A Wave Of Momentum By Asking ‘What Is Your Cause?’
When you have a cause and conviction behind what you do, you can move mountains.
We have passed that point where someone blindly states, ‘content is king’ and then walk away from. It means absolutely nothing if there is no reason for someone to believe in what you do with some form of action as an end goal (from subscribing to commissioning).
Creating content is about changing mindset and encouraging behaviour. It is more than standing back and looking proudly at that blog, YouTube video, website but as a role to cause action, leads and eventually sales.
To do this, action is centred within consistency.
To have consistency, there has to be a cause.
What Is Your Cause?
I have highlighted in my most recent articles, to look deep and discover the word for what you stand for and recognise that you have every right to be a media company. Lets call this the third article of this triumvirate.
The bond between all three articles is about flipping an approach from describing a product to having a responsibility and becoming the value for an audience.
Content marketing represents a long-term commitment to a cause that can support the goals of your business. For example, my company is centred around businesses building a zero paid media model and to take ownership of their own channels they communicate with others. We work with businesses to create and distribute ongoing content over a consistent basis based on what a company stands for.
Having a cause is about standing for something different that isn’t just selling more products and services.
Lets Prove It
Chococo is a handmade chocolatier with its roots firmly in my favourite place in Dorset, Swanage.
Andy and Claire Burnet have been a part of this brand since 2002 and dates back to Claire’s visits to Belgium as a child. Whilst Italian villages have an artisan olive oil source and French villages have historic vineyards, Belgian villages have fine crafted chocolate shops. It was this inspiration at a young age that let to the creation of the business.
I am totally on board what they are trying to achieve and to make the art of chocolate something to be experienced, tasted and enjoyed.
In the words of Claire, from her Chococo Chocolate Cookbook, “I believe it’s all about balance of flavours, add that pure food freshly made with real, seasonal ingredients you have in your kitchen, will always taste more sublime than a concoction using ingredients straight out of a chemistry lab.”
Everything created from Chococo is made daily with no additives or preservatives. To me, the word that they stand for is about ‘responsibility.’ Not just as a business but being more than selling chocolate. It is about educating others that the bar of Toblerone is full of sugar and high in fat without providing any essential nutrients.
Ok, the Chococo website is currently very product centred, but the gems are in there. Taking this role of responsibility is seen in a recent article that looked at the levels of sugar. This role of health sits neatly within the responsibility direction.
When I say ‘responsibility’ I mean affecting others in a positive way.
- it can’t just about a website (the shops in Swanage and Winchester are the Chococo hubs, as well as the book)
- it is about creating a cause behind all customer touch points (even the menus include the health benefits of eating good chocolate)
- it is about interaction and education (children’s workshops are in place for Easter)
- it is about looking at the world differently
- it is about acknowledging that businesses have to take action
Similarly to what the likes of McDonalds are now instilling, progress becomes a pivotal action.
Whilst it is still fast food, at least it is being more transparent than a decade ago. In the words of MD of Netmums, Rimi Atwal, “McDonalds has spent a lot of time and thought in terms of how it positions itself to parents. They are part of the grocery shop, or part of the weekend treat. All brands face the same issue.”
This relates to the 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer UK and this years report recording the highest levels of public trust in institutions since the survey began.
Every message that Chococo communicates is more than a campaign. This is a belief that encourages a consistent behaviour. I hope that Chococo can build the momentum by standing beside their cause to highlight responsibility.
Believe In The Same Cause
Belinda Carlise once sang, ‘We dream the same dream,” but I don’t believe everyone dreams about playing up front with a fox and scoring the winning goal for AFC Bournemouth in the FA Cup Final.
To take the lead, you need to have responsibility for others. Whilst I understand the importance to create buyer personas and identify who your customer is, to get them on board you have to lead.
This is about creating an example and sticking beside your convictions.
So, What Is Your Cause?
For you to start to look at a role that goes beyond a transactional approach you need to look deeper.
In the words of Mitch Joel in Ctrl, Alt, Delete, “The next five years are going to be about how well a brand can actually change a relationship from one that looks at how many people are in their database…to one focusing on precisely who those individuals are and how the brand can make the connection with them even stronger.”
Is There A Niche To Dominate?
What is it that you can demonstrate that others within your marketplace haven’t tapped into? If you can find a cause that will relentlessly stand by your belief system, puts you in a far greater place than sharing photos of sunsets.
Social Media Examiner highlighted this in a 2015 report. 58% of marketers’ highlighted “original written content” is more important than imagery and videos. So if you haven’t started, now is the time to curate and deliver a point of view, rather than the higher value real estate is more valuable.
Put Attention To The Side & Focus On Duty
I am from a world where a creative idea trumped building an audience, where a campaign beat longevity of message. During my agency days the whole premise was about reaching anyone and everyone.
Today, you won’t achieve anything by chasing. You have an obligation to be more creative and a duty to others to attract them around a common belief. Once you have attracted the audience, then they will follow you (when they’re ready).
Back to Chococo. They now include teaspoon icons on their chocolate menus to show how much sugar is in the different types of hot chocolate that are on offer.
Can You Genuinely Build Momentum?
When you focus entirely on your product/service, there comes a point when you run out of steam.
Bringing Chococo back in and pursuing the plight of responsibility can open up a wealth of doors from looking at: obesity; education at school; even to the agency world having a responsibility for the messages they create.
The hard work is in conviction and consistency of message, not just the satisfaction of producing content. This is more about creating a process, rather than relying on the tired stats of quantity that if you blog relentlessly you can acquire a customer (Hubspot are guilty of that mantra).
Can It Be Personal & Then A Team To Rally Behind
A cause can have more meaning when the whole drive starts from one person.
By having a person and not a logo as the spearhead behind a cause helps to provide feeling and create impact. It also promotes accountability that everything that is being said is from someone that others can associate with.
In Chococo’s case, at the moment the voice of responsibility is wholly with Claire. It will be interesting to see if the initiative of ‘responsibility’ is then led by others whereby this becomes part of the business behaviour. This becomes a strong caveat behind purpose driven marketing.
Back to the 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer, the report highlighted that trusting the voice of business owners/CEOs had grown more significantly than any other influencer in the past 12 months (from 41% to 49%).
Lets Round Up
Your audience want assurance that you have a belief behind what you do and a foundation behind everything that you believe in.
A cause becomes something that others can associate with you and rally around. From educating others, to demonstrating progress, to showing a better future for others, becomes something far more emotional to create a bond than pure sales messages.
This is what helps people connect with each other. We throw the business jargon out the window and generate a business around a cause that just so happens ties itself to a product/service or business goal.
A cause proves to others that you are committed for the long haul. It is time to separate from the majority and be consistent, but consistent with something that you love and wholeheartedly believe in.