Egomania! How ego makes marketing better
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Egomania! How ego makes marketing better



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Ego gets a bum rap, but the most effective marketers inject it into everything they do. This deck shares how stroking egos and providing self-validation makes for insanely shareable content—and how this “ego capital” can be used tastefully.

This deck answers the following, and share several examples:

What motivates people to share your content?
How can ego capital be activated within thoughtful, tasteful content?
Which content types create the most satisfying and effective ego experiences?
How can content creators employ ego capital before and after content is published?



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  • After I read cognitive surplus, I kept returning to this quote again and again. This wouldn’t be a presentation about ego without some name dropping, so here it goes. I talked to Clay Shirky about it, and he talked about selfies. [more on next slide]
  • He told me, “I can’t stand it when people talk about selfies like it’s some terrible, narcissistic thing that’s unique to Millennials. Given the opportunity, every generation would have done the same thing. The technology is giving us a NEW opportunity to express something that’s ALWAYS been there.”
  • I thought I knew a lot about social media and content strategy. But I realized when I read those two lines in the book and talked to Clay that all of it is driven by the same things that have driven humans since we were painting on cave walls. What are these handprints but selfies?
  • So motivations change little. And one thing that motivates everyone is EGO. Ego gets a bad rap- we associate it with undesirable traits like selfishness and vanity. But like most human motivations, it’s not really bad…or good…it’s just…human. And the best marketing touches something human.
  • Ego appears twice on the seven deadly sins- no wonder we like it so much.
  • Ego also appears twice in the 5 psychological reasons we share content. From a 2011 New York Times study. “To define ourselves to the world.” That’s ego.“To achieve self-fulfillment.” That’s ego.
  • An animated GIF photobooth from Fader Fort at SXSW. Link: How did Converse get thousands of people to share something with their logo on it? They piggybacked on the ego—we like sharing media of ourselves.
  • Intel’s Museum of Me. [Click image to run video]What a powerful way to connect with consumers. Intel gave them a new way to relive their lives, as seen through FB. And guess what? People shared their own videos like crazy.
  • On the left, the Dachis Social Business Index. Rankings are powerful. It ranks businesses against each other in terms of social business presence. It gives them data about their performance, and keeps them coming back to see the changes. On the right, my Klout score. Trendlines and scores are powerful. Klout keeps you coming back to check on your social influence.
  • Social proof is a mental heuristic that tells us to do what others are doing. In social, it tells us that big numbers convey influence. “If so many people are viewing Lauren’s profile, maybe I should too.” Giving people something to be proud of…or brag about. LinkedIn sent out these emails to their top 5% (10 million users) and 1% (2 million users). Made it easy to brag with pre-filled social posts. Many did. It was annoying.
  • TheAdAge Power150. Originally a list of the top 150 marketing blogs. Grew to more than 3,000. Their promise: Connect your blog’s data, and see where you rank. Master stroke: Auto-generated HTML badge that for you to embed on your blog. Guess where it links? Yep. Back to the AdAge Power150 page.
  • This guy on the left actually got a Mitt Romney face tattoo. That’s the ultimate social currency. The logo on the right is from Jantzen, a swimwear company. It was the first time a logo appeared on clothing. That’s social currency, too. Any time you like a page or a page’s post, you’re participating in social currency.
  • These are the top 10 Bazaarvoice blog posts of 2012. Notice that 3 of them (orange text) are interviews with interesting people (who have large networks and significant influence). One of them (blue text) was a guest post from an external blogger from Booz & Company. These formats are easy and effective. Everyone likes to share something that makes them or their company look good.
  • Companies have ego, too. Because they’re made of people. And people want to please their bosses, their shareholders, their colleagues, etc. In the top example, I quickly wrote a recap of a NYT study that was unveiled at a conference I attended. @NYTimesComm tweeted it and send tons of traffic to our blog. In the bottom example, a Facebook exec spoke at our conference. It was a great talk, and as soon as I blogged about it, Facebook shared it on Twitter, on Facebook, etc. It was one of the highest traffic days in Bazaarvoice history. Why? Because both posts made the people at their respective companies look good.

Egomania! How ego makes marketing better Egomania! How ego makes marketing better Presentation Transcript

  • Flickr CC photo credit: Joi
  • Q: IS THIS REALLY NEW?Flickr CC photo credit: D.u.m.b Robo/BAKErsville (left) Kathleen Waters Photography (right)
  • Flickr CC photo credit: Sanjay
  • Flickr CC photo credit: Christopher.MichelEgo: everyone has one.Neither bad nor good.Justhuman.The best marketingtouches somethinghuman, like theego.
  • FORMS OF EGO• Self-importance• Self-esteem• Self-image• Vanity• Pride• EnvyFlickr CC photo credit: Hey Paul Studios
  • 1. To bring valuable / entertaining content to others2. To define ourselves to others & to receive social validation3. To strengthen & nourish our relationships4. To achieve self-fulfillment (“We enjoy getting credit for it.”)5. To advocate for beliefs, causes, entitiesSource: “The Psychology of Sharing”(The New York Times, 2011)Ego drives 2 of 5 sharingmotivations
  • EGO CAPITALSelf-reflectionSocial proof & statusImage creation & cultivationAnything that defines you positively, ormakes you feel good about yourself.Personal insights &comparisonFlickr CC photo credit:liz_com1981
  • SOCIAL CURRENCY“…the degree to which consumers share a brand or information about a brand withothers…”–Vivaldi Partners
  • THE EGO CYCLE Create and distribute egocapital in ways that bringothers back to the sourcewhile building socialcurrency.I make youIook / feel goodYou share itwith friendsThey want tolook / feel good
  • EGO CYCLE IN ACTION1. Klout makes me feelgood2. I share it w/ friends3. They sign up / in
  • BLOGGING & THE EGO1. Top 4 cringe-worthy things brands dowhen creating content2. Beat showrooming by being theshowroom3. A social love story: how Ken wonBarbie (and customers) through paid,owned, and earned media4. If content is king, then visual content isqueen5. Use your brain: Why marketers need tounderstand neuroscience1. Catalysts of the Social-IndustrialRevolution2. The omnichannel appetite grows. Canyou feed it?3. Interview: How the NFL’s HoustonTexans use social to grow a youngbrand into a powerful franchise4. The future of TV ads: productplacement, second screenexperiences, and freedom frominterruption5. Advertising reborn: 3 tips forsuccessful ad campaigns goingforwardINTERVIEW GUEST POST
  • SUMMARY• Motivations don’t change. Opportunities do.• Ego motivates everyone. EVERYONE!• People share to make themselves look and/or feel good• Ego capital is whatever makes someone look and/or feel good• Image creation & cultivation• Self-reflection• Personal insights & comparison• Social proof & status• Companies have egos, too!• Ego-based blog content• Interviews• Guest posts• List posts
  • SPEAKING OF EGO (MINE)Check out my book onAmazon (lots more aboutego)Visit my websiteFollow me: @be3d