Selfish Content Development – It’s Not as Bad as You Thought

It is not surprising the amount of time spent on content development since the boom in late 2012. This was a time of great shift in our industry toward directing companies in education. Sharing the process of organic growth. A vocation that was a decade plus in the making.

For nearly 20 years (since Web Crawler, Lycos & Yahoo) the world has looked for answers in the form of results. A listing of links on a result page from a crawler/engine that has determined to be the most useful or most related to a query entered.

Learn: What Does an SEO Do?

Two decades of search journey’s beginning at the recommendation of human and now algorithmic sites. Still, an antiquated behavior that is ever evolving.

Sometimes You Have to Be Selfish to Be Selfless

So, now we look at consumer learning in our content development. Seemingly a more practical practice of curating and producing original material to put in front of viewers eyes with the goal of amplifying a message or belief, developing a brand value or helping someone. This has been a selfless indication in giving the users what they want to consume.

But marketing and SEO, is both art & science. Are we losing our selves to users? Developing consumable content for the sole purpose of fulfilling scientific semantics, data points and behavior?

Think of how Budweiser launched it’s “Proud to be Macro” ad campaign in February of 2015. Fighting a growing penetration to it’s CPG business from craft micro breweries head on. Sure, craft beers are good. Tasteful. And popular. But, what a selfish way to say, “who gives a fuck? We are Bud and proud of it.”

Nobody cheers for the guy who brings a watermelon wheat beer. #ThisBudsForYoupic.twitter.com/4OZ7vEgcwj

— Budweiser (@Budweiser) July 10, 2015

While this certainly drew a line in the sand with consumers who drink craft beers regularly on occasion it also let it’s faithful customer base no where it stood. Carla Jean Lauter of TheBeerBabe.com Exposed an excellent fault in the “execution” of the campaign, “I think what I dislike most is that basically the last frame is a caricature – almost a parody – of a hipster male beer drinker, drinking a “fussy” dark beer. You’ve got the elements of the jock poking fun at the nerd here.”

But in contrast, this is selfish content marketing done correctly. Whether it is a parody or not, it is still crystal clear what the message is. And Budweiser published a piece of content that was crafted for them. But it also spoke to their consumer base.

Who is Really Selfish, Me or You?

When content is developed now, it is with an end-goal. The consumer. To get them to respond. That in essence is the point of marketing. But still, we can produce creative concepts that rest on our ideals for us. By us. In doing so we are laying our cards down on the table. Let everyone see. And this can be scary, harmful and even destructive.

Yet, there is a place for selfish content as we have seen. The response can be virally effective. Have you seen examples of selfish marketing? Let us know your thoughts.

About The Author

Todd Bailey 15 years of Internet marketing and digital strategy development experience. Most recently recognized by Search Engine Land with a nomination for Search Professional of the Year, inducted into the 40 Under 40 for Burlington, NJ (BCT), shortlisted for Best Consultant for the US Search Awards three times and recognized by SmartCEO Magazine (CMO) as one of Philadelphia’s leading executives. He is also a US Ambassador for Majestic (SEO).

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