These days, online marketers are utilising an ever growing menagerie of media to create content to direct towards audiences through a variety of different channels. Our strategy at Impression has always revolved around building good decent links and writing authoritative well researched articles, but it has included the formulation of marketing campaigns and the production of online video. Essentially, online marketers and their clients are all looking for the same thing; the creation and publication of engaging unique content. Recently, this quest for unique effective content has resulted in the drive for big content where different kinds of content are beginning to converge.

What is big content?

Establishing a definition of a hyperbolic catch-all marketing phrase such as big content can be problematic. The important thing to remember however is that big content is just that, it’s big, really big. It simply forgoes the established boundaries or regular content for a higher means of engagement and impact.

To quote Dr Peter J. Meyers from Moz, big content tends to be human generated and people orientated. It cannot be confined to database and it usually extends beyond normal blog posts, videos and infographics, though it may include these things together within its tapestry.

Big content best serves the implementation of big ideas and requires a large amount of time and resources to produce. When done correctly it can potentially result in big payoffs in terms of boosting your online marketing campaign and diverting traffic to your website. At the very least enforcing positive brand awareness.

Traditionally, big content was the domain of big business. Only corporations and large businesses had the resources to produce this scale of content that was designed a mass market almost viral quality. Big content used to mean big budgets but today you don’t have to have a mega budget to produce big content and reap the tremendous benefits it can provide.

As a general rule, big content is defined as an undertaking that takes time and resources to complete, at least 40 hours. It is a gamble, but when done correctly, the gains are high. Big content is here to stay, and many professional marketers such as Hannah Smith from Distilled are urging you to either go big, or go home because though the risks are greater in putting the content together, the rewards are superior.

Examples of Big Content

Big content is becoming increasingly popular, it isn’t too difficult to come in contact with over the internet. By its very nature, big content, requires a more creative approach to perform effectively and there are seemingly a hundred and one different techniques to incorporate. This in itself is quite liberating, no longer are you confined to a word limit, you can potentially set about writing something major and in depth providing quality information with a degree of authorship. You can think more visually in terms of design and presentation and incorporate interactive elements to emphasise your writing and becoming more renowned in the process. The bigger your ideas, providing the more realistic they are, the more effective your content will be.

We have provided a couple of examples to classify and demonstrate the endless possibilities of big content.

Interactive

Many online marketers are instilling their big content with a layer of user interaction, by providing them with an easy to use tool that provides real information. Interaction requires input and user engagement and is arguably a better way of connecting directly to your audience than conventional written content.

  • SEER Interactive – Money – http://rcs.seerinteractive.com/money/ This piece serves as an example of big content as a tool that encourages interaction through channeling interest. The purpose is to reveal how some of the larger web/computing companies are generating their revenue, the piece is supported by statistical information but presents it in an interesting way. The content is responsively designed as to be accessible across all devices. It takes form of a series of buttons each representing a well known company or brand that when clicked on reveals information on their sources of revenue and whether or not they are profitable. It is simple to use and once the user has accessed the first panel they are inclined to try another, thanks to curiousity and experience of how easy the information is displayed – far more effective than a graph or article, it simply relays need to know information to the attention of the user.

Creative Visual

Creating big content can be likened to a small web project. You are effectively engaged with the practice of building a website, but not in a conventional sense. You have a degree of flexibility and innovation to twist the conventional web design formulas in new and interesting ways.

  • EvoEnergy Guide – http://www.evoenergy.co.uk/uk-energy-guide/ – This piece presents statistical data based off of a report published by UK National Statistics – Energy Consumption in the United Kingdom: 2011. The business of the piece is primarily displaying the large amounts of data in dynamic graphics of which the user has a degree of control over viewing. It starts with the hues of an evening sky turning into blue skies as the user scrolls to the first infographic. A graph made to look like a tree.

Long-form Content

Big content allows you to go beyond the standard 500-600 word limit that comes with usual blog posts, allowing you to provide your audiences with truly detailed information. This may include step by step guides or larger documents. Before this may have been provided in downloadable pdf documents, but with big content you have the ability to really display this information with visual panache and responsive web design principles upon one url. This kind of information is easily passed around and shared, especially if it provides useful information.  Think of it as writing a large essay, sometimes even a 100 page piece of writing, either way you are looking to become a one stop resource for information.

  • Business Guide – http://startingabusiness.expertmarket.co.uk/ This piece by Expert Market.co.uk is effectively a self contained web guide on how to start a business that effectively serves as its own web page. A couple of years ago, it may have been a multipage document you downloaded as a pdf via the resources page. Now, it has been responsively designed, meaning it is accessible on any device and effectively serves as a complete guide on everything you need to know about starting up a small business. The piece is divided into colour coded sections, each fit within one screen and are easily digestible by the reader. All the reader has to do is scroll or interface via the contents sections, it is accommodating to a more casual mainstream audience.

Distilled’s Brandopolis is a piece of major work. You couldn’t necessarily say that about a standard piece of content, but this is big content we are talking about, where you have the opportunity to go long form and achieve a level of authorship. Brandopolis is more of an ebook than anything else, which took at least 5 months to produce. It provides a formative guide to online marketing, focusing on the world’s biggest brands  A contents section at the start can refer you directly to the start of each section, in addition a clear magazine layout has informed the design of the piece.

Media-Rich

Big content can act as a hub for smaller content, incorporating smaller pieces into one comprehensive package, whether that be text, video, audio or even games.

The benefits of Big Content

Big content retains all the regular benefits of smaller content, such as:

  • The opportunity to further build links to your website and increase domain authority.

  • Raise brand awareness.

  • Build your audience, attract further customers. Grow a community through discussion and interaction.

  • Provide a carefully sculpted narrative directly to the consumer.

On top of the benefits of regular content, big content also carries these added benefits:

  1. Long term traffic – Big content is often described as evergreen, whilst articles and related posts get buried by more posts over the course of time, big content remains standalone and built to last.

  2. More original, more creative, representative as a single product – articles can be copied and pasted and plagiarised, big content however often has some kind of development and design focus going into it.

  3. Make a bigger impact – With big content you are presenting the audience with something that goes beyond the usual content of online video, PR editorials or blog posts. You are presenting them with a more creative piece that is designed to make an impact.

Many online marketers are saying that big content is the future. The conventional approach of writing blog posts is too ineffectual, the practice is prone to the publication of inferior and incorrect content. The market is more interested in more detailed information and a better more interactive user experience. More and more content marketers are turning towards big content as a means of giving their online marketing campaigns a boost.

Charlie

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