their peers; involving employees in content creation can help to create a sense of common purpose, scale content marketing, AND profoundly affect search results.
“A common misunderstanding about SEO is that there is some magic formula which will help you win search. There isn’t, at least not for long. The only way to ‘win’ is to constantly be creating relevant, localized content. There is no shortcut, but there are tools that can support that effort.” ~John Andrews, Photofy CEO.