content: as a currency
Simply, currency is something that buys you something (of value). So what does content as a currency get you as a brand and a business? Good thing we thought about this. Since we’re going to blog about it. Yeah.
...attracts the right ones
It’s basically impossible to market online without content. Therefore, you’ve got to have the content out there to bring Your People in. We’ve yammered on (waxed poetic) about making sure your content is timely and meets Your People where they’re at so you know all of that.
You can flip it all around and think of the reactions to your content and who is doing the reacting and measure whether or not you’re having the kind of impact that you want to with the content you’re creating. Are you reaching the right people? We’ve made the point before that some of all of this is trial and error. There’s nothing wrong with experimenting. However, it’s imperative that the results of the experiment are documented and a new hypothesis is formed based on the results.
...seals the deal
We’ll admit – we’re pretty judgey about content online. There’s just no excuse for bad stuff. There are approximately a kajillion YouTube videos and blogs and podcasts and books and classes and consultants and teams of consultants, which means there are approximately, give or take, a kajillion reasons not to cripple your online marketing efforts with half-baked infographics. Go big or go home because…
You know the people that you follow that produce quality content every single time? There are people we have individually followed from the beginning of Instagram, for example. How have they captured our attention for so long? By snagging us with quality of concept and delivery and secured us through constantly maintaining our relationship by: delivering on expectations and consistently reaching out. Just something to think about.
If you read the last paragraph about sealing the deal, then you remember about delivering on expectations. This is how trust is formed. It’s an over-time kind of thing. It will happen over time. In time. You’ve got to get the ball rolling toward trust pretty early on in a relationship though. It’s as though you are allotted a certain amount of trust from the outset – once you’ve snagged a follower, you’ve got a finite amount of trust allocated to you, but it’s going to steadily decrease over time if you don’t deliver on the expectations that person formed for you based on the Moment of the Snagging.
This touches our PR nerve. You can imagine a reaction kind of like a miss-strike in a game of Doctor. From a PR perspective, trust is somewhat of a game of chess. You do x. They move y. Boom! They’re converted, restored to the faith…whatever the current state of your relationship. Keep these truths in mind as you mindfully create content to represent your brand and your mission and build trust and momentum behind your vision and goals.
People are loyal to people they trust. That’s not a revelation to anyone. Much of the same content is going to foster loyalty in the same way it builds trust. However, the value of long-term brand loyalty should not be overlooked with blanket “trust” conversations. Loyal followers will tell other people about you. They’re the connectors to your business. These are the ones you can count on to keep coming back and bringing more with them.
So what kind of content fosters loyalty? Super awesome content. In order to convert trust to loyalty you’ve got to have some mega value stuffed up your sleeve. Your loyal followers are excited about what you’re doing. They’re backing it and you.
There’s plenty to support the argument that you should create content people feel makes them look good when they share it. You could just call it “shareable” and be done with it all, but we think it requires a bit more of a closer look at the psychology of it all to see what makes something “shareable.” We all enjoy plenty of things – new restaurants, excursions and adventures, a new home product or service. However, most of us only recommend or share The Best. It’s not every good sandwich at every deli you tell your friends about. Instead, it is the Stop You Dead In Your Tracks, Perfectly Constructed and Presented turkey club on buttered and toasted sourdough with fresh tomato and avocado and bacon (butter lettuce, homemade mayo, Dijon mustard…). Check yourself for drool before proceeding to the next paragraph.
So why is that turkey club from your local hangout “shareable” and possibly every other sandwich you’ve eaten this year unworthy of a shoutout? First, it stands out and also whenever you text your friend or post on Instagram or tweet at all your peeps, you appear to a) have exceptional taste and b) be an exceptional curator of superior sandwich experiences. This sharing is the evangelism you need to make your marketing successful. Sure, you need to be reaching people to have those Sandwich Experiences for themselves, first-hand, unprompted. But what you really, really need is for them to tell all of their friends. We’ll explore the concepts of Early Adopters and Connectors later on (another shoutout to our good friend [in our Alternate Universe] Malcolm Gladwell with his kick booty book The Tipping Point). So, the major takeaway from this point is to create content for your marketing personas (actual sketches of real individuals) that they would be motivated to share with their friends because it makes them look good to endorse what you do. People are self-absorbed online, yo. And when you’re talking about the online masses and navigating the turbulent, rushing, unrelenting current of content, you’ve got to remember that everyone is pretty much thinking about themselves.
Stay tuned next week for our next series. We’ll be taking a bit of turn off the branding and content game and we’ll dip our toes into the PR waters. It’ll be fun, they (we) said.