Are You Outsourcing Passion?
Companies are working extra hard these days to figure out how to turn customers like you and I into passionate, raving fans, or “Brand Ambassadors” online.
The reasoning is often simple- the Social Web is a platform where you and I can potentially elevate a Brand and their products or services, cheaper, and in a more trusting tone than traditional advertising.
Great content inspires us to connect with brands online.
Stuff- in the form of text, images, audio and video, that resonates with us and compels us to share is the gold many companies are panning for… and panning for gold has never been easy work.
It’s why some companies scurry to build Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and blogs, only to watch their streams whither and die on the vine as they struggle to create great content.
Companies may want publishing platforms to start creating and pushing out content, but being in the publishing business is tough work if it’s not inherently in their company DNA.
Publishing great content takes real passion and a nose for news.
Does your company have a journalism department yet?
It would be brilliant if you did, but my guess would be ‘No’.
So it’s no surprise then, in an age where every company is a media company, why so many Brands and organizations are outsourcing the content they create.
They’re just not structured internally to create great content for themselves.
It’s why companies hire ghost bloggers, and pay agencies or “Social Media Consultants” to maintain their social streams. They believe outsourcing this kind of publishing is a more efficient solution to content creation, and allows them to pump out more stuff, more easily.
Here’s the rub.
This approach to content creation is an exercise in quantity, not quality.
The irony being, quality content tends to reach more people and have a longer shelf life on the social web.
Of course, defining “quality” content is subjective, and it comes in many different forms:
- like cat videos.
- or helpful infographics about silly grammar mistakes.
- or brilliantly detailed blog posts about understanding web analytics.
But, there are common threads here – each piece of content mentioned expresses a real passion for their niche, and each has been shared and re-shared like crazy on the web.
Some assumptions that might be holding you back from creating great content.
1. Quantity is the same as frequency and therefore crucial to success.
Yes, a ton of great content being shared consistently on the web is awesome and can spark valuable relationships.
However, a ton of awful content being pumped out consistently is worse than awful, it’s damaging to your Brand.
- Frequency is your friend right up until you become frequently disappointing and irritating to your audience.
2. Content created for the Social Web is always a function of Marketing.
If your company’s blog or social profiles read like thinly disguised advertisements for your products or services, then you’re missing a much larger opportunity to connect with people online.
Sure it’s important to talk about the amazing things your business does at times, but can your content reflect other ways people are benefiting from having a relationship with you?
- Are there opportunities to educate your audience about your industry in a creative way?
- Can you handle some aspect of your customer service?
- Can you publicly recognize the great work one of your business partners has done on your behalf?
How else can you otherwise entertain, inspire or provide value with your content?
The answers are most likely going to come from other corners of your business besides marketing. Seek out passionate people in HR, sales, or accounting for unique perspectives perhaps.
Structuring yourself to be successful on the social web means unearthing and employing passionate people to create your online content.
This should matter to…
- HR teams looking to hire community managers.
- CMO’s sitting across the table from Agencies or “Social Media Experts”.
- Managers considering tasking the twitter feed to an intern.
- Marketers trolling for Brand Ambassadors.
Try not to discount the power in activating passionate people to help tell your story. Armed with great content, they can carry you a long way on their shoulders.