When talking with plenty businesses (or their marketing teams), what I hear most is “so, this content marketing thing is great, but my CEO demands leads, and sales!” And sure. If you’re not creating content that leads to a potential business transaction, then it’s not content marketing. It’s writing. But how does one create content that’s worth sharing?
People Share Entertainment
Look at the picture that starts off this post. It’s kinda small so I’ll show it to you again:
(Can’t see an image? Come Here)
The top post is me sharing my content, an interview with Seth Godin for my radio show. It got six whole shares. Below it is a funny video. That got 243 shares in the first few hours. Look at this one from a couple of days ago:
I shared something a lot of people like (music stuff) and someone doing something interesting (guitar playing in one take) and that’s what gets shared.
People Share Emotions
There’s no end of “cute dog” and “cute cat” photos on the net. There’s also “grumpy cat” :
People love to share emotions: excitement, fear, happiness, sadness, outrage, anger. Those spread really easily. Jealousy – that’s a great one. I was once told by a very smart man that the three emotions that rule the event business are fear, greed, and disruption. He’s not wrong. Any event that lingers as a strong and powerful event is built on those emotions. TED, in case you’re about to argue with me, is built on disruption, plus greed (greed to be in the room with those brilliant minds).
The question becomes: does your content have an emotion? Oh hint: “joy” is rarely the emotion people share.
People Share Helpful Material (but not as much)
My most helpful posts are rarely shared. Know what is? The posts that are huge lists, or that are too long to finish in one sitting, or the ones that compile a lot of data in one place for you. And here’s where this piece takes a bit of a turn in the road.
Sharing Is Important, But It’s Not Everything
There’s a two stage mindset to getting content marketing right. You have to create material that someone wants to share (part A) and that material has to find its way to your buyer (part B), who then buys something (okay Part C).
The trick is this: The people who share (A) are not often the people who buy (B), so it’s like figuring out B2B marketing in a way. How do I get Calvin Lee interested in my piece so he shares it with his tribe? How do I convince Mary Ulrich that something is useful to her? That’s the A game.
The B game is getting that content to be both interesting for Calvin and Mary but also something that DJ wants to buy. How do I write something or create a video or make a podcast that draws in your attention, entertains you, gives you an emotion, convinces you to share so that someone else will buy, and then make it so good that the someone who should buy will actually take an appropriate next action?
Does that sound easy to you?
We’ll talk about this more in the coming days.