The SEO industry has been shaken up quite a bit as of lately with the Panda/Penguin updates, leaving scores of low quality sites now sitting at the bottom of the heap. Good riddance I say, as even good internet marketers who were able to effectively use Google search operators had trouble finding the information they were after while sorting through pages and pages of useless spammy results. Now imagine how normal users felt. Then came the updates of Panda, Penguin, EMD, Over-Optimization, etc., and overnight many small businesses and large brands began to feel the wrath of the 800lb Google gorilla tightening its stranglehold on low quality content and linkbuilding.
Now that everyone has calmed down from the “sky is falling” prophecies of some of the largest algorithm updates and nailed down a basic content marketing strategy, let’s take a look at the trends pushing the industry forward.
I’m sure you pretty much saw this one coming, it’s been the mainstay of what quality content should be. But what I’m about to show you next are not just any regular infographics. These works of art combine data, beautiful graphic design, and web technologies and have taken the standard infographic to new levels. Internet consumers want more engaging and interactive content to share with friends, colleagues, and customers. The bar for creating that kind of content has been raised and here are some top examples that I’ve found.
Using a mix of web technologies, TruckerClassifieds was able to create a very compelling “Truckpocalypse” infographic and tell a much needed story that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. They used web frameworks like Scrollorama to mimic the truck driving along a highway to drop off a delivery.
Atlantis World’s Fair
Combining some off the shelf open source technology in frameworks JQuery and Modenizer, site designer Frank Chimero brought to life Atlantis and depth to the term “20,000 leagues under the sea.” Many modern websites and infographics I found employed the use of parallax scrolling to move multiple images and elements into the browser frame at just the right moment. Look for more of this effect in the near future being used in many different content marketing campaigns. Side note: Can you find the “Ad Space” easter egg?
Combining API’s together may be one trend you might not have thought of as being considered part of content marketing. Google Analytics, Adwords, Foursquare, Youtube, and other web services all offer API’s, and in some cases their entire platform. The secret sauce lies in picking and choosing specific API endpoints that you can mash up and create a new and creative content piece or web service.
Full Value Of Mobile
Now it surely wouldn’t look good if Google was jumping up and down all about content marketing if they didn’t show us noobs how it’s done. Google has been pushing this little thing called mobile really hard, and to show you the true value of mobile and how it relates to your business, they’ve created this calculator to visually express the value that mobile provides. The ability to import your Adwords account data and show you highly relevant info that pertains to only your business can be very persuasive to conversions. The content takes you through a mobile wizard that asks you things like “what percentage of mobile visitors end up buying from your desktop site” and tabulating the results in an attractive graph.
Yas Marina Circuit wanted to create a content piece that not only provided lots of information, but displayed it in a logical fashion. The team over at LBi turned the 12 foot background image into 3,000 lines of SVG for the sake of performance and integrated it into the HTML5 canvas. The results are amazing.
Easter Egg Hunt
By using a myriad of features from HTML5, this watch manufacturer was able to engage the user for what I would wager is at least 5 minutes since that’s the amount of time given to you to complete the easter egg hunt. And would you guess the prizes for finding the easter eggs are …. Oh I won’t ruin the surprise why not give it a try yourself and put some pep in your step?!
2 Minute Teacher Test
This content piece was put together as part of a campaign to recruit teachers in Norway, by a talented web development firm from the same country. It provides a number of fun tasks to test your competency as a potential teacher it also helps filter out applicants that are not the target audience and streamlines the application process.
Now more than ever has the proliferation of mobile devices been more apparent than it is today. Mobile phones are now our always connected “personal” computers offering up location coordinates, real time communication, and miniature software applications personalized for our daily lives.
Ford Mustang Customizer
By utilizing Android, iOS apps, and a custom builder on the site Ford has created a true end-to-end mobile marketing campaign that pushes the boundaries of content marketing forward. Integrating Facebook Connect, users can share their custom Mustang creations on the timeline with their friends creating natural likes and shares for the campaign.
Pampers Hello Baby Pregnancy Calendar
Pampers has decided to provide new moms with the tools, and resources they need to carry and deliver a healthy new baby. At any moment during the day, a pregnant mother could see exactly what is happening with her baby, creating an even stronger bond between mother and child. It also allows Pampers to stay freshly embedded in the new mothers mind for when many of the products they offer will be needed.
One of the reasons why I love content marketing and everything that goes along with it is the ability to use your creativity and imagination in thinking of new and engaging ways to reach your target audience. Now go forth, create awesome content and don’t forget to have fun while you’re at it.