By Russ Mann / CEO, Rio SEO

“Money can’t buy me love.”

While money can buy impressions, it can’t buy organic visibility, social conversations or conversions. For search marketers in the modern media age, relevant content is the new currency.

We exist in the sunset of the age of paid advertising as the dawn of consumer engagement marketing arises. Consumers are now “ad skippers” and “banner blind,” but consumers appreciate relevant and authentic content – even ads.

Great brand stories, images, infographics, information, videos and even ads make up a new form of “currency.”

Content as Currency

content as currencyContent can buy opted-in, permission-granted access to a consumer’s contact or other preference information. When shared by consumers in acts of friendship, it stimulates or “buys” conversations and engagement. When  displayed and shared in acts of brand affinity, it conveys short-hand stories or personal status symbols.

A brand’s content often modifies, extends and transforms in a form of virtual alchemy to make content currency more valuable. Consumers often turn even boring and bad content into a valuable and trade-able good or form of currency.

The most interesting thing about content as currency is that there needs to be a balance between its uniqueness and its value.

Coins and paper bills get minted and printed to create currency. You must standardize it as well as make it portable and convertible for many uses. Content, however, is often more valuable if it is more creative and unique.

Google often views blandly created, syndicated content (e.g., press releases, product collateral) as “duplicate content.” Consumers skip generic and duplicate content. Consumers stay as blind to boring content as they do to banner ads.

Clever, humorous, newsworthy, emotional and/or beautiful pieces of content that are “bespoke” are the ones that take off virally. Marketers and consumers trade bespoke viral content as a form of currency to gain search engine visibility.

Marketers focused on smarter search engine visibility need to understand which types of content prove the most valuable for SEO.

Getting found, “friended,” followed, and forwarded maximizes the value of your content. You must also measure all pieces closely to maximize its value.

In sum, treat your content like currency and it will become the “gold standard.”

Originally posted on MediaPost.