Content marketing is a hot topic and much energy is spent on this topic, it gets included into the predictions for the future and that creates hype and confusion amongst communicators and strategists not only in the social media space but also in marketing, advertising and public relations departments.
What is content marketing? I am sure that no one will agree on a definition so I am not going to try and define it either. What I want to provide is a guideline as a point of departure rather that a complete map.
I see content marketing consisting of three main components:
Forget content and what you want to achieve, find out what it is that people really want. If you think your network is too small to provide you with this information, you are mistaken. Your network is small because you have not learnt to engage as yet. You will find that your network of followers will only grow once you start engaging and then you will find out for yourself what people want. Don’t rely totally on what others say, you need to have a feel and this is best described as an emotional connection with your own network.
Oh and in case you looking for the magic, don’t worry you won’t find it anywhere. You’ll find that the magic lies within you, as you’re YOUnique and people are looking for your magic.
I continue to promote the fact that we do not listen enough and we often fail to listen with understanding. Listening is 80% of your success and if you unable to listen you will never effectively engage. So practice listening more and speaking less.
When you have found out a little of what people want you need to start engaging with them and giving them what you think they want. One of the most important factors in any engagement process is consistency, if you cannot be consistent you are effectively wasting your time, relationships of any kind are built solely on consistency. BE CONSISTENT and success will start to happen in the engagement process.
Content should be entertaining, but that does not mean that you need to be a Hollywood producer or a New York Times bestselling author. The entertainment that people expect is something that will give them an emotional connection to what you are giving them. People connect with people and when they know you or are starting to know you, they begin to appreciate the entertainment value you are providing to them.
Why would they want to see what I have to offer you may ask? Simply because you took the time to engage and find out what they wanted. This mere fact will ensure that you provide them with an emotional connection.
But how will this go viral you may ask? Firstly when did you believe the myth that everything needs to go viral and going viral is just a bonus. If you can’t be relevant to one person, how will you ever be relevant to the masses.
Concentrate and provide an entertainment value as much as possible and your chances for successful connections and sustainable relationships will improve drastically.
What will the experience be like for the people you are engaging with? Do you really care about them or is your intention only to get their money? People don’t care about you until they know you care about them and if they feel you don’t care well they will soon find someone who does care about them. The choice ultimately lies with you as to how good or bad the experience is for that person when they are interacting with you.
Experience is not just about people sharing in your experience (that is a very self-centric view) but rather a sharing in each others experience. If you wan’t people to have a good experience with your content, are you taking the time to experience their content. Don’t let your ego and your sense of importance prevent you from experiencing what your followers have to offer you.
THANK YOU for reading this far and if you thinking that this is only applicable to individuals and not brands … Lets consider that the rules never change and ask ourselves then are these followers not also our customers and ordinary people, would they not expect the same from us as a brand? Yes serving people will always be a challenge and the more effective we can serve, the better our results will be.
As I contemplate what I have just written … I realise this article could of been an article on leadership, yes the lines have blurred, but then leadership has always been about good communication and that was why I first used the term ‘Digital Leadership’. Will leadership and content be our biggest challenges or will we be our own biggest problem as we hold onto our current beliefs about how communication and leadership should work?
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