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Context over Content: How to Win the Game!

You for sure know the saying “Content is King”. I’d like to offer you a new way of thinking by saying: “If Content is King, Context is God!”. Not only from an SEO perspective but in general.

Today I held a training for an online marketing academy in my hometown and I had a very interesting talk with the marketing lead for Germany of a Nordics manufacturer for helpmates. In Germany, the sale of helpmates is controlled by paramedical houses, because selling professional bandages and crutches have to be explained by someone beforehand by law. So we are talking about a narrow niche and pure B2B business.

During the training, I was asked how I’d approach their online marketing strategy. Of course I mentioned that they should be on linkedin and publish organic content there as well as on xing. I don’t think that publishing on instagram would be the best solution but at least something I’d try for a while. Now… how did I get from contet to context?

The context over content approach

For years and years, content was king. And don’t get me wrong, it still is! But since a while, I’d say another, deeper layer was added in online marketing for it. Do deliver even better, more compelling content, you need to try to understand the following:

Know the ‘WHO?’, ‘WHAT?’, ‘WHERE?’, ‘WHEN?’ and ‘HOW?’.
Rand Fishkin

The first time I changed my way of thinking was when I started to care more about local SEO and local Online Marketing. I can recommend you to start thinking different about SEO as well. I remember a keynote from Rand Fishkin (follow @RandFishkin on LinkedIn) founder of MOZ.com – now SparkToro.com – at SMX West 2017. His part of the keynote was full of information and examples of local SEO – a shame that hardly any SEO was talking about that at SMX Germany in Munich a little more than a week later.

Rand was talking about a simple search query that he tested a while a go with a friend. They were both living at different places but the search results were completely different for the same search term. Of course this makes sense because Google will always try to deliver the best result to you depending on time (time in your THINKING – PLANNING – DOING phase) or location.

One simple example for you: (Fake/Spoof) a Google search request while you “are” in San Diego and search for the term “storm”. Most likely some MARVEL result will show up in case there is not some storm approaching elsewhere at that time. If you fake or execute the same search request in google.com on a different location, for the request “storm” other results will show up.

You might now ask: why is that?

There is one simple and easy reason. Every year in San Diego, California, the COMIC-CON is happening. Google learned therefor that the request for “storm” is meant as a search request for the MARVEL character Storm.

The Peak of Content makes context that important

Houston, we have a problem! Everyone is producing content somehow. Many good written content is out there on so many websites and the sheer number is growing each day. And I am not only talking about written content here, but also about other media. So I highly recommend marketeers to concentrate on context first before thinking about content at all.

Ask yourself the following questions

  • Who will read your content or who would you like to target?
  • What would you like to publish or what is relevant for your audience?
  • Where will your content be consumed most likely or where is your content relevant?
  • When will your content be consumed or when is your content relevant regarding customer journey?
  • How will users consume your content?

By following these rules and answering these questions first, you can produce great content that actually works at each stage of your customer’s journey.

Example for Context over Content

If you follow publications by Jeffrey Cole, research professor and director of the Center for the Digital Future at USC Annenberg in Los Angeles, California, you can see that he is talking about that since about 2015. He was talking several times about the millennials generation and their usage of online TV and movie services like Netflix, hulu or amazon prime instead of classic Cable TV. He predicts that there will be a time where more than 50% of US households will no longer have TV Screens in their home, or at least no Cable TV. So how can you target the “millennials”? By concentrating either on these TV alternatives or targeting them in their most used apps, social media platforms or websites.

To follow my own rules you could answer my set of questions as follows:

  • Who: Millennials
  • What: Product
  • Where: Youtube
  • When: On the go
  • How: Cellphone

Of course these are quite basic answers to the contextual questions that I listed above. But it should give you some idea on how to approach this topic and publish better content in future.

Any questions or comments?

In case you do have any questions, comments or feedback for me, please let me know. I am here to answer any question and get back to you. If you like this article, I would be happy about you sharing it.

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