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New Marketing Rule: Fight The Urge To Push The Button

Oftentimes, when marketers fail it’s not because of they got the message wrong. It’s because they were too damn lazy to do it right.

Take Sponsored Posts, for instance. Facebook has made them powerful, affordable and so, SO easy.  All you do is click that little “BOOST” button on the bottom right hand corner.  It’s just so tempting, isn’t it?! BOOST your post and all your organic reach problems will go away. BOOST and you never have to say “you’re sorry” in a KPI report.

Sure, there are reasons that Sponsored Posts work but here, elegantly in a single photo, Tom Fishburne illustrates why that kind of thinking is folly:

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Tom has a little lighter touch than I do but then again, I’ve met these types of marketers in real life and its astounding to hear them talk about what they think works with audiences. The fact is that the above illustration demonstrates a critical gap in what marketers want to accomplish and how much energy and thought they are really willing to put in, in order to make that happen.

For instance, what if that Subway post accompanied a sponsored partnership with a weight loss message board.  Yeah, remember message boards? They were social media before media was social.  They still exist and tend to have some of the most on-point opportunities for marketers to engage with target audiences.  The problem is that its nearly impossible to engage as easily in message boards as it is on Facebook.

This is where footwork comes in.  If marketers think about where the conversations occur  and exactly what they can do to bring value to the conversation, they would realize that they can’t just phone it in when it comes to consumer engagement. Producing content, engaging with gatekeepers, crafting sponsorship opportunities in unconventional medium are all examples of things that are a major pain in the a$$.  The thing is that it works!

Time and again, I’ve seen the investment in knowing, understanding and crafting approaches specifically for your audience.  Yes, it takes more time, sometimes more money and definitely more brain power than throwing sponsored messaging at a wall and seeing if it sticks. You know what? So does anything worth having.

So I say to my fellow marketers its time to stop being so lazy. Put the time and effort in and see how that works out for you.

PS: Yes, that BOOST rant was also so I could feature the Ren & Stimpy reference. You’re welcome.

Great Content = Ordinary Products That Do Great Things

These days content and social media managers are a dime a dozen. The challenge is finding one that can not only do the job but bring a unique perspective that helps elevate the content from ordinary to extraordinary.

I’ll give you an example…the following is what I consider a fairly bland, ordinary, check-the-box Facebook update: {PRODUCT} is special. Learn more here about {FEATURE}: {LINK}

Sure, it communicates what the client wants it to communicate but does it really engage with the client/customer? Not really.

Great content, when it comes down to it, is a function of one thing: not just talking about a great product, but a product that does great things.

Take, for instance, my former client Porsche.

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The product is so sexy, such an amazing machine that the team essentially could just post photos all day with no text and beat out most other pages in engagement. As it stands, though, they have a great social team and I had to hunt long and hard to find a post that even resembled a basic one like that.

Your product might not be as sophisticated or as aspirational as a Porsche but damn, what if you thought it performed just as well? What if you talked about what the product could do rather than just its features?

Let’s take an appliance brand, shall we? There’s nothing blander than selling blenders, right? Well, apparently Frigidare proves us wrong:

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What did they do? They talked about the results, not the product itself. Getting the customer to imagine their life with a product or service has always been a staple of great salesman.

What we have to do, as content marketers, is pull our heads out of our asses and think about the great things our products can do. Sure, the examples I gave were quite basic Facebook posts but you can extrapolate that same concept to almost anything.

White Papers, Presentations, Tweets – they can all start down the road to amazing results by asking how does the product do great things.

Next time you’re asked to hire a community manager or even write content yourself ask what great things your product can do and then see what content comes of it.  I’ll guarantee you its going to be better than you think.

Try it and tell me how it goes.

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