I don’t remember the last time I did something without simultaneously thinking about or doing something else. I’m a serial multi-tasker. Who isn’t these days? So last night, as I’m sketching a new website layout and finishing up some keyword research, I was also flipping through my copy of Chief Content Officer Magazine (Content Marketing Institute) and came across an awesome quote from Pam Didner, global integrated marketing manager for Intel, as she was talking about content marketing and social media:
It’s a matter of taking what people care deeply about and finding a way to tell a personalized story for them.
Pam’s quote is wonderful in so many ways because it speaks to every important piece of content marketing and social media. And it gave me another task to add to my list of things to do–blog about it.
So, if you’re struggling with your organization’s content and messaging or are stuck in a social media rut, allow me to break down Pam’s quote for you into bite-sized pieces:
“…taking what people care deeply about…”
Who are your people? Are you sending out messages to a blanket audience or are you customizing your messages and content based on the channels in which they appear (social, traditional, etc.) and who is listening? Tracking who is following you in various spaces, whether Facebook, Twitter, your e-news mailings, is crucial to developing a message around their needs. My Facebook friends are very different from my Twitter followers. Rarely do I ever send the same messages out on both platforms. Procter & Gamble, as an example, develops Facebook pages around its various brands to reach segmented audiences. Its Herbal Essences page gives step-by-step instructional hair styling tips. This isn’t something that would work on its general company page. Research your audience. Know your people.
“…what people care deeply about…”
It’s not what you want them to care about, it’s what they do care about. Think through the eyes, hearts and souls of the people you’re talking to. How do they perceive your organization? What do they care about that may or may not have a direct correlation to what you do? But be careful here. Don’t stretch too hard to make every issue, holiday, special event or child’s birth fit into your messaging. Your audience is smart and they can smell fake sentiment from a mile away. Do what fits naturally.
“…tell a personalized story for them.”
Direct marketers have been doing it for years–sticking your name in the “greeting” line of of an email or direct mail piece. And although this does provide a nice touch, it’s not quite what we’re talking about. Creating a personalized story for your audience takes into consideration the previous two areas: people and perception. It takes into account the type of audience you’re addressing and what they care about–that’s what makes it personalized. Take it one step further and make sure they can find your content in the spaces they hang out. YouTube? Facebook? Your blog? Personalize every aspect of your content even down to where it will be seen. One idea? Develop interactive content where users can input information such as likes, dislikes and profile pictures. Then have that content generate a personalized story for that user. Pam Didner mentioned Intel’s The Museum of Me in her CCO Magazine interview. Another idea? Produce videos that speak to a segmented audience, providing answer to specific questions. Feed My Starving Children’s “What Churches Get From Partnering” is a good example.
If we’re not thinking about who we’re talking to, their feelings and personalized messages, we take a chance on getting lost in the handful of other things they’re trying to accomplish at any given moment in their day. Remember, we’re all multi-taskers. Think about your content and how you’ll cut through the noise the next time you want to engage your audience.
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