I recently read a wonderful post entitled Stop Writing Blog Posts by Portent’s Nick Bernard who was writing about the amount of mindless drivel that is churned out by bloggers, SEOs and marketers every day. Bernard says that as content creators we need to stop adding to the virtual garbage heap and focus on creating content that is interactive, useful and well… GREAT. I agree with him wholeheartedly; the internet’s capacity for crap is infinite but that doesn’t mean we should add to it. Think about how often you find a gem of an article online and then consider how many pieces of garbage content you had to stumble over to find it. We are in the age of technology and everyone and their grandmother (literally) has the ability to pen and publish any idea that pops into their brains even though the majority of those ideas should have been sent directly to the trash bin icon. I liked Bernard’s article though because in addition to being very well written and researched, it was a call to all the marketers out there to strive to create content that is clear, concise, useful, interactive, fun and just plain lovable.
The article, if you read it, focuses mainly on the development of what Bernard calls technical content. An example of technical content would be Bellroy’s ‘Less is More’ graph. (I still have to play with this interactive graph every single time. It’s so fun!) And while content like this is amazing, not everyone has the technical know-how or in house expertise to create content like this on a regular basis. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of opportunities to create great content even if you are not a developer or graphic designer.
The following are some examples of great content that I’ve been delighted to come across over the last few weeks. All created in house and all from the Edmonton area.
How awesome is this? We got this hilarious holiday card in the mail from our delightful client and partner Pure Vision (now KEEN Creative). It looks like they’ve also been circulating the card on their social media and it’s been getting a ton of likes and reshares. And you can see why. Pure Vision? How about Pure Genius??
2. Monjeloco Jeans Customer Photo Uploads
Monjeloco Jeans is a boutique store in St. Albert with an amazing product: jeans that actually lift and enhance your butt. They’ve been getting a lot of media attention lately appearing on Dragon’s Den and Breakfast Television, but I get my daily dose of Monjeloco from their Facebook page where they post photos daily of real women looking awesome in their jeans. You might be saying, “Really Diana… photo uploading?” And I will give you uploading photos is a marketing no-brainer, but riddle me this: why is Monjeloco Jeans one of the few retailers that I’ve chosen to “like” ever? Partly it’s because they have an amazing, unique product that I am absolutely coveting, but partly it’s because I like their content. If I “like” H&M, another favourite retailer of mine, I know what I am going to get: airbrushed models looking perfect in the newest fashions, but with Monjeloco Jeans, I get to see real, Edmonton women, like me, wearing the jeans and looking fantastic and there’s something very cool about that.
3. First Foundation’s Youtube Channel
I’ve got to do a quick shout out to First Foundation because they are a much beloved and respected client of Bluetrain’s – what up guys! First Foundation is an award-winning financial services company that prides itself on being “big enough to save you money, but small enough to know your name.” Check out First Foundation’s About Us page and listen to a soundbyte of President Gord McCallum introducing you to the company and the About section of the website (seriously, these guys are full of cool content surprises like this.) But what is really outstanding about them is the extra effort they put forth to make themselves as approachable and helpful as possible. From their website to their blog to their Youtube channel, First Foundation works really hard to keep their clients (and the general public) in the know about how to save money. And really, if I’m actually going to take time out of my day to educate myself about the Bank of Canada’s recent update…zzzzzZZZZ kkffmjighgggggggg sorry! back…. I’d rather it not take me an hour. Gord gets that which is why he sums up the latest financial news and tells me what I need to know in under three minutes. Thanks man!
4. Writer Natasha Deen’s Wonderfully Helpful Blog
Although the article that inspired this post talks at length about technical content, I’d argue that non-technical content, like the good old fashioned blog article, is still good as long as it is one or more of the following things:
Local author Natasha Deen’s blog is all three. In addition to posting amusing blog articles she offers her books, some which you can purchase and others which she allows people to download for free. Free!! They’re her gift to her fans and book lovers at large. Also, she has an entire section of her website dedicated to resources for writers which is, let’s just say, hugely helpful and incredibly magnanimous of her. Take it from me as an aspiring writer, there aren’t many authors out there who will take the time to document the tricks of the trade. But it’s all there if you ever need it courtesy of the lovely Natasha!
So next time you’re ready to hit the publish button ask yourself: is this good? Great, maybe? Is this shareable? Is this lovable?