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Content Marketing & SEO Blog

Blog about startup growth strategies revolving around content marketing, SEO, CRO, and social media marketing.

Hacking viral social engagement with content marketing

Sean Smith

"Now is the winter of our discontent"

There is more content being written about making quality content than quality content actually being made.  

We aren't being smart about content, we are just producing content. Other people I've talked to seem to feel the same way. 

Brad Frost actually put together an enormous and extraordinarily awesome slidedeck on the superfluous fluff that is the state of our internet.

Some of my favorite points of information were: 

- 144,800,000,000 emails are sent every day

 - 822,240 websites are created every day

- 500,000,000 tweets are posted every day 

- 88,300,000 tumblr posts are published every day 

- 90% of all data ever created was created in the past two years 

Is this not fascinatingly ridiculous? We are like digital gluttons, sitting at our desks begging for more. With so many people generating so much content, every brand wants to know the magic bullet for standing out in the crowd. And when every brand wants to find the magic bullet to stand out in the crowd, they throw a lot of heaping shit at the internet hoping something sticks. When nothing sticks we have a lot of stinky servers. Stop throwing bogus rubbish at our pretty, flat-designed walls. There's a better way to do content marketing.

 "There were 5 exabytes of information created between the dawn of civilization through 2003, but that much information is now created every 2 days, and the pace is increasing." - Eric Schmidt

Pure poppycock. Why is the content marketing mantra to "generate content and they will come" when it often times plainly isn't the case?

I don't mean to say that you shouldn't produce content on the web. If you are competent, have things of worth to add to the conversation, and have a brand worth standing out, then by all means put your name in. But when we have this much data flowing out into the ether every day, why try to compete on a basis of quantity?  Doesn't quality seem to be the more apt approach?

Counter culture methodologies can be applied to your content marketing to make your efforts far more successful than that of a news-jacking network that posts 4-5 stories a day.

Think National Geographic, instead of Fox News. National Geographic prides themselves on being late to the conversation, but well versed, well collected, generally un-refutable, and downright correct.  This is why they have readership flock in droves to their newest content. 

The magic bullet to content marketing is laziness.  

You will often be able to see which employees will make the best managers by which employees are lazy enough to automate what can be automated in order to make efforts more efficient.  

Yes, you could say that the act of laziness has led us to this data inflation because it is easier to write crappier content but on a faster basis.

"I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a longer one instead." - Mark Twain

To which I would say, no, hell no, fuck no, man.  Really, laziness is the catalyst to finding a solution of automation, the medium of which you choose to automate is the crucial component to inflation or exhilaration. Exhilaration? Hell yeah! Good quality content makes you want to jump up and say "check this shit out!"

Inflation would be caused if you decided on a medium of news-jacking, content copying and the works. That's that lame shit. That's the shit to avoid. 

What we want to look at is the least travelled road, but in the most travelled places. Use the 80/20 analysis, what will get you 80% of the exposure with 20% of the work on a given medium of content. What's the social norm on the content engine, and how can we manifest that to give us a shitload more recognition?

Brad Frost's slidedeck up there ^ said that 1,249,315 Wordpress posts are published every day.  Wordpress posts are typically long, drawn out, 5-15 minute reads. 88,300,300 Tumblr posts are published every day. Tumblr posts are usually BDSM boards and Miley Cyrus twerking GIFs posted by 14-19 year olds between 9-2am at night. (I'm not even kidding with that statistic, but it's not from Brad's slidedeck)

Tumblr is a medium with a ton of usage, and a clearly defined persona that we can mix up. Short, quickly digestible content usually posted in the wee-hours of the night. 

Studies have shown though that longer blog posts written on Tumblr get more Tumblr likes and reblogs than anything else posted, even though these are very few and far between. This is the kind of opportunity to look for. If those 1.3 million users on Wordpress were instead posting on Tumblr with well tagged information and targeted at a certain audience they would get 80x the exposure with no additional effort.

Find the mediums where low content generation is key in your vertical. Where there is a social norm, but for no apparent reason and that can be used & exploited to gain mass virility with really no substantial work.  This is the magic bullet.

Like how Eat24 saw that most of their followers were porn-stars, or people who watched a ton of porn. They went to porn sites and saw that there was no ad that represented anything other than strictly other porn or porn products. They threw up ads for 1/10th the price of ads from Google, Facebook, etc. and had 10x the payout from those ads. And had a hell of time doing it too. Not to mention some awesome, free press after they released their blog post on how they did it. 

So again, find the smart ways of using content, don't just arbitrarily generate content. Otherwise you're clogging our airways, and no one likes that. The magic bullet is being lazy, find what will get you 80% of the results with 20% of the effort, and find the mediums you can play with and break. Hack content marketing by using mediums.

Stop adding to the heaping pile of rubbish, you can do better with less

Hack, profit, repeat.