We simply need more. More yess’s. More No’s. Validation, Content, Engagement, you name it. In this crazy, noisy world in which we live, a little of any of this is probably not going to make a dent.
Back in Episode 273 of Trent365! – I spoke about how a Little Validation Can Kill. The context of that thought was that sometimes we get just enough of it to confirm what we wanted to believe. Just enough to continue with an idea or a marketing campaign or a start up business, that we in fact do just that. We want to be proved right. As a result of that bias we accept as proof, something which really is not. The danger is that as a result of just a little confirmation we continue along with what ultimately becomes a failure. My contention was that sometimes we need to look for a resounding yes. And if it’s not a resounding yes, maybe the answer has to be no.
In the weeks since that post I have come to realise that just as we need more yes’s, we also need more proof that something is not working. We need more data points before we disprove our theory. Should a few rejections be enough for us to abandon the whole thing? No. Of course not. There could be any number of reasons why your thing hasn’t resonated yet. Maybe nobody knows about it. Remember, we are bombarded with so much stuff these days, sometimes that noise blocks out the things that really matter to us. So maybe it’s not your business idea that is wrong, maybe you just haven’t been able to get it seen by enough of the right people yet. You need more No’s before you abandon hope.
Then, just a few days ago, I was thinking about my current content strategy around my personal brand. Am I creating enough content? Is it in the right formats? Should I be doing more videos? Longer videos? More audio? Less blog posts? What I came to realise, after looking at what a number of the smart people I watch who have created strong personal brands, the answer is more. Again, it’s about more of everything. You only need to watch what these folks do. They tend to create a high volume of content, in whatever formats they can. The same logic holds true for business brands too.
There are two reasons more content is the way to go. Firstly, in this noisy world we touched on before, volume of content will simply give you more swings at the ball. The more shots the take, statistically, the higher chance you have scoring. Just like Canadian ice hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky famously said, ‘You miss 100% of the shots you do not take.’ So you have to keep taking shots. The other reason more is a good content strategy is that it allows you to create personalised content for very specific and targeted audiences. The more relevant your content is to me, the more likely it is to get my attention. A spa ad with a pretty girl having a massage isn’t relevant to me. However, a spa ad showing couple might put the idea in my head that I should book a couples’ treatment with my wife.
The Long Tail
More content allows you to target the long tail. In his book, The Long Tail, Chris Anderson suggested that, there is a lot of money to be made by targeting multiple small markets. Thanks largely to the internet and the connected world we live in today, reaching and servicing small markets is now practical. Getting traction in a big market with big incumbents isn’t easy. Lots of time, money and effort is required and even then there are no guarantees. Apply that same amount of resource across multiple smaller markets though and you just may find it easier to break through.
So, in practical terms, how do you apply a simple strategy of more? Try this…
Volume Content Strategy
- Make list of all the customers you had yesterday.
- Write a few words to describe each of them, based on what you know of their life.
- 1st Guest – Female Corporate Executive
- 2nd Guest – Wealthy Housewife
- 3rd Guest – Fit Young Businessman
- 4th Guest – Elderly Female Tourist
- Now just think about the motivations for each of these people to visit your spa.
- Female Corporate Executive is there because she’s stressed. Mr. Fit Young Businessman might be there because he wants to relax his muscles before he hits the gym again tomorrow. Mrs. Wealthy Housewife is there just because she can.
- Next, ask yourself what sort of ad would speak to each of those people.
- Elderly Female Tourist might want to know about your Early Bird Special. Ms. Female Corporate Executive may be looking for short, effective treatments to fit her busy schedule. Your Deep Tissue Muscle Ease treatment will probably appeal to Mr. Fit Young Businessman.
- Now think about the words and images that should be used in the ad creative for each of these guests.
- For Mrs. Wealthy Housewife, you’ll probably want a luxurious image of plush linens, lots of candles and a bath full of rose petals. Maybe you don’t need any text at all for her ad. Ms. Female Corporate Executive is quickly scanning the ad to see how long her treatment will be. So, the time should be clearly stated. The image might be of a lady in business attire having a foot massage.
- Finally, with the incredible targeting you can achieve through social media ads, especially on Facebook, you can now serve the right ad to the right demographic and psychographic segment. No more 2.5 hour pampering ads for Ms. Female Corporate Executive.
Time + Effort = Results
When I speak to businesses about adopting such a strategy, they are often concerned about the time and cost to create so much different content. The reality for most is that with a bit more time spent planning the content creation, they find the can create a surprising volume of target-specific content. The question also needs to be asked, of course, how much time and money are they wasting now by creating and distributing generic content that just doesn’t speak to a vast majority of their audience.
Advances in technology put the tools of content creation within the reach of most business these days. That’s really no longer an excuse. Time will always be a factor, but it doesn’t need to be a crippling one. If you truly understand and appreciate the value in the Long Tail and the challenges of being seen in a noisy world, you will soon see that more is just a smart way to go.