If content marketing require connections, it also faces filters. The content filters come into play before you hit the top of your business marketing funnel. In other words, content marketing does not impact awareness let alone any other part of the marketing funnel unless you get through the content filters.
To a large extent the content filters are what we talked about in the last post, connections and community. Without those human connection your social media content is DOA. It is not a question of good content or influence. It’s a question of it all together: differentiated and valued content, connections and getting through the emerging filters, that may increasingly play an important role in helping us deal with the avalanche of information.
AHHHH…but my Facebook page has thousands of “likes” and my Twitter followers are growing by the day. My Youtube videos go “viral”…..My content is shared and loved you say. Great. Today. Maybe.
If the avalanche of information and commoditization of content is the road we are headed down, and as Brian Solis has noted:
“Our digital lives will only become far more challenging to manage. With smart phones, tablets, in-car technology, wifi in public spots in addition to planes, trains, and automobiles, the temptation to connect is pervading. And it doesn’t just stop there. Social networks are investing technology and marketing in expanding your online relationships. Through recommendation engines, they lure you to link outside of your social graph, those you know to now form an interest graph, those with whom you share common interests.
Information overload is a real phenomenon, but it is I believe, by design. It either works for us or against us and it is our choice as to which way the stream flows. To be clear, information overload is a symptom of over consumption and the inability to refine online experiences based on interest and importance…As Clay Shirky once observed, “There’s no such thing as information overload — only filter failure.” …My take? “Information overload is a symptom of our desire to not focus on what’s important.” It’s a choice.”
The Facebook, Twitter and Google+ streams are all bound by time and individual shares (ie when you check them or when someone else shares your information). And the more people you connect with the more likely you are to experience “filter failure”.
Some emerging “content filters” go beyond the social networking site streams. Apps that aggregate what your friends’ share + the best content related to topics you care about, are, I believe, a significant consideration for content marketers moving forward.
These new content filters impact whether your content marketing ever gets separated and seen from the rest of the avalanche of information. Take a look at:
“What Prismatic does is analyze as much as it can about you when you connect to it with your Twitter account (Cross says that support for Facebook and other networks will be coming,) and then start recommending things to you based on what it thinks your interests are, using semantic-filtering algorithms and so on. You can click an X to hide an article, or you can click a plus sign, which is both a vote for that content and a way of saving it to an internal bookmark list (support for Instapaper and other methods is also in the works, Cross says). You can also tweet directly from a post, or retweet someone who has posted it.”
The other interesting aspect of Prismatic is that you can follow “publishers” (and then do a little back of the envelope comparison about what makes it into the stream versus what is being published). I dare say this is not a pretty picture for most content marketers.
If we combine the connections and communities with these emerging content filters, then content marketers actually face a content funnel which is the inverse of the traditional marketing funnel.
Content marketers priorities need to be about getting that marketing content separated from the avalanche of information into a small hole at the top where your connections and community then share it amongst their connections and community – and where the content filters kick in and give the content marketing some broader, less time bound traction.
Some of that content marketing may then lead to the top of your marketing funnel for awareness – but really, content marketers face 2 or 3 significant steps before social media content marketing can actually be considered “awareness” in the traditional marketing funnel sense.
Do you have some favorite filters that you find really helpful? Share them in the comments so we can all try them out?