Shane Snow’s New Project Contently

Yesterday I met with Shane Snow of Mashable and  to talk about his new baby Contently, a platform that promises “to create, execute and optimize a winning content marketing strategy, crafted for your audience (not robots).”  We met up at Pivotal Labs to talk about the importance of relevant content for companies and how we are both against those “bastardized SEO robots” that are appearing online (cough cough AOL).  To learn more about how AOL treats their “content slaves” check out “Ex AOL TV Writer Claims to Have Been ‘Content Slave” on AdWeek from last month.

Contently was recently accepted to TechStars Class of Summer 2011 and with good reason.  More companies want to attract brand advocates with relevant content, whether through Twitter, Facebook, or their company blog.  The impression your ideal target has after engaging with your brand’s content will transfer to how they feel about the brand.

In the past few months, it seems that the trend of needing to create a social community for your brand is over and now content is king – or is it? Reading through Steve Rosenbaum’s article on HuffPo “Content Is King No Longer”, he says that content is not scarce since everyone has the means to produce it and content has gone from “quality to noise” – but it’s a good thing in the name of public discourse.

While there are some sites that want to utilize best practices of SEO in order to “farm in” content to gain enough unique monthly views and increase advertising dollars, humans are still necessary.  Intelligence and passion are feelings that only humans are capable of having, and no robot or automated system can compare.  I also watch to see what art, fashion and music communities are doing, because six months down the road, other brands are following through.  It happened with MySpace and has already started with Tumblr.

Some key facts:

Everyone loves to share.

Everyone can produce their own content.

Content creation is time consuming (if you want quality work, you need to “work some love” in it).

Content curating is essential (an effect of social media and everyone being their own citizen journalist). 

Advertisers need to find context in content creation (make it relevant and authentic).

A combination of curated and created content is necessary to capture an audience and encourage an engaged community (best example of this platform is Tumblr, you need to give a little and reblog a lot).

We already feel like robots – always being connected, always consuming.  If at some point in our day we can come across something that awakes the human inside of us AND it happens to be content produced by the Converse Blog, so be it.

Do you think there is a shift from brands creating communities to creating content?

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