We’re out to prove a point with today’s post: Content, Community, Engagement and Influence are overused terms.
If you think about it, saying that your company or your department needs a “Content Strategy” makes lots of sense. Since everyone is talking about Content, you should be talking about Content, too. (Content with a capital “C,” of course.)
“XYZ Company will use Content to Build Community, Drive Engagement and reach out to Key Influencers.”
Congratulations, that will be $5000. (Actually – we charge $5000 a day for sessions with companies to help them better market their products and services. If this was the result of the day-long session, you’d get your money back.)
If it were that gosh-darn easy to put together a Fill In The Blank Strategy for your company, everyone would be doing it, and you’d see literally thousands of companies out there making things happen with Content, Community, Engagement and Influence. But it’s not, and here’s why:
Developing a Strategy for ANYTHING without an Eye Toward Business Objectives is a Recipe for Disaster.
Your Content Strategy? Guess what, if you’re putting out white paper after white paper, writing countless press releases (or, preferably, using PitchEngine), and doing corporate videos interviewing key executives, there’s your Content. But it’s not your Content Strategy, it’s your Content Tactics.
Building Community is Great! We’re seriously all for it here at Area 224 – yes, we’re building a community around 12 Minute Marketing, and yes there will be more information on that in the days to come. But that community needs a common thread – not just an idea to “build a community.”
The Brand Builder, Olivier Blanchard, has a great piece on Social Media and Social Business Myths. Read them all, but #1 is the one we’ll point you to.
If you’re building a Community around your Awesome Product…Make Sure Your Product is Awesome FIRST.
Engagement is even more puzzling these days. Scott Stratten wrote a book last year called UnMarketing and the subtitle was “Stop Marketing. Start Engaging.” So, magically, everyone did! They stopped Marketing! And they started Engaging! (If you can’t sense the sarcasm there, take a look at my Twitter background. My eldest child asked me the other night “why is there a unicorn on your Twitter background?” For reasons like this, my dear.)
Actually, the story in the UnMarketing book about the guy at the Wynn who stopped his carpet cleaning duties to give a genuinely friendly greeting to Scott and get him to return? Uh, that’s engaging. In that they guy likes what he does, likes people, and genuinely wanted them to enjoy their stay.
Segueing to Influence in 3…2…1…
Does it matter that Scott is an Influencer? Not one iota – and that’s probably the biggest pain in the a** about this whole Content, Community, Engagement, Influence discussion:
Your Own Potential to Influence in Your Business Trumps That of Any External Influencer.
You’re passionate about something. That something gets shown somewhere in your business – now the potential to Influence comes through. Right? Does It?
We’re not going to claim to have all the answers here – we think we’ve built a dynamite Business Marketing and Coaching Course called 12 Minute Marketing, but there’s no way that our course, or any other course out there, is going to do you a bit of good unless you, frankly, give a crap about your business.
So…what’s the point behind the Milk Duds?
There’s a restaurant in Chicago called Lou Mitchell’s. They give out Milk Duds when you leave, after you pay the check. It’s a nice touch.
The Milk Duds are not their Content Strategy. The Milk Duds might help them build Community. The Milk Duds could make them ace a test on Engagement. And hey, Influencers LOVE Milk Duds, right?
It’s the food, the atmosphere, the ambience, the kitsch, all that stuff rolled into a bucket. That’s their Business Strategy.
Avoid the Buzzword Bingo and Focus on Making a Real Difference, on Real Passion.