Customers Don’t Want Your Content

Key to content marketing: help customers become smarter.

While lots of people (including me) call it “content marketing,” I’ve yet to meet anyone who says they want content. Contentment, yes, but content?

People want knowledge, insight, expertise, wisdom, to laugh, to be entertained.

People want to know how to move a Google doc into a Google Drive folder or help in deciding which among 20 different paper shredders should they buy or where’s the closest place they can order breakfast food for supper.

People want to learn new things, lose weight, be better at bocce, or know what bocce is or have someone explain to them  how no-one they know likes Donald Trump but he leads in the polls.

florida-whiteboardGive people such knowledge and you won’t need to pay for expensive infographics. (The late Tim Russert didn’t need high-tech graphics to make people smarter.)

So here’s how to become great at using content to increase revenues, create long-term customer relationships and many other things you’d rather tell the boss about that how many pieces of content you’ve posted:

Stop thinking about this thing where companies use content in their marketing as “content” or “marketing.” Focus  rather on developing as many ways as possible that enable you to help your customers become smarter.

They’ll love you and you’ll become marketer of the year.

(Sidenote: Whenever I write something like this, I feel the need to credit Doc Searls. He makes me smarter all the time.)

A Lesson: The value of content to a business is more than its role in marketing

The value of content to a business is more than its role in marketing.

(Via the Idea Email), a company started by a woman actually named Lynda (unlike, say, Mavis Beacon) who is now in her 60s, became a $1.5 billion business unicorn by teaching people who are customers of other companies how to use the products and services made and sold by those other companies.

Continue reading on (…)

Direct-to-customer media was the promise of the internet. What happened?

From the current Hammock Idea Email: “As a marketer, you should be focused first and foremost on developing media and content that serve your customers, that add value to your products by helping fulfill the promise made when the customer purchased them. Everything else, all the social media and SEO investment, should be viewed as support for the only media you own and control: the content that connects you directly to your customer.”

(Continue reading: “Idea: Don’t Rein In New Marketing Opportunities
With an Old Marketing Strategy”…

Hey, General Mills Lawyers: Better Eat Your Wheaties

(See update at the end of the post.)

While I typically support efforts to add sanity to our overly-litigious culture that seems to encourage anyone to sue anybody for anything, I don’t think the lawyers at General Mills thought through the type of social media firestorm they would ignite by adding language to the company’s website alerting customers they can’t take legal action against the company if they’ve done things like download a coupon, enter a contest or, if read literally, liked on Facebook one of the company’s products, say, Cheerios or Wheaties or Macaroni Grill or Fruit Loops.

Read more “Hey, General Mills Lawyers: Better Eat Your Wheaties”