The Google Hummingbird update has caused many people to ask questions like: Is SEO dead? The statement that SEO is dead would imply that Search Engines are dead and that is far from the truth. A better, more intelligent statement would be that SEO is not Dead. Content Is Coming Alive! Here is a video from Jay Baer and Kyle Lacy on this issue specifically.
Hummingbird should be a signal to marketers that creating content crammed with specific keywords and backlinks will no longer get you noticed. Creating content that gets noticed will get you noticed! The new battlefield for search engine prominence will be full of +1's, Retweets, Likes, Shares, Comments and the question will become, what is your Content's Klout Score?
A very interesting thing about Klout and Klout scoring is that they were 4 years ahead of Google in coming to the conclusion that online prominence should not be predicated on the sheer volume of a certain metric but rather on quality and influence. Are you producing quality content that is being +1'd, retweeted, shared, liked and followed?
Here are a few content creation tips that are going to help you win the Search War and gain Klout in the eyes of your customers and Google of course.
1. Create Content so helpful that it will be used as sales collateral in your industry.
The more helpful your content is...the more it will be shared. Information posted on Social Media by business professionals has now become a major vehicle for them to sell to potential prospects and project themselves as thought leaders. Right now your sales team is probably posting, sharing and liking content on several LinkedIn groups and Twitter feeds in hopes of being seen as a thought leader to initiate a conversation with a prospect. So as a marketer your goal should be to create content so helpful and so valuable that it will used as a piece of sales collateral to promote thought leadership in your industry. Lets say a salesperson posts a piece of your content and that post gets liked, retweeted and re-shared, do you think they will share your next piece of content? Probably. Klout Increased.
2. Create Content centered around answering questions.
You should constantly be doing an analysis of your persona's goals, fears, challenges, income, interests and most importantly learning what questions they are asking at different stages in the buyers cycle. Marketing has shifted towards delivering the right message to the right person at the right time and if your content is not answering a question, then you aren't delivering the right message to begin with. Content created without the intention of answering a customers question is content created with the intention of not being read. We've all heard the phrase Always Be Closing for salespeople...For marketers the phrase Always Be Answering is more appropriate. Answer your customer's questions and you will increase your Klout.
3. Put retweetable bite-sized quotes in your content.
Does your content have retweetable nuggets that can be quickly shared? People love sharing catchy phrases and people love sounding smart. So help them! After every big event and conference, we have all seen the follow up blog post, with memorable short tweets and shareable quotes from the event. Bite-sized quotes that pack a punch are a sure fire way to get your content noticed. Get creative and fill your content with retweetable nuggets and watch your content's Klout score increase dramatically.
Feel free to retweet some of the quotes from this post and check out 3 Reasons I Succeed at Content Marketing from ExactTarget Co-Founder and Compendium CEO Chris Baggott.