Feed the viewer of your content as if it were a Velociraptor

velociraptor-dinosaurs-23564955-817-734

When creating content you should always serve the meat first and then let the viewer gnaw on the bones after, if they so desire.

My thinking when it comes to this stuff is to put the meat above the fold and then allow the detail to be revealed to those who wish to scroll. This rewards the hit and run viewer who simply wants the meat and then to share it, and the viewer who likes to spend more time and dig down to rich detail and then share.

When you have made the massive effort of tempting the ravenous viewer to your page, to feast on your tasty content, don’t make them work for it.

Feed them Seymore

Don’t make them have to think. Viewers when asked may like to pretend they like classics like Dostoyevsky, but John Grisham always sells more. Don’t make them have to scroll further to get to the meat because even if the meat is the tastiest in the world, the viewer will probably give up before they get to the end..

The importance of having the meat above the fold is huge, as most people will even give great stuff a cursory glance. Content has to impact fast and smash it in the viewers face. The detail, the complexity and the “take the viewer on a journey”, comes after that and rewards those who stick around and want a deeper narrative.

It is tricky because when we create something we have been taught to take the viewer on a journey, this thinking developed for magazines and books, when the viewer had little distraction or need to quickly move on, as they had bought the book/magazine and intend to read as much as possible.

Same doesn’t apply to web content.

I see the modern web browser as a starving Velociraptor. They are not too concerned with the complex flavours or that hint of truffle oil.

They want meat and they want it now.

My solution is to radically change your layout so that the meat is always served first, and then as the blood drips from the Velociraptor’s teeth, let them gnaw on the bones of the detail.

The aim is to create art that satisfies the hunger on viewing and then allows for further investigation and confirmation that the content is worthy of a social signal or a link.

This thinking underlies my philosophy when I consult with clients on content that gets shared.

I hope my thoughts on this helps.

Picture source

Facebook is Dead

shackleton

Read a very interesting article over at Marketingweek.co.uk written by Mark Ritson, about fickle teens, and came across a great quote

Do you really imagine that Facebook will remain the de-facto social media standard by the time today’s 13-year-olds exit the teenage segment in 2020? Do you really believe Facebook is somehow immune from the same disease that infected MySpace?

The writer goes on to say.

The data supporting a teen defection from Facebook remains qualitative at this stage. I am certainly in no position to suggest that Facebook is already losing teen users or that they are already spending less time on the site. But the key lesson from Abercrombie is that while Facebook’s teen downfall may not yet be upon us, it is nonetheless inevitable and will be expeditious once it begins.

There is a saying in share trading, “trying to buy at the bottom of the market is like trying to catching a falling knife”.

Likewise basing your business decisions on if and when a particular social media system is no longer worth the ROI is not very efficient and you could easily get stabbed in the back of the hand by the falling knife.

Google trends reporting for searches based on in quotes, “Facebook is Dead”.

facebook is dead

We cannot predict when the fall from grace will happen, but we can design our online marketing strategy to be nimble, fast and adaptable. If you are told, “you need to get ready for change.”

You are listening to the wrong people.

Change has to be in your DNA.

When things move online they move fast, you need to be adaptable. If you think, “I’ve marketed on Facebook, it’s been good to me so I will always market on FB.” You will be dead.

Adaptability should be hard wired into your online marketing plan.

It should seep into your content marketing strategy to take advantage of techniques like Newsjacking, where you need to act swift and decisively.

The image is of Shackleton, a man who was able to adapt to enormous changes in his situation and survive a disasterous journey to the South Pole. You can get a great book about his journey, Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage to the Antarctic

Afflink attached.

Picture credit

Building a publishing machine without the aid of Crystal Meth

800px-The_Miehle_P.P
I doubt there is anyone reading this that is not already at least aware of the hit US TV series, Breaking Bad. You probably already know that the last 8 episodes ever are about to be broadcast on August 11th. Even the BBC are newsjacking a show that is not on their network.

But what has this got to do with seo?

Well, we publish content around what people are talking about to get their attention and engage them.

Although I use the term “seo” in its broadest terms.

What I am really talking about is publishing and networking or even content marketing. The debate about “seo” is currently a topic in the industry. http://insocialwetrust.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/were-missing-the-point/ which we can comfortably leave to others a the moment.

Lets explore the reason of whether you should newsjack Breaking Bad.

The problem
You have a website where you need to increase the rankings in Google for specific webterms.

The Objective
Produce attractive, engaging content that gets links, social signals and branding awareness.

The Solution
Publish content on your website about the Breaking Bad show and promote

How do we implement the solution?

The key is in the word “publish”, get rid for a moment of all those fancy pants marketing terms and stick with the basic concept that you are going to publish something and other people are going to experience it and react to it.

It is vital you keep the approach to the creation process as simple as possible and deal with the fundamentals.

Implementation should not be looked at as a one off thing. You need to build a publishing machine, because the competition for attention online has become such that you need to have the most efficient process possible.

It is no longer about producing that one great piece of content, it’s about publishing a continuous stream of great content that gives a good return on investment.

Therefore any solution that is implemented should be part of a wider process, You implement the solution by first building a process to that can efficiently solve this and any future publishing problems.

This raises the issue of content management. Having run a number of large budget operations I know that you have to organise your infrastructure similar to that of a tabloid newspaper. You then have to optimise every link in the chain, trim the fat and make sure the right people are doing the right thing.

But the process is the same, whether you are an in-house seo with a staff of 100 or a piratical, death dealing, do or die affiliate marketer who builds his website whilst downloading Breaking Bad on Piratebay.

Agencies too are no different, it does not matter that you have multiple clients. The solution is always going to be the same, the process is the same for any client but produces a different output.

It’s actually very simple

  • Establish your ability and resources
  • Develop a realistic objective
  • Create and publish the content
  • Promote the content
  • Use content to further build network and resources

One person can and often does do this, but larger websites have to delegate specific actions to specific people who have a certain skill set. This can be done both in-house and outsourced. I know of many one man bands who outsource everything and basically run a large agency in the cloud.

The problem suddenly becomes one of management and quality control, this can be alleviated with giving well defined tasks that are simple enough to understand and to track.

The bad news is, this is now the default setting. You have to have a publishing machine behind you to compete on a level that is going to make you a decent living if going solo.

And larger organisations need to build the publishing machine at the core of their marketing operations.

Newsjacking is one component of a content marketing strategy, a strategy that must be underpinned by a road map that has been thought out and designed by someone familiar with such things.

I’ve put together several Content Marketing, Road Maps for clients, they are not cheap and require a huge blob of time thrown at them. But it’s amazing the results a publishing machine can get when it is heading in the right direction, knows its destination and knows when it has arrived.

In future posts I will be talking about how to build your publishing machine and how to create a content marketing roadmap.

Picture credit

Fear that Robots are blasting Sydney Harbour Bridge from Google Maps

Sydney_Harbour_Bridge_from_Circular_Quay
Fears have been raised that Google Maps may be removing Sydney Harbour Bridge from Google because it is now cleaned by grit blasting Robots.


BBC News website is reporting that robots developed at the University of Technology, Sydney are now operating on the bridge, applying high-pressure grit blastingcleaners and following a 3D map of the bridge area.


 As we know that Google takes a firm line on webmasters who employ robots to perform black hat techniques such as spam website creation and machine written text and we fear that Google will remove the Sydney Harbour Bridge from their newly refreshed Google Maps.


To keep the Google search index fresh Google often removes websites from their search index without warning because of robot action.


We beg the Google spam team not to remove the Sydney Harbour Bridge from Google Maps because of this robot action. These are good robots not the bad robots that spam the Internet.


Help save the Bridge.

Picture credit

50 Design Inspirations for 8 types of Infographic

Have an idea for an infographic but don’t know where to begin with designing it?

Fear not!

With thanks to Lyndon, we’ve compiled an ultimate design resource for every imaginable type of infographic. Well, nearly every one.

Our blog post earlier this year, identified the 8 different types of infographics.

This is a list of 50 that we think deserve to be noted for their design, or certain aspects of them.

A visual list of infographic inspiration awaits…

 

The Visual Article

The Visual Article infographic is all about attracting the viewer immediately with the title and offering something more than just a written article. The content itself must be varied, interesting and plentiful so that readers do not come away disappointed.

 

1. Amsterdam: On Yer Bike – by easyJet Holidays

amsterdam-on-yer-bike_50290d6bac472

Source

2. A question of taste – by South China Morning Post

Print

Source

3. 50 Unbelievable Facts about Earth – by Giraffe

fifty-unbelievable-facts-about-earth_51814d5859029

Source

4. 50 Incredible Facts about Skin – by beautyflash

50-incredible-facts-about-skin_50b3dc8c136a0

Source

5. Why Bill Gates is Better than Batman – by Frugal Dad

why-bill-gates-is-better-than-batman_502910c3bacfc

Source

6. 50 Insane Facts about Hair – by Hair Loss Geeks

50-insane-facts-about-hair-infographic_514869d497fac

Source

7. How to Control Your Dreams – by BedroomWorld

how-to-control-your-dreams-infographic_51025574ea3aa

Source

 

The Flow Chart

Flow charts are successful for answering questions and when engaging the right audience do well on social media. The design of a flowchart prefers simple over cluttered and to make it worthwhile, there needs to be plenty of options so the viewer doesn’t feel forced into an overly narrow category. Tongue-in-cheek is common and a sense of humour is definitely a bonus!

 

8. Should  I Text Him? – by Becca Classon

ShouldITextHimFlowchart_50a68cf36d200

Source

9. Which Infographic Should You Use? – by NeoMam Studios

which-infographic-should-you-use-flowchart_515ca1569bcc2

Source

10. Star Wars Occupation Flowchart – by OnlineSchools

StarWarsOccupationFlowChart_50945c660436f

Source

11. I Want to Make a Horror Movie – by Canal+

i-want-to-make-a-horror-movie_50290cfa9bc19

Source

12. Are You Happy? – by Rick Webb

are-you-happy_50290a8e1ca74

Source

13. Should Your Business be on Pinterest? – by Intuit

should-your-business-be-on-pinterest_50291618441a5

Source

 

Useful Bait

The useful bait does what it says and provides a useful resource to the viewer. Usability should be the priority with a straightforward design and content which is strictly relevant to the topic. When designing infographics like these it’s best to imagine them being printed out.

 

14. Gangnam Style The 5 Basic Steps – by Hugo A Sanchez

news illustrated 121201 GStyle outline

Source

15. Kitchen Cheat Sheet – by Everest

kitchen-cheat-sheet_503df97de2efa

Source

16. Sitting is Killing You – by Medical Billing & Coding

sitting-is-killing-you_50290c26c7c9e

Source

17. How to Train Yourself to Speed Read – by Mindflash

how-to-train-yourself-to-speed-read_50290b418f018

Source

18. Exceptional Expressions of Espresso – by Pop Chart Lab

Print

Source

19. Pairing Wine & Food – by Wine Folly

wine and food pairing chart

Source

20. The Shelf Life of Food – by Visual.ly

TheShelfLifeofFood_512f96cbed064

Source

21. The Charted Cheese Wheel – by Pop Chart Lab

Print

Source

 

Number Porn

Impressive numbers coupled with an engaging design make the ‘Number Porn’ infographic work. Numerical infographics boil down to a lot of numbers with little visualisation to aid comprehension. They are straightforward to produce but may lack a bit of imagination.

 

22. Titanic by the Numbers – by History.com

titanic-by-the-numbers_5029174716f96

Source

23. Education by the Numbers – by Microsoft Education

education-by-the-numbers_50290a5a38fa9

Source

24. A Day in the Internet – by MBA Online

a-day-in-the-internet_5124e8c74a0ca

Source

25. Google: Behind the Numbers – by Business MBA

google-behind-the-numbers_50290ee60562a

Source

 

The Timeline

The timeline shows a journey to the viewer and it must be important to them to be successful. Each element of a timeline infographic should be visualised, so it’s easy to see the progression and is visually stimulating.

 

26. The Road of the Future – by Carloan4u

the-road-to-the-future_50d1e722b937d

Source

27. The Evolution of the Geek – by Flowtown

the-evolution-of-the-geek_50290a8c1df2b

Source

28. The Evolution of Video Game Controllers – by Pop Chart Labs

the-evolution-of-video-game-controllers_50290d16c72bc

Source

29. A History of Western Typefaces – by Mashable

a-history-of-western-typefaces_5029116b9aa7b

Source

30. The History of Home Heating – by Global Home Improvements

the-history-of-home-heating-infographic_510d0a5931659

Source

31. The Apple Tree – by Mashable

the-apple-tree_50290b9835889

Source

 

Data Visualisation

“If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a data visualization is worth a thousand more.”

Data Visualisation is the bread and butter of the infographic world. A creative approach along with careful design can get great results and lead to placement on high-profile sites.

 

32. The Billion Dollar-o-Gram – by David McCandless

the-billion-dollarogram_50290b64c418f

Source

33. Mission(s) to Mars – by Bryan Christie Design

missions-to-mars_50290aa620def

Source

34. Fifty Years of Exploration – by National Geographic

fifty-years-of-exploration_50290a6d94ffe

Source

35. Snake Oil? by David McCandless

snake-oil_502913ef22085

Source

36. The Big Numbers – by Rune Leth Anderson

the-big-numbers_50290bf5384b7

Source

 

The Versus Infographic

Matching content to audience is crucial here. You need to consider what the audience care about and focus on two characters or concepts. A common feature of these infographics compares both differences and similarities. A little humour and stylised design are a must if they are to succeed.

 

37. Geek vs Hipster – by Geeks Are Sexy

geek-vs-hipster_502914fecde3b

Source

38. Messi vs Ronaldo – by Visual.ly

Print

Source

39. A Tale of Two Meals – by Massive Health

a-tale-of-two-meals_502917a2d0374

Source

40. Beef versus Horse – Guardian Digital Agency

beef-versus-horse_513f18a36809b

Source

41. How Being a Liberal or Conservative Shapes Your Life – by David McCandless

how-being-a-liberal-or-conservative-shapes-your-life_5029165609e1b

Source

42. Serif vs Sans – The Final Battle – by Urban Fonts

serif-vs-sans-the-final-battle_512d49eaa7160

Source

43. Woof vs Meow – What Our Furry Pets Reveal About Us – by Hunch

woof-vs-meow-what-our-furry-pets-reveal-about-us_50290f9e9f94f

Source

 

The Photo Infographic

Arguably the hardest to produce, these infographics need quality photographs and a well thought out design to come off as professional looking. When done right though, these infographics are visually arresting and provide a unique way to display information.

 

44. Dining Etiquette 101 – by Sun Sentinel

dining-etiquette-101_5029141b424ee

Source

45. The Simpsons, South Park and Ninja Turtles LEGOs – by Jung Von Matt

the-simpsons-south-park-and-ninja-turtles-legos_502915852b605

Source

46. Know Your Poop – by Raj Kamal

know-your-poop_5125c841e8b5b

Source

47. The Evolution of a Hipster – by Paste  Magazine

the-evolution-of-a-hipster_50290b4e749ad

Source

48. Fat or Fiction – by Fat or Fiction

fatorfiction

Source

49. Seven Summits – by FFunction

7-summits_50290b9297b13

Source

50. Refugees and Immigrants – by Peter Orntoft

PeterOrntoftInformationgraphicsInContext2010_51a86d7888fb1

Source

 

We hope these proved useful and let us know if you agree with our choices!

Compiled by Danny Ashton, founder of the infographic agency NeoMam Studios.