Before we talk about the Human Role in content marketing, let’s step sidewise for a moment. My Doctorate and original research was in Neuroscience, and there is a tendency in any science to try and split up and divide a function or process in order to describe it. If you can “mechanize” it, then you can control and describe the steps. Well the Nobel Physicist who first described Black Holes with Stephen Hawking, Roger Penrose, took a little stroll through the Neuroscience world when he wrote his book, ‘The Emporer’s New Mind”. When he did this, he ticked off a great number of my collegues in Neuroscience because his ultimate commentary was, we will never fully describe how the brain creates consciousness because it is a quantum process, beyond our powers of description. He predicted that artifical intelligence would NEVER approximate Human intelligence. There is nothing worse than a “Smart Alec”, Nobel Winning Physicist telling your entire discipline that you aren’t smart enough to understand something.
What’s the connection?
Content marketing is bringing us back to traditional marketing, branding and PR approaches. The consumer of the content is ultimately a person and as such it takes a real person to understand and appeal to that group. I am talking about over a longer term campaign, when momentum and lasting results are the desired outcome. In short, software will never be able to grab and maintain the interest of a Human Being. It might work in a vacuum, but when given the choice between marketing generated by a machine or a person, the person will eventual steal that attention.
Panda and Penguin
The Google updates of Panda and Penguin while looking like an attack on the SEO world, could just as easily been seen as a social revolution in the world of the internet. They turned search engine marketing from a hacker’s approach to one of human interaction and influence. We talk about level playing fields and complain that brands control page one of Google, but isn’t this fair? National brands spend millions to have the public recognition and social signals that go along with it. If you want a level playing field, buy your place with adwords. That is the most level playing field a small Mom and Pop can hope for on the international selling stage of Google SERP. That opportunity, for the Mom and Pop, didn’t exist prior to adwords. Joe’s Shoe Barn can’t be on page one above Nike unless they are truly more recognized, reputable and popular than the most recognized Shoe Brand in the world. I remember in the 80’s it was well known that Nike spent $40 of the purchase price of every Shoe on advertising. Do you really think it’s a level playing field? It never has been…you buy your place on that page one way or another.
So in conclusion you could say that Roger Penrose, Nobel Laureate Physicist predicted the rise of content marketing and the demise of spammy SEO. It takes a human to understand a human and if Google wants to remain relevant it has to pay attention to what Humans pay attention to.