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The Role Of The Content Marketer As The Respected Performer

Content Marketing Performer_The ID Group_Content Marketing Consultancy

When it comes to the role of the content marketer, lets make a bigger step up to the stage.

From a recent Talking Content interview with Tom Webster, he highlighted that when it comes to blogging we are now facing a ‘withering torrent of competition for audience,’ meaning it is becoming increasingly harder to be seen and heard. But to become recognised Tom highlights that we need to make our message clear and to do that we have to entertain, challenge thinking and show genuine expertise.

It makes sense, we are now competing with anyone and everyone (even my mum, has taken the leap into Facebook and that ‘friend request’ will never be answered). So rather than treat our audiences as though it’s a lecture theatre on a Wednesday afternoon at 3pm, when the night before it was student night in town and the majority of the audience have switched off after the headline topic of ‘six things you need to do on Pinterest.’

I’ve highlighted that our role as businesses is to now be seen as teachers within our marketplace, but lets add to that ‘performers,’ and taking things further that have proof that they can ‘perform’. It makes sense, look back to your school days, I bet that the teacher you remembered the most (and still probably remember) is the one that kept you captivated and engaged throughout the lessons and they did it with a sense of spirit and gusto and treated the room as more than a place to bury our heads in textbooks and clock watching. They were able to show a passion and deeper knowledge about the subject they were teaching.

The PERFORMER

I realise that while many people treat 140 characters as a space to come across in a monotone, ‘look this way please’ and ‘click on this bit.ly link’, it is a space to express ourselves and to have the ability to build an audience in a social space where the opportunity is everyone to see you with personality and a bit more than a one way traffic of information with no soul. We only have to look at the World Cup when brands got on board the most infamous incident from the whole tournament (alongside the annihilation of the host country).

Content Marketing_World Cup_The ID Group_Content Marketing Consultancy Content Marketing_World Cup Suarez_ID Group_Content Marketing Consultancy

As businesses we have to be bold and take on the role of performers, who aren’t necessarily looking to have their ego stroked but not being afraid. I tried this a few years ago when I thought that the world of stand-up would be something that I could venture into and test out, lets just put it this way that the words that you can put together to make ‘stage,’ ‘on,’ ‘died,’ resonated very well (I put it on the fact that the pub was ½ full and no one was drinking).

Nevertheless, if you can speak up and not have an abundance of fear and be ok with those who aren’t going to be receptive towards you, then you have ultimately made a stand by saying ‘I haven’t come here to be quiet.’ We have to be able to withstand rejection and understand that sometimes have to play to the smaller crowds before the audience builds. There is an ongoing discussion at the moment based on the age of the independent blogger coming to an end and being better to start to aggregate an audience on platforms that aren’t your own (even I have done the guest writing, click here for an article on Mark Schaefer’s {grow} blog), but to become recognised performers we need to do it consistently and I see nothing wrong with building via our own spaces and it does work to grow your own base.

I take inspiration from comedian Louis C.K, one of the shining proven examples that you don’t need to rely on other channels to build recognition to your space. In 2011 his Live At The Beacon Theatre performance was distributed exclusively via his website for only $5. In just 20 days downloaded copies grossed over one million dollars. From being rejected on Saturday Night Live in the early 1990s and finding his way through the stand up circuit for a decade, to finally have complete control and an audience who are receptive to what he delivers, to have a fan base who sticks by him and on his terms is one of the most powerful tools we can have to reach others (as also seen in the music industry and complete control with artists such as Pearl Jam and Radiohead).

ABILITY TO PERFORM

Lets get a bit more serious now. If we just set out to purely entertain then we are not valid, but the more we have a grasp of the world around we can encourage a pattern of thought that represents aspects of the real world for others to interpret information and understand. It’s all about creating a concept that is transferable and understandable.

If you are able to perform well and more importantly what you say makes sense, you can then attain that goal of inspiring others to take action. Put more simply into this formula:

PERFORMANCE + KNOWLEDGE + CONSISTENCY = DIFFERENTIATION

 

People do not necessarily trust content alone, they rely on the source it comes from. What I’m trying to allude to here is that while we are all encouraged to create more interesting and engaging content, it is important to build a base that it comes from a source that is credible. To have a sporadic delve into creating content that has no voice and is inconsistent will always fail. We need to show evidence that we stand for something in our marketplaces.

Coming back to Tom Webster’s interview (who inspired this post), to become effective at our content efforts we need to have a tick for each box that represents ‘entertaining,’ ‘challenge thinking’ and ‘showing expertise.’ I believe we need the hat trick, not acknowledgement of one of the boxes that we feel accomplished in.

Before you start to feel that this is a climb that you haven’t prepared for and only just bought thick socks and hard wearing shoes from Millets, this is something we are all in together and living in the biggest culture shift of our lives. It takes time and a considerable amount of effort, but consistency (and not frequency) is the key to being seen as a resource that others turn to and rely on.

For the role of content to work, it should not just be centred on the requirement to create compelling information that is useful and engaging but to take things up a notch.

As businesses we have to create a performance that raises an encore and to achieve this we have generated a thought process that makes others feel they are part of something.

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