…I Should Find You in Text, Video, Audio and More
The Internet. Isn’t it grand? So much information. Day and night. In all forms – be it the text of a New York Times article, a “How to Cut Your Own Hair” video on YouTube, or the rumblings of a comedian and celebrity chef on a podcast.
Its contents are also easy to discover, share, and consume. For the content you produce about yourself or your company, this interconnectedness and ease of consumption means you have to always stay fresh with your approach.
The point of this article is simple: If you want to be discovered on the web, and get “ahead”, publish content in all media forms.
Getting to it
Your personal site should have a video. Your demo page for your product or service should have a screencast (try Animoto). Jump at the opportunity to be interviewed on an industry podcast.
It all goes into the same pot these days. A pot that determines who finds you, and chooses to work with you.
I’ve been on countless calls where the other person and I are speaking for the first time. Very often they say something like, “I saw your article on exact match domains and their value in the search engines.” Or, “I watched your interview from Pubcon, very cool.”
Of course, they see these things because they search my name on Google before we talk. Everyone does that now. They aren’t looking me up in the white pages and seeing if I could afford the ½ page ad. Google the person. View their Twitter feed and LinkedIn profile. Try to get a feel for who they are ahead of time. It illustrates the first big reason to publish content in multiple media.
There’s value in the search engines
“Universal search” brings in all forms of content. It’s the reason you see product images, map results, YouTube videos and recent news articles when you search something as mundane as “new dress shoes”.
For a company name or a personal name, it’s easy to get different forms of content to rank for your name, too. There aren’t many people who have a commercial interest in ranking for your name. Thus, there probably isn’t much content out there about you that you didn’t produce or have a hand in producing. If you make a video with your name in the title? Going to rank. Get written up in the local business journal? Same.
My suggestion is to both be proactive in producing content about yourself (go shoot a quick “personal resume” video and post it online), and take every opportunity for that comes your way. It’ll help flesh out the search results around your name.
Different tastes for different people
Producing and understanding the value of this breadth of media around you and your brand goes beyond search. You know as well as I do that people are different. Some like video, some like audio, some like text.
Taking the time to ensure they can “meet you” in their preferred form of media consumption is a good investment. It can paint a more complete picture of who you are as well. They can read your writing, watch you speak into the camera, and hear you answer questions or talk about your area of expertise.
Video content is growing like no other
Video is especially powerful in today’s world. It’s much easier to produce than it was 5 years ago. It’s also much easier to consume. If you don’t have video content for yourself or your business, now is the time. People expect it. The search engines expect it.
(Which reminds me, the world’s 2nd largest search engine? YouTube!)
I certainly love finding a video of a person who I’m about to speak to for the first time, or interview for an opening at one of my companies. Whether you shoot a quick “about me” video or it comes about through an interview, putting one out there means you’ll be ahead of 99% of people.
The same goes for explaining your product or services. There are plenty of studies that show how video increases time on site, engagement, and conversion rates. Beyond those stats, consider that people simply like video and have an easier time understanding things presented in a video rather than text.
Time for a resolution
As you enter 2012, make it a resolution. This year will be the year you spread your wings. Your online content will have many forms, and many file extensions. I can see it now . . .
Nathaniel Broughton is a veteran internet entrepreneur and investor. Dating to 2002, he has helped produce 3 Inc 500 award-winning companies. Nathaniel owns Growth Partner Capital, a venture fund that provides SEO consulting, premium link building and online reputation management services. He is also owner of SuretyBonds.com, a nationwide bonding agency. Previously he served as CMO of VAMortgageCenter.com, a $65 million nationwide mortgage bank which acquired his marketing firm Plus1 Marketing in 2008. A resident of San Diego, Nathaniel often writes from his experience as an investor, marketer, and advocate of “networking like Paris Hilton parties – Nonstop”. Follow him on Twitter – @natebro.