There are so many media channels available to us. We’ve gone from not being allowed to communicate in any meaningful way to having a hundred Gutenberg presses, a thousand video networks, and a million chances to catch someone’s eye. There are problems with this.
For every new channel you turn on, you’ve set up a little phone, a little bank of cameras, some seats for people to come and observe. Marcel Lebrun from Radian6 used to say, “The social phone is ringing. Is anyone there to answer?” I’m thinking that the social TV network is also waiting to see when the show starts. With a million channels and a million potential touchpoints, where should you spend your time?
The Age Old Answer
The obvious answer is to go where your people are, but this presupposes you know where they are. The other answer used to be to use Rapleaf to find them (but last I knew, Rapleaf was gone). Besides, that answer also presupposes that you have a list of people you know you want to contact. Media doesn’t always work that way. Quite often, we only have a sketch of the person we want to reach. A buyer persona, if we use David Meerman Scott’s language. We know that much, don’t we?
Build a Plan
My communication and media plan has shifted a bunch lately, yet it follows advice similar to what I wrote about in A Simple Presence Framework. The plan I have is similar to older plans, but I’ll give you an updated view:
- Listen – everything I do hinges on listening to people. I do this via my grow bigger ears methodology. This informs me of ideas, of ways to help my audience, of things I could do to help them grow.
- A Home Base – this site, [chrisbrogan.com], is my home base, and will be for the foreseeable future. I very much love Escape Velocity, and hope that it grows to surpass this site, but for the time being, and for the near future, I want to hinge everything around [chrisbrogan.com], so that people know there’s “one stop shopping” on my media message.
- Outposts – My outposts have shifted. I’m finding a little less engagement on Twitter, a little less response. Though it’s far more powerful as a serendipity engine than any other social network I frequent, I’m looking at other places like Facebook and LinkedIn to pick up the slack in my engagement responses.
- Databases – I’m working email marketing hard now. I’m learning new ways to do it. I’m also shifting some of my efforts to content marketing and content products, like my blog topics project. Why? Because this is and always will be where the REAL gold is. The opportunity to make media is wonderful. If you can’t convert it, you’ve got nothing more than wishes.
What Will You Include?
In my case, I use video, text, some audio, webinars, live speeches, ebooks, and more. I use all kinds of different media, but I try to keep it all sorted by channel, not by media type. Know what I mean? I don’t want there to be a “video” place, a “text” place, etc. I want you to come to Kitchen Table Companies to talk small business. I want you to come to Third Tribe Marketing to talk marketing. I want you to watch me at such and such a conference to talk about whatever the theme of that conference is.
But what will YOU include? What will you add to your media? How will it make a difference? We all agree that video supposedly adds to engagement, but what’s your plan with it? Where will you add your off-topic information? How will you blend it all together?
What Do You Think Your Community Needs/Wants?
There are two parts to this planning. You have to address what you want to accomplish, but you also have to take into account what your community wants. In most cases, they want to learn something from you and maybe even be entertained at the same time. On the other hand, you want to make sure you’re positioning your needs and goals in your communications and media plans.
My community comes to me for advice like what you’re seeing above. This post is why you come (or so I have been told). My own thoughts and needs layered onto it suggest that I do a few things while sharing the best of the best with you. One thing I have to do is make sure that my messaging makes sense for the larger story of my businesses. As Human Business Works shifts into representing “business systems for small business,” I have to carry that thread through other things I’m doing in other channels, so that people get the same experience and understanding on all the channels. But, if I do it well, it’s not like you feel that being smashed over your head. Instead, it’s the sense that you have a comfort level with what I represent when you’re consuming what you need. Does that make sense?
Writing the Plan Helps
I’ve found that writing out the plan on paper really helps. I drew a picture of what my goals were, where my community seemed to be, the kinds of people I wanted to attract, and then the methods by which I thought I could attract them.
- New Attractions
From there, I could riff on what had to stay, what had to go, and what I should consider adding. This is how I came to start experimenting with Facebook. I haven’t been a very big fan of it, but right now, I’m pouring some effort into the Blog Topics Facebook community to see what that yields. So far, I’ve had an uptick in subscribers to my newsletter. I’ve also had even more engagement that’s given me more ideas for products and services that I could offer, so I see that as a win.
That’s the trick of it. Once you’ve drawn out the plan, you can see the opportunity.
What’s your communications and media plan? How are you approaching using all this stuff? What are you setting out to do with it? What are you communicating about you and your brand on these channels? What do you hope it yields?