Looking at this infographic from Aaron Wall, who runs SEOBook, got me thinking…maybe it’s time to be less in love with our brands [Click on graphic to link to readable size]. Blasphemy, you say? In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, consider this: branded content is hitting a wall as Google search dynamics favor the most genuine content.
What users adore is content with a voice that sounds like it was written by a person, not the legal department. It may even carry a touch of whimsy. I recently moved from my house. I went online to scope out a moving company. One had a bid engine- fill out the inventory and it popped out a price. It asked about heavy objects I needed to move: ”Piano, safe, lazy spouse? (Oh, just kidding).” I roared. Simple, clever and very human. This example illustrates something that John Battelle over at Federated Media has been advising for a while now – ”Given that brands are all about voice…having the skills of a conversational publisher is critical to success.”
If overworked or over-zealous brand content is spurned by search engines, conversely too little attention to the brand confuses people. Striking a balance begins by having a clear sense of ”who” the brand is and what it means in peoples’ lives.
We all know that a well-conceived and executed brand is a precious thing, to be loved and cherished…but not into oblivion. Digital culture demands more humanity from brands. As Bob Garfield points out in his passionate essay about relationship brands, all the slogans and iconic logos in the world won’t trump the emotional trust our customers invest in us.
Perhaps the kindest thing we can do for our customers is also the best thing we can do for our bottom lines and say, ”A little less brand, please.”
For more wisdom on content marketing, check out fellow MENGer and blogger Junta Joe.
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Patricia Martin is an author and noted expert on commerce and culture. She is CEO and founder of LitLamp Communications, an award-winning marketing boutique acclaimed for using culture as a medium to connect brands with communities of consumers. Author of the book Renaissance Generation: The Rise of the Cultural Consumer and What it Means to Your Business, Martin pioneered the point of view that the convergence of art, technology, and entertainment is remaking the American consumer.
Infographic by Aaron Wall, SEOBook