By: Tommy Puglia – Bayshore Solutions Digital Marketing Manager
I hope everyone has been able to soak in the last 2 days of Content Marketing World (Blog posts for Day 1 here and Day 2 here). Today is the final day for Content Marketing World’s events, and we were honored to have Kevin Spacey, one of this generation’s best actors, end with the final keynote.
Now before I go on to the meat of today’s talks, you may be asking, why Kevin Spacey, at a Content Marketing Conference? When has he ever worked in this field? Well, I thought the same! But 2 prevalent subjects rise when you think a little more:
- The rise of and popularity of House of Cards on Netflix has given rise to unprecedented content online. This is the first show to really perform that is not on a Television Network.
- As Mr. Spacey said, we are connected by our main goal: To connect with our audience.
More on the man later, so while I have you here, let’s get on to the key points from the main sessions:
Breaking Down Barriers
Shane Snow kicked off the first session with the art of storytelling and the next level of content marketing. This continues a theme you might have seen on the last 2 posts:
Content marketing is MUCH MORE than copy writing.
This concept is going to be ingrained in everybody reading this before I get back to Florida – sound good? Good.
What goes into great content, be it a blog, video, or article? You must have excellent, planned, and honest storytelling. The way you shape, form, and manifest your contact to others is going to have profound effects on the reaction and engagement you receive from it. Who does the storytelling for your brand? Heck, would you even consider your content storytelling? Great content captures people’s emotion and causes us to care about the content. Great stories build relationships. Great content can break down walls to foster a sense of compassion and care.
Why? Humans are programmed for stories. We are also programmed to cut out the fluff, and truthfully, we only are attracted to the content (story) we can relate with. Whoever is telling your story, make sure the story is resonating with your audience. Not only that, but we need to make sure that our content is true. We are built to discern, and any content or story that is not or does not seem believable, is not going to build any sense of care.
“Face Melting” Content Marketing
We had a special treat, with Jason Miller of LinkedIn speaking to us about true content creation that delivers real results. This goes to the theme of storytelling, but Jason claims Content has one job: to Empathize with customers. Stop making mass produced content, and start creating more relevant content instead. Build that empathy!
Not sure what to make of it? Here are 3 steps for good content:
- On-Demand Content: Sense what your customers want, and give them what they want!
- Solution Content: Understand what your customers problems are, and provide relevant solutions.
When I say understand your customer’s problems, not only do I mean the very problem, but think deeper of what they feel with that particular problem.
What kind of frustration does that problem cause?
Create that story first before claiming to have the answer.
- Transcendent Content. Henry Ford said it best: “If I asked people what they wanted, they would have asked for a faster horse!”. This is the Steve Jobs area, of giving people what they really want before they know they want it.
Ok, I hear you: “Tommy, but someone has already done my idea!”. Then here is the more basic reply: DO IT BETTER. Make it unique for your brand, your company. Hard Truth: from Cleveland with love.
You also need to think about the content you create as something you can build on, but also as a structure for ongoing content. Let’s call this the “Big Rock”. This is a foundation, and you can create and repurpose multiple pieces of content from this one rock.
3 easy ways to build that rock:
- Create the all-encompassing guide to whatever you want to own as your own. (The problems to solve)
- Having trouble thinking of the big idea? Write 5 relevant blogs of one topic, and then slap it together!
- Flip your case studies on their heads – turn the low hanging funnel content straight to the top.
From this, repurpose your content. We gave the Big Rock analogy, now think of the content as Thanksgiving turkey…. Stay with me.
How many meals of turkey do you have after Turkey Day? Turkey soup, turkey slices, turkey sandwiches… We know how to re-purpose, so let’s do it with our content. There are so many ways to re-purpose and redistribute the Big Rock to make turkey slices (according to Jason, this is EXACTLY how they talk at LinkedIN).
The Next Era of Marketing
Robert Rose, one of the co-founders of Content Marketing Institute, provided an unique spin on the research CMI has been doing and their belief on the next generation of how marketers are defined in their Jobs. Since the 90′s, we have been in the well-known “Relationship Era” of marketing: trying to get likes, engagement, replies – reaching out to people in a way never thought possible for brands and for companies. Not only on websites, but curating content for their most intimate devices; their phones, their reading materials. Instead of Brands being associated with company, Brands have been able to enhance user’s daily life without an actual product.
This is now leading us into the so-called 7th era of marketing – The “Era of Experience”. The buyer’s journey is no longer a guided tour by brands. We spoke about this on Day 2 with Andrew Davis – users have so many materials, apps, and resources as their disposal to make decisions.
For a local restaurant 15 years ago, having a coupon was enough to have a postive influence. Now? The experience online of finding a good pizza joint means everything in a customer’s moment of purchase. What about reviews? What about easy to find directions? This is all part of the user’s journey now, and many things sound out of our control, but really all we need to do is provide the best experience possible during a customer’s journey when they encounter our brand.
I feel like I’ve been in a coma for about twenty years. And I’m just now waking up.
And finally, we end with Kevin Spacey, one of the most famous actors of our time. Acclaimed actor of such movies like American Beauty and Usual Suspects, and currently for the Netflix original House of Cards.
I want to end this blog series with Kevin Spacey’s 3 main parts of any great story – we have talked over and over again throughout this conference about the human element to marketing… And we are speaking of digital marketing still!
At Bayshore Solutions, we are embracing this, and understanding that this is a journey for everyone involved. The time that we NEED to be the most human is now in the digital age, through artful, honest, and captivating storytelling. Through meeting people’s moment of inspirations, to what inspires them, causes emotion to stir, and help create their own identity.
All Digital content, from Twitter to Blogs, are done by real people on the other end. And for every person posting, blogging, and sharing, there is an intention of trying to tell their story, to help become who they are, and even still manifest their own identity. And the worst thing we as the storytellers, brands, and companies can do is treat people as pure numbers at the end of the funnel. We must tell the story first, we must create inspiration and understand their need for identity first. Again, the heart of marketing is our customers.
You the company or you the brand, what is your end goal? It is to provide to your customers. Be that a product or a service, this cannot be left out of your story.
Tommy Puglia, Digital Marketer at Bayshore Solutions
Kevin Spacey’s 3 Elements of Story:
Every Story needs Tension
Build Loyalty by Embracing the Truth
- We are Nothing without our Audience
Tommy Puglia is on the Digital Marketing Team at Bayshore Solutions—a Web Design, Web Development, and Digital Marketing Company.