Connection, Not Just Content, As Tomorrow’s Currency
When your content is created for an audience and it resonates with them, it scales.
The answer isn’t producing more content. The answer is finding who your audience is first. When you find your audience, it grows.
Is the content you are creating connecting with others?
As we all become engulfed with the new ‘Hello’ single from Adele on every radio station, it becomes the equivalent of producing the lowest common denominator for a mass market. It’s safe, it connects and within a week everyone knows about it.
However, what if you moved away from trying to have as many slices of the same cake and trying to appeal to as many people as possible but build a powerful direct connection with a niche audience?
Someone Who’s Not For You
Back to Adele. On YouTube she has amassed a massive 6.8 million subscribers, but that is pretty loose change compared to KSI with nearly 11 millions subscribers.
You are probably thinking ‘Who on earth is KSI?’
That’s ok, he’s probably not for you.
However his 2 billion views mean something to the gaming community. It connects and boy, does it scale.
KSI is 22 years old and from Watford and his YouTube videos are a mix of FIFA commentary/tips, challenges, pranks and all wrapped up into the ‘banter’ category.
According to Variety, he is one of the most influential and bankable people according to 13 to 17 year olds (see…this is all about owning a niche). It’s more move over PewDiePie and goodbye Johnny Depp.
Having amassed this following naturally makes him attractive to brands (he was a member of The Sun’s online team at the 2014 World Cup), but more importantly with his ongoing and committed content he has built a loyal audience. When he endorses products to his audience, his audience listens, takes note and reacts.
Whilst everything is built around a channel owned by somebody else (Google), if KSI decided to leave YouTube and set-up via his own website, the audience would follow. They are not there for YouTube, they are there for KSI.
It was this audience that helped position him at number 30 in the charts in March this year with his song, “Lamborghini” and Island are releasing his debut album, “Keep Up” in January 2016. Plus, he has a show lined up at London’s, 02 Islington Academy in December. Great work for someone who built an audience around YouTube videos (that started in 2011) and now creating revenue channels in different spaces.
Lets not also forget his book, I Am A Bellend, released at the end of September.
Please don’t think I’m using this as a platform to sing the praises of someone who I can’t identify with.
He’s still probably not for you, and not for me. KSI represents the Loaded magazine mindset for the Tinder generation. However, I take my hat off to him and what he has achieved by owning his media.
That Link With What YOU Do
I am not here to comment on the output of content, but to highlight that from a centre of gravity (his YouTube channel), he has created satellites that are drawing people back to his space. The satellites represent the sales of books, singles, gigs and albums that all become the gravitational pull back to his primary source (his YouTube channel).
So how does this relate to you?
If you just have one place called a blog and you concentrate purely on this space for your content marketing efforts and that is it, you are probably wasting time.
Your blog can become the main planet with a gravitational pull, but there has to be activity within your solar system.
By activity, I mean a bank of assets that can draw back to the primary space. Whether events, podcasts, videos, reports, email, even print, but created on a consistent basis all form the ongoing content created for an audience that all comes back to a theme of what you stand for.
Ok, it may not be ‘bants’ but the role that you provide to others is to make their lives easier/more knowledgeable. When it comes to buy, you are committed to providing value beyond what you primarily do as a business.
The big point I am trying to make here and using the example of KSI is that more content is not the answer; the answer lies in controlling your network and commanding the media.
You have to understand the environment that you are within and the entire space that you are part of.
That Tiny Space You Have Banked On
A website is a small space to reside within. Perhaps it’s time to showcase what you know and have learnt to others in a more personal way (from the event that you control through to speaking at industry related events). This all comes down to creating a better experience for a customer and also a prospective customer.
This all represents having clarity with a voice that leads to others who will stand by you. I know I tend to use Jimmy’s Iced Coffee as a pretty well worn case study, but this is the kind of approach I mean.
The iced coffee is in the chiller aisle with every other huge brand that has been around for much longer and larger ad budgets, but that’s ok. Jimmy’s Iced Coffee isn’t just about a drink to have mid morning, but people buying into a lifestyle of freedom, not compromising and independence (backed up by the ‘keep you chin up’ #KYCU mentality).
Discovering and sharing your own voice will optimise you.
Whilst the likes of KSI and Jimmy’s Iced Coffee may not necessarily have the B2B link that you are probably looking for, their whole approach is exactly the same.
When you mean something to others and not try to appeal to everyone, you speak to a niche. A connection is then made.
Where we are heading is into a bloody crusade for direct relationships, the moment you succeed is when your content resonates with a distinct audience.
Starting To Round Up
Creating considered content is a huge part of your jigsaw puzzle, but it cannot stand-alone. There is a huge battle for attention that will become ever more dense in 2016.
Your role is to connect and create genuine value for others. If you can do this, then they are on board, no matter who else is fighting to be heard.