“You know movement-first content when you see it. It’s sometimes called thought leadership content. Some people call the posts ‘essays’ instead of articles. It looks and feels very different from content optimized for search since it isn’t beholden to any SEO tactics like word count and keyword density.”— How to Scale Content Without Sacrificing Quality (Animalz)
As Google culls traffic referrals in favour of keeping users in the SERPs, I expect more marketers and publishers to pivot towards content worth subscribing to.
Thought leadership content — or, as Animalz describes it, “movement-first content” — fits squarely into that category.
It’s the sort of content that picks up steam through social shares and newsletter citations. It’s the pontificatorials that busines folks drop as LinkedIn Pulse articles.
Predictions about the future. Opinionated essays. Rants. Reviews.
You know the type.
Now, as someone who’s spent the better part of the last five years chasing SEO-friendly content, I’m really excited for this pivot. Because it means, hopefully, a return of original voice and style and stream-of-consciousness blogging that made the early web such a delight.
These writeups are also great fodder for prompting conversations. And as the pendulum swings back from a radically open web to a connected mesh of niche communities, those conversations are going to matter more and more.