Conversation and context, the two C’s before content
When you’re talking to someone, the context often serves as a bit of common ground to start the bonding; online the only thing you have in common for sure is that you are human and sharing a particular situation. If someone wants knew that they wanted a particular product then they would already be scouring the interweb looking for it. But why should anyone buy from your business? Why is it that I should spend my free time which is typically designated for entertaining YouTube videos engaging with your business?
Simply put, there’s this giant marketing man standing on a rock shouting emphatically, “Are you not entertained?!”
No… I’m not, and neither is your target market.
Here’s why, that post may simply provide no value to my life.
When AMC converses about, say, the latest episode of the Walking Dead I tend to pay attention. That kind of engagement gets you invited into my living room, to use a traveling salesman analogy. The guy who shows up at my “door” trying to sell me supplements just because I do Crossfit just doesn’t have a clue; and he’s staying out in the cold.
Curate content around your target demographic with genuine passion, not just the intent to sell. If you want an example just check out REI’s Instagram feed. Long story short, they throw out some of the most beautiful scenery in the country which gives me a far more compelling reason to go backpacking than spam about a sale on Kelty tents.
People don’t buy products, people buy better versions of themselves.
To quote @jasonfried, “‘Here’s what our product can do” and “Here’s what you can do with our product” sound similar, but they are completely different approaches.”
Bloggers, your content is your product
If you’re a blogger, your product is your content. Creating the proper context to leverage your tribe is crucial to building a community around your brand. As a blogger you have to use statistics on your previous posts to know what will likely succeed with your audience.
One of the biggest time saving strategies is to stop trying to schedule every update at a specific time, try using Buffer to keep your workflow streamlined and your content distribution regulated. Working smarter in the day to day operations allows you to put more time into being a person and less time into maintaining the distribution chain.
If you want to get into depth on the topic click here, but basically your Facebook presence needs to be uniform and very visual to the point it feels like your website or blog is translated into Facebookland.
If your content is prepared for the audience, then the hard part is nearly over. Obviously tagging and back linking properly within your blog can create some SEO benefits, but what some bloggers forget is to include keywords in tweets and Facebook posts. Search engine optimization, in and of itself, can help push organic reach within the Facebook EdgeRank algorithm.
For instance, if you were writing about the new iPhone, there’s quite a lot of clutter on the day of the announcement, but using a catchy title referencing the iPhone and something to do with the huge U2 album announcement might push your content further organically than otherwise.
Weren’t we just talking about a brand being a person?
Yes, yes we were. People do these same things in conversation without even thinking about it. Remember those Instagram photos? When you show people pictures at any social event, or in any conversation you typically tend to curate those around what you believe they will enjoy. Content and sharing it on social are no different.
Pushing your content shouldn’t be the only thing that your blog accomplishes, you tribe needs a place to connect and even third party causes to unite around. The Chive is a popular American blog/site that has no apparent purpose at first, yet the tribe unites around charity and random acts of kindness almost as if that was the intent of the site to begin with.
Context is as important as content when trying to connect with people
Being human means caring about things other than selling product
Make people feel good, about their choices and about your content
Schedule, schedule, schedule, this leaves time to deal with people
Content and product can be the same thing, it’s all a matter of perspective.
Facebook can be a pain, pay for it and deal with it properly
Link up! Use links to direct users to the rest of your content as they so choose
SEO is your friend, use it like you would a snazzy one-liner at a party
Cut through the clutter
Unite your people
If any of these things are an afterthought in producing your blog, then you’re probably going to experience some growing pains. Ask yourself why anyone else should care, first and foremost, and chances are you’ll be able to answer all of the most important questions.
Article by Mike Beauchamp
Mike provides social media training and consulting for brands, and has more than 7 years of experience in the industry. You can get in touch on Twitter for more great social media and technology insights, as well as good conversation. Be sure to say hello!