It’s All Been Said Before, But No One Has Had Your Version
What needs to be said has already been said, but no one has had your version.
It is a question I have been asked twice in the past two weeks, so now gives a chance to put my version when it comes to creating content that you probably know has been done somewhere else.
That question goes, ‘I’m a bit nervous as there is nothing new to say in my industry.’
The reason I am giving this attention as this creates a sense of fear as people build momentum by thinking that they are going to be called out by someone else for picking up on a particular topic they are covering.
Nothing Is New, But It’s All Different
In the particular space of marketing, it’s all been said before; we just put our own interpretation to it.
Looking for something that has the marketing/PR crossover, then check out Trevor Young. Want a strategic overview for how to master content marketing, then go to the Content Marketing Institute. If you are looking for someone that helps you focus your work on what matters to your audience, then check out Ian Rhodes. If you are looking at a way to find your story, then check out Valuable Content. If you are looking at connection in the digital space, then I really like what Chris Lee is producing at the moment.
Naturally this has to follow on with, if you are looking for a place that highlights why you need to grow within the spaces that are yours, you have come to the right place on the web.
Seth Godin highlighted in a recent article that the part in marketing that is missed is, “where you show up, regularly, consistently and generously, for years and years, to organize and lead and build confidence in the change you seek to make.”
Be A Radio Station
This is the way that I look at it. Think of yourself as a radio station.
My station by default is Talk Sport. I tune into it for a perspective.
I’ll know the facts; the scores from the afternoon are irrelevant, as I’ll already know them. I’m not bothered about the news. If I wanted that, there are better stations to listen to and would listen to Radio 5 more. I listen because I enjoy the opinion from others within a sport that I have an affiliation with (it’s 95% football coverage).
This is exactly the approach that we need to be taking as businesses and apply this approach to what we create and distribute.
Real engagement is when other people are part of the discussion (blog, podcast, video) that you are curating, not someone who has decided to follow you on Instagram. If you can do it on a consistent basis and do it with generosity, then people will respect you and come back for more.
It doesn’t matter how many related businesses (or radio stations) are out there, people know what they are going to get when they tune into your channel. For instance within my local area I have a choice of 48 different radio stations from the World Service to reaching a mid life crisis and listening to Kiss.
I’m not bothered with 99% of the channels available; I just stick to the small few that mean something to me.
In order to become listened to and to grow audience, those who can flout the rules, ignore those around them and continue to do things their own way, will be the most valued.
Why be some tin pot local radio station that plays it Coldplay safe, when you can create your own rules and play Car Seat Headrest (Teens of Denial is my favourite album of the year so far reference).
Not Being Right Is Ok
You don’t have to be right; you just have to stand by what you believe in. I know that I’m not right most of the time, but I would rather take a side of the road and move quickly over to it, rather than stand in the middle and panic about what is coming head on.
This is why we disassociate with politicians, as they don’t commit to anything. The only thing that grows is mistrust.
Labour MP, Gloria De Piero looked at why people do not associate with politicians. Everything boiled down to not understanding people and avoiding difficult questions, rather than looking to answers to everyday problems. Become distant from your audience, your audience go elsewhere.
Whilst every space becomes rammed with a message for someone else to take away, what they can’t do is create your narrative.
All you are doing is adding a filter to the world and a perspective that you have taken.
If you can create continuity, you can make an impact.
When you find your version (based on fact, experience and opinion) you can start to focus on results and the elements of doing work that makes an impact based on the voice you find.
The mistake many businesses make is in the disconnect. I have seen it with my very own eyes. People are becoming cogs and checking a to do list. A boss instructs, ‘can you produce an article related to the business’ someone comes back with three articles on the business and they are distributed/promoted. The company moves on. The article has no power, no resonance and swims its way back into the world of content nausea.
When you are consistent within a channel that you can build traction with and a slant that is your own, no matter how many times it has been done before, such as ‘why 2007 up to 2016 is always the year of digital’, you can start to measure impact.
This is why we exist in business is to make an impact, not self-assurance when someone likes a tweet.
Where Are You Going?
I know it sounds twee, but in order to create content that people want, you have to know who the people are (coming back to why people don’t trust politicians). When you know whom the people are who pay attention, then you can mould the slant you provide.
From a personal perspective, what started as generic marketing waffle back in 2012 is now more focused on a content/owned media approach for businesses where I like to present a helpful side to the people who need it.
Look at it this way, there is a massive audience out there (even within a local perspective) that others within your industry are not reaching. Creating content that helps people find and associate with you, is the most powerful communications tool that you have today.
Lets Round Up
It is time to perfect what you know. When you find your perspective on things, you recognise that you can reach people like never before, in terms of making an influence in the early stage of the buying process and help potential customers to navigate a process. When you do that and your perspective takes centre stage, new business is gained via people who already trust you.
If your industry has already walked through a well worn path, no one has seen your route that goes a bit off the edges and you get a bit dirtier, but it always leads to the place where people want to interact and be part of something that has meaning.
Just because it’s been already been said, you say it, you own it.