The Future of Search: Embracing Creator-Led Content Marketing
The landscape of search is undergoing a revolution driven by content creators. The traditional boundaries of search engine results pages (SERPs) are expanding, and creators are taking centre stage. As SEO professionals, it's crucial that we acknowledge and embrace these seismic shifts happening on a weekly basis.
Google's introduction of the Perspectives feed and the rise of platforms like TikTok as trusted sources of information are transforming the search landscape at a rapid pace. Content creators are at the heart of this transformation.
In this article, we will explore the implications of these trends and delve into why the era of creator-led search is upon us. Specifically, we will examine:
How content creators are revolutionising SEO, content marketing, and digital PR with their unique ability to inspire, educate, and entertain their audiences.
The broader impact of content creators beyond influencing visibility on SERPs, as they breathe new life into the digital PR space and make "search everywhere" a reality.
Understanding Creator-Led Content Marketing
The terms "creator culture," "influencers," and "content creators" are likely familiar to most readers. Platforms like YouTube, Twitch, and TikTok have paved the way for individuals and groups to lead conversations, provide entertainment, and create influential content across the internet and beyond.
For example, consider James Donaldson, a university drop-out turned content creator who built an enormous following on YouTube by sharing "Let's Play" content. He has now expanded his ventures to include a themed burger business and a range of delectable sweets.
Another standout creator is MrBeast, the world's most famous content creator, who epitomises the essence of being a content creator. MrBeast excels at creating inspiring, educational, and entertaining content.
Interestingly, the parallels between content creators and our SEO efforts are becoming increasingly blurred. As SEO professionals, our job is to create inspiring, educational, and entertaining content for SERPs. Content creators do the same, but for a different SERP. Thus, the boundaries between traditional SEO and creator-led content are merging.
With evolving user behaviours, emerging technologies, and Google algorithm changes, creator-led content presents a viable SEO opportunity for brands. Brands that can leverage strong and engaged communities, just as creators do, can benefit from this shift.
The Impact of "Perspectives"
Google's introduction of the Perspectives feed is a game-changer. This new search filter allows users to explore results from videos, blogs, forums, and social platforms, offering a more immersive and authentic "lived experience." Google's shift towards E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) is evident through the introduction of the Perspectives feed.
Google's motivation for these shifts is partly a response to users turning to platforms like TikTok and Instagram for certain queries. Up to 40% of Gen Z users prefer these platforms over Google for specific queries, indicating a significant shift in user behaviour.
Users seek content that effectively answers their queries and comes from sources that align with their values, thoughts, and feelings. Content creators are already meeting these needs by inspiring, educating, and entertaining their audiences while building strong communities. Brands can now work with creators who align with their values, benefiting from increased visibility on SERPs through the perspectives feed.
Experience as a Key Factor
The addition of "experience" to Google's E-A-T standards is a direct response to the rise of AI in content. Brands now have an opportunity to deliver exciting content that focuses on providing users with a "lived experience."
Experience refers to the knowledge, understanding, or skills one effectively demonstrates through exposure to a product, topic, or service. Users seek content that speaks directly to them, addressing their needs authentically and genuinely. Brands can demonstrate this "lived experience" by partnering with content creators who can effectively showcase their expertise and provide an authentic perspective.
Content creators are uniquely positioned to deliver this "lived experience" while enabling brands to connect with a wider community in an authentic and genuine way. By leveraging creator-led content marketing, brands can not only gain visibility through the perspectives feed but also contribute to their SEO goals on traditional SERPs.
Supercharging Digital PR
Digital PR can greatly benefit from creator-led campaigns. The communities built around content creators are the driving force behind the success of creator-led content marketing. Additionally, content created by influential creators is highly shareable. Publications are more inclined to share the thoughts, opinions, or content of content creators who have established themselves as key voices or thought leaders in their respective fields. When creators discuss their experiences with a product or service or lead trends on platforms like TikTok, publications find value in sharing that content with their own audience.
For instance, when Charli D'Amelio partnered with Dunkin' to launch her signature coffee drink, publications in the coffee niche eagerly shared content about the partnership, tried the drink, and shared their thoughts with their community. By strategically leveraging creator-led content marketing, brands can develop robust digital PR strategies, aligning their efforts with the expansive "search" universe.
Expanding the Search Universe
One common issue in content marketing efforts is the disjointed nature of brand campaigns. However, creator-led content marketing offers a solution by diversifying search efforts while aligning strategic forces. This alignment, known as "search everywhere," involves optimising a brand's presence across the entire search universe and encompassing the platforms and channels that the target audience engages with throughout their search journey.
The goal is to increase visibility, improve engagement, and drive conversions by building a relationship with the target audience wherever they consume media, search for information, and eventually make purchases. Creator-led content marketing is a powerful tool for achieving this approach, especially with the introduction of the Perspectives feed. By collaborating with content creators on platforms like TikTok, brands can engage and build relationships with their ideal audience, guiding them through different stages of the user journey with strategically crafted content.
Better Engagement through Creator-Led Content Efforts
The era of creator-led search is already here, and it promises to reshape the future of SEO and digital PR. Content creators wield significant influence and have the potential to enrich SERPs through Google's Perspectives feed. They also provide opportunities to revitalise the digital PR space with compelling narratives and authentic experiences.
Platforms like TikTok, Pinterest, Instagram, and Reddit are emerging as trusted sources of information, and users exhibit high levels of trust and engagement with content and brands discovered on these platforms. In this new era, brands have an unparalleled opportunity to leverage the power of creator-led content marketing. By partnering with creators who resonate with their target audiences, brands can deliver content that genuinely speaks to users' values, thoughts, and feelings.
Through creator-led content marketing, brands can send clear signals of "experience" to Google, build meaningful relationships with their audiences across multiple platforms, and ultimately achieve their SEO goals. By embracing this shift toward creator-led search, brands can position themselves at the forefront of their industries, harness the expanding search universe, and make their mark in this new era of search.
In conclusion, creator-led content marketing is the future of search, offering immense potential for brands to thrive in the evolving landscape of SEO, content marketing, and digital PR.