A social platform without content is like a glass without wine. (And yes, the glass enhances the body of the wine, so you should use the right glass.)(Not to mention, bad wine, like bad content, will leave the drinker with a bad aftertaste.)
“Content marketing is the only marketing that’s left.” Seth Godin, 2008 i’m quoting this guy seeking your validation, but you’ll understand why this is ironic later on...
why content marketing?• It focuses on the customer’s needs• it creates and sustains long term bonds• it encourages sharing and word of mouth• it cuts through the noise• it’s more fun for both you and your customers• you can see the impact instantly• people aren’t listening to/believing/giving a darn about advertising anymore
good content informs, listens & responds, tells astory, entertains and enhances your customers’lives.
here are some examples (myfavorite little company who usescontent brilliantly + two of myown works of content art) ...
ﬂickr for on the road google+ hangouts for live/coverage of the tour interactive broadcastinginstagram hashtagsencourage audience soapbox for great participation policy ideas
the dryer, moreformulaic part of thispresentation...
types of content PRODUCT BRAND (that thing you are selling + the (how it will change your life/how you facts: who, what, when, where, identify with the product) how) the balance of these content types depends on your audiences preference LIFESTYLE COMMUNITY (associated common threads - ie. (highlighting your customers, your holidays, current events, etc) vendors, your employees)but if you are spending most of your time onthis, you are using cheap tricks and it won’t sustain...even Oreo will get old soon. ;)
magical content needs to be:• consistent (pick a schedule and stick to it as • quality (means more than a fancy camera and close as possible) set...means you give your audience an experience)• frequent (some platforms require more frequency than others - I’m not talking 5 • evolving (improving every single day) posts/day...but don’t post every few months) • authentic (not manufactured authentic.• balanced (how much are you selling and how authentic authentic) much are you listening?) • /have personality (don’t be a machine or a• interesting (goes without saying) PR bot)• relevant (do you know your audience? do you • positive (positivity always wins. defensiveness know your own brand?) loses)• pro-active (understand the trends and needs • right for the platform (don’t cross-post of your audience before they happen) unless it’s applicable. PLEASE)• reactive (take feedback with a grain of salt. • awe inspiring (when you can, inspire and take listen. improve) it to the next level.)• interactive (get in there and have • GOAL ACHIEVING (at the end of the day, conversations) doesn’t matter how awesome you do, if you aren’t achieving your goals, you need to rethink your strategy)
learn plan too many people get hung up here + even more people start here scratching their heads. truth is...you need to plan to fail. plan a few weeks out with some ideas from research...test them. be consistent. see what works and what doesn’t. and remember...it takes time. keep your eyes and ears open for opportunity and listen more than anything in the ﬁrst few months.listen post
case study: luxy hair vs. traditional beauty brands888,355 subscribers126M+ video views zero advertising $$
how did they grow this channel?1. consistency - they committed to posting a video each week2. relevancy - they started by watching trends - what their potential audience liked/wanted (oscar hair?), then as feedback came in, they answered requests3. balanced - they do not make this about their extensions, but if you want those quadruple braids, it helps to use them! ;)4. interactive - they acknowledge their audience (thanking individuals for suggestions)5. quality - they take time to create great content. yes. it looks good. but it’s warm and genuine, too.
and the traditional beauty brands? a custom YouTube template like this costs $50,000 in advertising (because it’s Canadian) majority paid for high views low subscribers a custom YouTube mostly paid for template like THIS costs $200,000+ in advertising(average 90% paid)
how did they f&*k it up?1. (over) produced a bunch of adsvideos up front to throw up over a campaign period.2. didn’t do much to listen. hired an outside ﬁrm to do ‘community management’ which consisted more of management than community.3. threw a bunch of money at the adsvideos so they’d look like they were super popular4. focused solely on product, themselves and their own needs (screw the customer, she is there to buy my product!)5. thought quality meant high-paid fashion models and celebrities and HD cameras...didn’t think about what the ‘new’ quality means. don’t care, really.
lots of people ask me, “but, Tara,what brands do it well?” and insteadof giving you the same list of 5companies you’ve already heard ofand are getting tired of hearing of, letme offer this additional metaphor...
are you a are you a fox?hedgehog? https://www.etsy.com/listing/60007735/woodland-animal-pair-hedgehog-and-fox
best at getting best at cushy, highly HEDGEHOGS FOXES content + paid corporate social era marketing! brand job! severelyreasons why foxes leave Focus in on one thing Look at lots of different things misunderstood and undervaluedthose jobs or in corporate drink heavily america Take a new approach to every Like formulas situation which is why very very Learn from others, but say, “It few brands Mimic what others are doing ‘get it’ depends” a lot when asked what (“best practices”) is the best way show me a successful Specialized, stalwart, stubborn, Multidisciplinary, adaptable, self- corporate social campaign and I’ll order-seeking, conﬁdent and critical, tolerant of complexity, show you a big, ass ad budget ideological. cautious and empirical. behind it. May seem to people to be a little Seek out information to support scattered...not ever *quite* beliefs. satisﬁed. Old school traditional marketing Emerging social era of way of thinking. marketing way of thinking.
here is a great example of thoseunemployable foxes that are doingit right...outside of corporateamerica...
In less two years: 945,392 subscribers 142M+ video views $0 advertising...make a living on YouTube ad revenues
how do they do it?1. work their friggin tails off - they were either ‘on’ and ﬁlming or editing the entire time I saw them.2. ﬁlmed everything they did and made it interesting because they were interested in it3. were ruthlessly critical of their own work - always improving, listening to feedback and growing4. hardly planned anything - took advantage of the moment5. pumped out content like a factory - but with a great deal of respect for their audience (asking them what they wanted)
when asked about the secret sauce, Roman said something tothe tune of:“if you start using rules, you stop using yourinstincts.” (actually, it was more like, “that’s a dumb question. we just do stuff and some stuff works and some stuff doesn’t, but we learn from it and don’t follow any stupid formulas. Just our guts. Formulas are for out of date marketers who have lost their common sense.” but my interpretation is snappier. ;)
how to hone your instincts + become foxier• Put down the content calendar, the Seth Godin book and any blog post that lists best practices.• Stop thinking of your audience as consumers. They aren’t sitting with index ﬁngers hovering over the like button, eagerly awaiting your next witty post. It’s your job to earn their attention.• Get outside of your industry and your comfort area. Talk to strangers. Read books about stuff that has nothing to do with your work or industry.• Let go of fear. Don’t be afraid to fail. Embrace criticism. Lose control.• When you fall on your face, celebrate it. You just learned something. rinse and repeat until you are completely lost. then get drunk + write insane babble (don’t publish it online). read it sober. you may start to see an inkling...
the truth is: there is no magical content wand.there is only authenticity, hard work, trial and error, consistency, humility, empathy, passion, desire and love. go ahead and pay for it if you want, but what you are buying isn’t real and comes at a higher cost than you think. if you want real magic, put that money into making a better product and spend more time and effort on becoming a fox. hone your instinct. love your customers. don’t think of it as a content marketing strategy, think of it as the most delightfulthing in the world because you get to interact with the people who can help makeyour product better. this is the world’s best, most interesting, most accurate focus group. and it’s free. now that’s magical.