A lot is said for content being this or that, but what should be fundamental to any SEO or even branding campaign is out and out utility. The full length novel to that white paper expounding on the merits of social engagement, nothing is really more value generative than simple answers for simple questions. Even an infographic, as overused as they have become, wields a mighty weight when people find it useful. No matter how we break it down, utility is a massive influencer.
Many people, including the world’s leading social media gurus, think of content marketing represented by graphic, infographic, words, pictures, video, and so on. Not so many consider the overall brand and influence effect actual tools and platforms represent. Whether your “hook” is being educational, entertaining, or devisively gaining affilaites, everything from apps to SAAS and beyond is really content distributive and conducive toward your goals. That’s the long way around the barn to suggest any “object” on the web or on mobile networks can work for your business. But you knew that already, correct?
Every Utility Objectified
Let me simplify this concept. Imagine how Google manipulates you as a user by providing all those “free” tools. You knew, of course, that Google Docs was meant for more than gather data on you for the NSA! And Gmail etc. too. How about Facebook, and all those cool games you play with friends there? What Facebook and these others did that was even more brilliant than putting you FACE in a digital BOOK, was to co-brand just about everything known to humankind. What these “utilized” forms of “content” do is, prompt and help you (the consumer’s) decision making processes. Let’s take a look at an even simpler form of this logic.
The infographic below is from a leader in the apartment rental game. At its core this form of content is both honest and useful, fully engaging where a user’s point of pain exists. What could be simpler and more useful than a graphic that kills 20 birds with a single stone?
Brought to you by ForRent.com
Resident Value Lesson
Now, if you travel back to the resident site where the graphic is derived, as a collegian searching for that roommate you get all manner of ideas on how to best grab the coming semester’s home-away-from-home. Now there’s a linking and branding strategy nobody could argue with. I want a roommate, need some ideas fast, bingo.
Now let’s take a look at another tool that offers a multiplicity of utility and function. Let’s say you own a marketing firm, your client needs video ads or presentations in professional quality, but hasn’t the budget for “Hollywood” – you could get out the iPhone and start shooting. Or.
Tubifi is an HTML5 editing platform with an interesting and economical take on video production. Not so many have actually heard of it, but those that do use it get several “utility” bonuses. Speaking of rich media, how about plugging into a community of creatives, stock image providers, all on your desktop, and being able to edit and compile pro video and sound – then preview it – before ever paying for the stock footage? Okay, that is too much information. Let’s just call Tubifi “Cloud Hollywood” where video production goes.
In the same way the infographic or any other “icon” of utility functions to extend your effort, so too Tubifi “connects” whatever initiative you have to a broader audience. And I am not just speaking of consumers for your film debut. Imagine the “networking” capabilities and possibilities.
To make solid this whole idea of social tools and content types getting utility, this slideshare by Frank Hatzack tells of Yammer heading off into new frontiers of viral-ness at the organizational level. But the share sheds still more light on “utility” when we see how adapters really wanted answers to work related topics. Rather than reading my profound assessment, check out the slide piece here.
When all is said and done, these analyses boil down to the basics of what social networking is good for. Sharing of knowledge, not just info, is the creme of the social media crop where your B2B and B2C goals are concerned. Point is, the most useful content will get distributed best in the long run. And what is “useful”? Anything in any form that makes a segment of life easier, more interesting, entertaining, and so on.
How helpful was this content for you?