Content marketers tend to attack the work like kids at a sundae bar – scooping up as many toppings as they can to have the most or best creation. Avoid the ice cream sundae syndrome with these steps inspired by Twitter’s founder.
Thanks to my friend and uber-curator Cendrine Marrouat I found this excellent Content Marketing Institute post about the nature of content marketing revealed by startup master Ev Williams.
I agree the Ev Williams quote is an important piece of startup Zen, but find the post's laboring application to content marketing strained. I do agree we content / Internet markets have the shinny lure syndrome.
We (marketers) are like hungry trout clustered together in a fast moving stream darting out for the next new bait an action made all the more frenzied by its proximity to the judging chorus of other trout. Truth is rarely so shinny, easy to digest and so hard to throw off.
Truth is listening + learning + bold risk taking = success. Listening to customers has never been easier or done do badly. Listening thanks to our mobile / social / connected world is EASY to do and remains hard to BELIEVE.
Listening must be matched with learning. Learning too has never been easier or harder to believe. We SEE the patterns, hear the customer and yet we do not SEE or understand. As good as the post is it also provides an example into our greatest problem.
Content marketing is flawed. Content marketing speaks too much ans listens too little. Content Marketing hasn't received Mark Schaefer's Content Shock memo (http://www.businessesgrow.com/2014/01/06/content-shock/ ).
We marketers can't get there (sustainable online community) from here (content marketing). The challenge in creating an "institute" is the isolation and over emphasis such emphasis creates.
Agree Easier Than We Think
The beautiful thread the CMI post picks up from Ev Williams quote is business and life isn't as HARD as we imagine or think. Find a human desire, preferably one that has been around a long time, and use modern technology to make it easy and cool such as:
Need A Ride - Uber
Want to buy online instead of going to the mall - Amazon
Don't want to wait for your car in the cold - FlashValet
Social connection without computers - Android & iPhone
Social Connection - Facebook, Twitter GPlus
I would modify Ev's statement a tad:
Find a human desire and use modern MOBILE technology to make it easy and cool.
Williams "technology" was heavily weighted toward mobile, but at Curagami we see an increasing trend - cool isn't cool without some mobile aspect. Mobile First is becoming a more important statement than it original UI intent. If you are creating ANYTHING new it better play amazing on a smartphone or life will be harder.
Recently I purchased a wireless speaker from Amazon. The speaker is cool and I like having good sound when I travel. The speaker is controlled by an app on my phone.
Here's the killer thing to understand - the app DOESN'T DO ANYTHING that buttons on the speaker don't do better, but the app does NOTHING in a very cool way AND the app ties the speaker to my phone.
That tie means the speaker doubled its cool enough so that I'm mentioning it here. WITHOUT the app no way I mention it. With the app, the app that adds NOTHING, the package is cool enough to mention.
SO, lesson is find a DESIRE (by listening to customers), wipe some cool tech on it, listen to customers some more and don't forget if whatever you are making or marketing doesn't play on a smartphone then it won't exist (soon).
Thanks to @Cendrine Marrouat - cendrinemarrouat.com for curating a great post my way :). Marty