To continue our series on key learnings from Future M by MITX, today’s blog post will focus on what we learned about generating really great content.
1) Drop the Hard Sell
When developing content, it is important to take the sales pitch out of the equation. A good way to ensure that you are not bothering the consumer with unwanted selling is to offer options for the types and frequency of content that they would like. If you push too hard with a straight sale, you are guaranteed to lose the connection to the consumer. We kept this in mind when partnering with D’Angelo to create “Meatations,” a series of video content for the client to post on their social sites. At the end of the day, the real power of content comes from combining the trust you have earned from your consumer with content that is fun, relevant and useful for them. If they feel like you get what they want then you are way more likely to get a sale – without having to ask.
2) Don’t Hide the Ball
Authenticity is so important when it comes to the success of content, so be clear on your objectives. Consumers will view your company as deceptive if you hide your true intentions, especially when that intention is to sell a product or promote a brand. In the world of social networking transparency is critical because consumers are not shy about company shaming if they find out you are being sneaky.
3) Be True to Your Strengths
Know what your brand stands for and use it to your advantage. A great example of this comes from GE, who created a nerd revolution with its content based around wind turbines. GE knew for a niche product like this that leaning in on their “inner nerd” would not only be authentic but it would be attractive to their target. Had GE tried to gain attention using cat videos, they may have generated some short-lived buzz with people who don’t actually understand their core product offering. If you can connect your expertise to what the customer wants, you can develop a strong following of engaged users.
4) Share Your Knowledge
When you were young, you parents probably told you that sharing is caring. Well, it’s no different with content. If you have an insight that can benefit society, the industry, or a small niche of people, then share it. Organizations need to abandon the mindset of keeping valuable information to themselves for your own benefit or out of fear of competition stealing your secrets.
Volvo was ahead of their time when they developed the three-point seatbelt that secured both the upper and lower parts of the body. While they could have patented and kept this innovation to themselves, they instead shared it with their competitors to help make the road a safer place. And from that day on, built their entire business on their commitment to consumer safety. You can achieve better results when you are perceived as an innovator within the industry.
5) Content is Second to Distribution
Having great content is very important, but if you are not getting it in front of the right people at the right times it will never work for your brand. Taking the time to develop your distribution strategy is just as important as taking time to generate the content ideas themselves.
The world of content is noisier then ever before with brands increasing their budgets and focusing more of their time and energy on this new means of connecting with the consumer. But before you leap off into the world of content creation take some time to really think about your strategy, think about who you want to reach and what you really want them to know about you. Otherwise you may end up missing out on the opportunity to build deeper and more meaningful relationships with your consumer.