Friday, January 14, 2011
Do you like me? Or do you “like me”, like me?
I read a great quote the other day about biggest challenge for marketers today - How to turn "like" in to "act"? At face value seems straightforward, how can I take customers who like what I do, and take them one step further and have them act on it by telling others. It's not a new idea, but with the emergence of social media, "liking" something on the surface has never been easier, but because of this, convincing someone to act has never been more difficult. I believe this becomes a question of how to create passion in your user base.
As a teenager I had dreams of becoming a musician, an artist. I am lucky since what I do for a living still allows me some creative freedom. Sometimes at a dinner party I'll default to telling people that I'm a writer when asked the dreaded "what do you do?" question. This is kind of true, and much easier to explain than telling them I work in product marketing. I do write as part of my job and it does allow me a bit of artistic expression. And that's the key - Art creates passion, both for the creator and the audience.
I think in my line of work there is an opportunity to inspire greater passion and engagement in a user community. The content that you build your marketing around - the story you tell the world, and how you tell that story.
Pablo Picasso said "Art is the elimination of the unnecessary". I love that quote and I think it can be applied to content marketing.
It takes a lot of courage to take the unnecessary away in marketing content and just tell people in few words what it is that you do. Buzzwords, extra syllables, and extra adjectives all serve to shield the core message away from an audience. I think it shows a tremendous respect for your audience if you simply get to the point. As Picasso said, this is the way to elevate what you do to art. Art, and respect, a combination to build passion, and action.
Here is one of my favourite writing tools. It's fantastic for a sanity check on anything that I write. Overuse of buzzwords. Words that are too long. Too many words. All flagged. There are other similar tools out there, and in the online world there is even a metric called the Gunning fog index to measure this. So with the problem recognized and tools available, why don't more writers use them?
At the end of the day, do you like me or do you "like me" like me? Perhaps by being honest with you, it can be the latter, and maybe you'll even be inspired to do something about it…