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Why Capturing Ideas Is Essential to Your Content Strategy and Organic Search
6th April 2015 • Search and Social • Rainmaker.FM
00:00:00 00:33:48

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In this episode of Search & Deploy, Loren discusses the concept of continuously capturing content and making sure that it is documented via audio, video, and the written word so it won’t get lost.

Conversations without documentation lend to a Rashomon effect where a conversation can have different meanings and takeaways without solid transcribing.

Content is everywhere — it’s happening in coffee shops, on phone calls, and in everyday discussion — but the necessity of capturing and documenting these ideas gives the creator or owner of that content the ability to capitalize on it. Without documentation, all is lost.

Essentially, this is the flaw in Meerkat. Content is self-destructing and if it isn’t archived or documented it’s of no value to its creator, or the masses.

Owning your own content and finding ways to pull content out of people is the challenge in SEO and content marketing, but with podcasting and video, anyone can be a content creator. This is why Baker started SEJ in the first place, to own his own content without losing the ownership of those thoughts.

And now that translates into podcasting, easily getting thoughts into an audio format and publishing. There is no question who the thought came from or the central hub of that content.

For the “deploying into marketing strategy” part of the broadcast, we’ll go into stories about clients who pushed back initially about blogging, but then went on to dominate their markets by finally agreeing to produce content and become influencers in their spaces.

The difference now is, how do they grow beyond the common denominator of content marketing?

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The Transcript

Why Capturing Ideas Is Essential to Your Content Strategy and Organic Search

Voiceover: This is Rainmaker.FM, a digital marketing podcast network. It’s built on the Rainmaker Platform, which empowers you to build your own digital marketing and sales platform.

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Loren Baker: Hello, and welcome to Search & Deploy. This is Loren Baker with Foundation Digital. Search & Deploy is a production of Rainmaker.FM.

I just got back from a search conference this week, SEJ Summit, down in Dallas, Texas, where I had the chance to hang out with some of the folks from the Copyblogger team, including Jerod Morris, whose official role is the VP of podcasting. He also runs The Lede over at Copyblogger, and I walked away from that conference so excited to have the chance to sit down with Jerod, watch his presentation, and everything else that I really wanted to start changing up the format in what I’m doing with podcasting and audio. Let me get into that before I get into the main part of the show today.

What I’ve been doing to date is inviting people on as guests. Not really interviews, but more so discussion, guest discussion with some respected leaders and authorities in the world of Search. What I’ve found is that sometimes you can’t get a call or a time settled on, and you have to push back or whatnot. But there’s so much content and conversation going on out there that there’s really no room to delay from a content perspective.

I really got to thinking about it and listening to some other podcasts. I think what I’m going to do here moving forward on Search & Deploy is really utilize the show and the format to share what’s on my mind. Because at the end of the day, that’s what podcasting is, and blogging, and anything else. It’s the capturing of content. If I have something on my mind and I don’t get it out and documented, chances are it’s just going to disappear. That moment, that spark of genius, or maybe the lack thereof that I have in my head at that time may not be a spark anymore. Getting it out there in the time and place is the right thing to do to make sure it’s communicated properly and acted upon.

The Content Rashomon Effect

I really got thinking about this. One example is, in the corporate world when you’re in a meeting or a call, you typically have someone there to dictate the notes and to put tasks out and put together bullet points based on the discussion. Because without that, you have no capturing of the content. What you have is the Rashomon effect. If you’re a fan of Akira Kurosawa films, you may have seen Rashomon, but you may want to pick that up as well.

Basically, Rashomon is a tale, basically burglars of Ronin jumping a cart of a princess on her way to Nara in ancient Japan, and it’s a telling of that story through three different points of view — the Ronin, the princess, and the guards — and exactly what happened.

Without having someone there to capture that content and turn it into something that’s readable for everyone, you leave that conference setting, that meeting setting with the Rashomon effect where people think they got the point across. Maybe they don’t think they’re going to have to do that task. Maybe someone else will.

If you take that same mindset to the world of content, the fact is that there’s content happening everywhere you go. Conversations, ideas, everywhere else, and one thing in the world of SEO is that people really sometimes tend to struggle when I go to them and tell them, “Look, we have to start a blog on your site,” or “We have to start producing more content,” because they’re not sure where to obtain that content from.

The Concept of Capturing Conversation and Ideas

I was having a really good conversation at SEJ Summit with some folks about the concept of capturing conversation and ideas. What we did is turned Dragon software on — It’s an iPhone mic app — to try to capture our conversation from an audio perspective. It didn’t work too well. It was full of Siri typos, but it was a start. What it got me thinking about was, I’ll wake up in the morning with an idea in my head — and I don’t commute — but typically when I did or if I drive somewhere, ideas will pop up in my head.

There’s cool tools like Jot and stuff to get that down, but what better way to expand the overall Search & Deploy podcasting experience than to document my thoughts from a content perspective in an audio fashion, and then have it transcribed into the equivalency of a blog post right on the site? By recording what I’m thinking about every day from a search perspective, from an SEO perspective — maybe not every day, but when I do have these ideas and things that come to my mind that I want to get out there — what better way to document that than in a simplified audio process where I’m recording my speech patterns. Then that’s being transcribed into multiple forms of content that can get out there, whether it is the blog post, the show on iTunes and everything else.

Content is Everywhere

The point I want to get across is that content is everywhere. I was sitting in a Panera one day years ago. I had a client who was in the automobile insurance space, highly regulated space, highly financial oriented. I had another client that was a bank. I had just had a meeting that morning with one of those client s points of contact, and I really wanted to get them to launch a blog. Sounds simple enough, but sometimes our challenge is in terms of getting a blog launched, in terms of who’s going to be creating this content.

As I was sitting there in Panera probably eating a Frontega chicken sandwich or something like that, there were these three middle-aged gentlemen at the table next to me. They were having a conversation. It was something financial at the time. It was in 2008, so there was all the stuff going on with sub-prime and everything else. They were talking about mortgage leads and how they’re monetizing them and how they’re adjusting their business.

It was probably a good thing that this conversation was not captured via audio for them, but as they were going on for 10, 15, 20 minutes and going back and forth, I was just imagining to myself, “How great would it have been to have a microphone on that table and to document everything they said,” because as they’re saying that, and as they’re getting their points across, if they’re not absorbing that internally and going home and writing it down, all that content is basically disappearing.

We live in a world where content is being created left and right, and it’s up to us to be able to document that. At the end of the day, I also feel that is the flaw in Meerkat and also with Twitter Periscope. I’m not a fan of self-destructing content. If I have a Meerkat stream — and I get the whole living in the moment thing. Everyone lives in the moment until iPhones came out, and then we didn’t live in the moment. Now there’s a struggle to live in the moment by buying productivity apps and self-destructing content apps — so I get that.

What I don’t get is, if I’m recording something spectacular — whether it’s someone like Jerod Morris speaking at a conference or whether I’m witnessing something — and I want to share that with my social networks, I know that not everyone can jump on at that time. So I am doing a disservice to my friends and connections who are busy at the time or maybe are with their families and not on their phone by destroying that content. Point being is that I really think that’s a flaw with Meerkat and even Periscope at the end of the day because, if that content is not captured, then what’s the real long-term value?

Especially from a monetary perspective and Twitter. We’ll get to that later, but Ustream came out with the ability to broadcast and archive video content, what, 8 years ago? What I always liked about Ustream was I had the ability to share that content via my social networks, but then it archived it in a form that was almost like a YouTube video. The people that couldn’t make it at that particular moment in time had the ability to go back and look at that content. My biggest concern with self-destructing content is not only if you’re filming a video or a stream on an app like Meerkat or Periscope and destroying it, but you’re also not owning that content in the long run.

The one thing about Brian Clark and the team over at Copyblogger that I really like is that he’s always been incredibly gung-ho on the concept of owning your own content. When I hear them speak, I can’t help but think back to when and why I started Search Engine Journal in the first place going on 12, 13 years ago. People ask me a lot of the time, they’re like “Wow,
how did you start blogging,” and “How did you write so much,” and “What made you do that?”

When I Started Writing About Search

The thing is that I didn’t start writing about search when I started Search Engine Journal. I started writing about search in ’98 when I was contributing to Usenet groups, to the iSearch email newsletter, to the newsletter at the agency I was working at, at the time, then also the online advertising discussion list. That’s really when I started writing about search, asking questions, contributing to the conversation. Putting together tidbits and tips into long-form educational format for the company newsletter. I guess building my own following before there were social followings.

When I launched SEJ, I had the inherited privilege of having done this for, at the time, 5 years. The thing was is that, in my head, I love the fact that there were audiences to communicate with in these formats. Usenet groups and everything else were all the precursor to social media. At the end of the day, it’s all community. The reason why I started SEJ was because I got really excited about blogging, and I guess I evolved from email discussion lists to forums.

I was very active on SitePoint Forums and on Cre8asiteforums, and High Rankings forums, and multiple other ones. I felt that even though I was contributing to the community there, I was losing the ownership of my thoughts. That’s why when I started the blog, when I started SEJ, after reading about Google acquiring Blogger, I thought, “Hey, this is it. I now have the ability to get my thoughts and everything that I’ve been contributing to other people’s, other company’s properties, and reworking my overall content strategy to where I’m the center hub now. And now I can syndicate that content out to multiple locations.”

And I fear that with Meerkat and the tendency to jump on these shiny objects in social and in search, what happens is that people stop documenting things on their own, and you’re spending your own time and energy building that business. You’re spending your own time and energy building Meerkat. You’re spending your own time and energy contributing to Periscope, and Twitter’s benefiting from it on the stock value side of things.

Unless you have a centralized hub — there’s going to be apps coming out that capture the stream for Meerkat and put that onto YouTube, right? That’s still owned by Google, but at the end of the day, it’s the closest many of us are going to get to owning our own video content and deploying and archiving that for the future. Those are my thoughts on self-destructing content, not self-destructive content — that’s a whole different story — but self-destructing content and the importance of documenting your thought process, documenting your ideas, getting them out there from an ownership perspective.

I thought of this, this morning, “Wow, it blows up,” or “These are my thoughts on — April 21st is being referred to in the world of search as the mobpocalypse, like the mobile apocalypse — when Google starts rolling out their mobile-only rankings — so these are my thoughts are the mobpocalypse. I got them out months ago,” and then add to the conversation from there.

Content Marketing in SEO is Nothing New

So the ability to be the core or the original influence or add to someone else’s conversation but own your thoughts on that is the key to the end of the day and has been the key for years. Again, this is a search-oriented podcast, but as we all know, in the world of search — and this is nothing new, by the way — content has been the core of SEO from the first time that people started optimizing websites for search engines.

Content marketing in SEO is nothing new. I’ve been doing content marketing in SEO since 1998. The first SEO I ever did was changing the content on websites. The first SEO I ever did was building sections of websites that were content hubs that spoke to the audience of that site, and an ability to get those sites to rank, and to get those sites in front of influencers in those spaces. So content marketing is nothing new to the world of SEO, but what is kind of new is for sites to become their own publishers because previously it was a little bit harder of an upsell to do so, and to convince a website.

Sometimes, even back in the day, it was very difficult to convince someone that just spent a $1,000 to launch a website that they should add this free blogging software called WordPress and pay a company basically a smaller percentage of their overall dev budget to implement that. That’s more of an internal politics thing. After someone signs off on a $100,000 site, then signing off on a free platform that’s going to take them over the top kind of makes that initial decision look pretty dumb.

That was one of the struggles back in the day with getting people to blog, but actually getting people to put the blogging platform up on their site, whether it’s a sub domain, or in a normal directory sub folder structure, or launching their own third-party blog on its own domain was a struggle. As blogging has grown and been adopted, so has the world of business blogging. Quite frankly, too, a lot of folks were scared of business blogging early on because they didn’t know what to do.

The one story I always tell people is, back before content really blew up and blogging blew up, after I started SEJ, I used that as a case study for about three different clients. One was in the world of plastics fabrication. As you can expect, plastics fabrication is not the sexiest content there is in the world, but we got them to launch a blog to talk about their industry. What that did was it...





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