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When Content Marketing Goes Bad

Jenga. Content marketing the ID Group

It only takes one person to bring a companies message on a social platform to its knees.

The word of social and the ease of distributing our content now means that the world is watching and whilst it is effortless to pour fire on someone, at the same time we now need to become a bit more slicker in our marketing efforts and the perception that we portray to the world.

The world of marketing has changed immeasurably in the past 5 years, but companies are still relying on the same old interruption traits and concentrating on telling the world how good they are, as opposed to how useful they can be.

Here is an example from the world of LinkedIn where the message was teed up to be knocked down by those reading the posted message.

It’s from a local estate agent and how they looked to define what makes them different from the plethora of other estate agents.

Here It Is In All It’s Gory Glory

LinkedIn Message. The ID Group content marketing

Before we look at the response, can I just say that to use the word ‘exceptional’ as a way to describe the thing that makes you different is one of the laziest words to use from the 2002 Ad World Dictionary Of Self-Importance. This word doesn’t mean anything in 2014 and I can’t think of any instance where I’ve heard this in everyday language. Naturally, the target audience weren’t considered when this was created.

The Response

Once the self-proclaimed experts of ‘exceptional’ delivery decided to take the estate agency crown, it didn’t take long for the responses to take a different stance. Here is a glimpse of the conversation that took place once the original post was there for all to see.

LinkedIn response. The ID Group content marketing consultancy

Lets just say that it didn’t take long for a customer to respond with their experience and the voice of one person, superseded the intention of what the company stands for.

In the words of HubSpot’s Joe Chernov from last months ‘Talking Content Marketing,’ interview, Joe stated that “It’s up to the influenced to decide if you are influential.” Meaning that no one can state that they are the industry leader, it’s the audience that you serve are the ones who decide if you are credible or not.

The Room Full Of Yodas’

The world of social has made it easier than ever to proclaim how amazing your business is. The easiest way that I can describe is that social channels are now becoming more like a networking event that is filled with Yodas’ who are here to deliver their wisdom to a deserving audience.

Rather than use this as a blog exercise to point and look at a company with an old mentality, there is another way to change a mindset that is more focused on informing others. What if the estate agent looked to highlight how the local area has performed in the past six months? Is there reason to be optimistic on a local level? Were customers asked to rate how they perceive the company? What is the outlook for the local area for the rest of 2014?

Where The Majority Are

What the original LinkedIn post proves is that we are all bombarded from every company and every person of different shapes and sizes. Businesses are fighting for attention with unoriginal, bland and unimaginative content in the blind hope to stand out. But the great thing is that this represents the majority of businesses and how they deliver their messages. The company that looks to stand out by being useful to others will conquer. Lets also remember that an emotional resonance in what you create is going to walk all over a company that takes a ‘product only’ position.

Being pedestrian in today’s social world means that at some point you are going to face a head-on boulder square in the face. Like the game of Jenga you can build a tower that gradually grows in height, but one poorly placed brick can bring the whole effort crashing down.

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