Big Demand for Digital Content = Big Data
The talk about Big Data is exciting stuff. But before Big Data, there needed to be big demand for premium digital content across multiple digital channels, platforms and devices.
Increasingly, people want engaging content experiences across a range of devices. When content is good it can travel at lightning speed around the digital globe. The same piece of content can play a starring role on search engines, a range of social media channels, websites, apps and thousands of blogs via inbound links. That’s how good content becomes Big Content, spreads like digital wildfire, is tracked within an inch of its life and creates Big Data.
Track those quality leads driven by content!
Most companies’ content marketing strategies share a common goal of building on brand and generating quality leads through quality content. On your website, for example, technology tracks the ‘what and when’ of user interaction with content assets, viewing it through a cycle spanning investigation/research, engagement and finally, purchase phase. Add to that data from social and web analytics and the pile of data grows into a Big Pile of Big Data that feeds into your CRM. That’s great, but companies need to get better at engaging with that Big Pile of Big Data, which is why simple and elegant visual dashboards are increasingly becoming the must-have accessory of the C-Class executives.
Quality Content dictates data insights
Content is everywhere. The low barrier to entry for written content means it comes cheap and there is no shortage of suppliers. That’s OK for some formats, but not great for others. Short cuts at the expense of value will be punished, because whatever you think you know, Google always knows more. A focus on quality brings with it the better insights, because the long tail of a quality piece of digital content brings with it the untold rewards of morphing into Big Content delivering Big Data. And add to that, Better Data.
How much content is enough content?
We’re content people -we don’t want it to stop. What we’d like though, is for the pendulum to swing more towards quality than not – and we truly believe that will happen. Great content has story telling powers; whether it’s an infographic, motion graphic, article or increasingly, a data visualisation. We’re human – we react to stories – it’s how our brains like to work. We’re chasing a deeper experience with the brands we know and trust. For example, we want to know how and where products are produced, and what our favourite brands are doing to make the world better. Companies should be telling their great numbers stories via powerful and engaging visualisations. And if brands have a good story to tell, then they should be telling it via as many content formats and channels possible. Sometimes we’re engaging with content based on format. Some people just love interactive data visualisations – whether it’s content on population growth or energy consumption, others prefer white papers or case studies. Increasingly, we are choosing to opt in to our preferred content format on our preferred platform – tablet, mobile or large screen. And when we see something we like, we share it.
Where to next for digital content?
In 2013, Google is on track to index 30 trillion pages (up from one trillion in 2008) of content. That’s an astounding metric pointing to the growing demand for digital content. Growth in demand has been mightily assisted by the growth of social channels and platforms. Aside from the main players like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, think about social platforms like Instagram and Pinterest and even Quora. All of them producing and distributing content…all day, every day all over the world.
Marketers need to get used to the idea that people like stories –but companies need to be vigilant. People will engage with bad stories as much as they will good – and bad stories travel even faster. We see a marketing future where story telling through content will continue, and become more meaningful through emotional connection that aligns a brand to a way of thinking, of seeing the world, not just selling a product. Data as compelling content will be huge, as traditional media companies like the New York Times employ data journalists to work with coders and designers to create interactive visualisations for digital platforms. And most importantly of all, if it’s an interesting or powerful story being told, then the sure thing is, the Data will only get Bigger.
Image credit: “Osborne” the world’s first laptop released in 1981.