Like you, I have a hard time balancing “all the stuff I need to do” as an entrepreneur with things like spending time with my family, detaching from the Internet and screens, and nurturing a creative hobby that doesn’t entail playing Civilization for an afternoon. One of my halfway measures is I take a little time on the weekend to catch up on my reading: I’m three weeks behind on my stack of The Economist, I want to make headway on at least a couple of the books I have going on my Kindle that DON’T have to do with social media, business, or consulting, and catch-up on the handful of truly magnetic posts from my favorite bloggers.
I’ve been writing a lot about the cognitive research around sharing, content shock and emotions. You’re ready for that to be done. You want the “5 Things You Can Do Today to Rock Facebook!” post.
Consuming and sharing content normally creates an emotional benefit, not a financial one. Hence the obstacle: companies try to use content to create financial benefits for themselves instead of emotional benefits for their readers. This completely overturns the traditional business view of what content should accomplish.
Although the actual act of sharing online is simple, the affect on your relationship-building efforts is huge. The act of sharing content actually helps others process your information better. Because of the implied commitment, those who share pay closer attention to what they are sharing. Another New York Times study on sharing found that:
- 73% of participants say they process information “more deeply, thoroughly, and thoughtfully” when they share it.
- 85% say reading content that others share helps them understand and process information and events.
- 49% say sharing allows them to inform others of products they care about, potentially changing opinions or encouraging action.
So, let me share an uncomfortable truth: generally, no one wants to share your content.
It’s probably pretty clear by now that the starting line for this race is great content. Just like the expectations around customer service I mentioned in an earlier post, this no longer a differentiator, it is a given. So once you’ve created that stellar content, what happens? In a lot of companies, it gets slapped onto the web site, the Facebook Page or the YouTube channel and that’s about it.
Needless to say, that doesn’t work so well.
So now you’ve done a bit of research and found that not only is your market saturated with content, but you’re up against some “heavy hitters”. Competition seems hopeless and you don’t see how you can make any real headway. Well, there are three tactics you can use that can provide you some leverage and opportunity. Continue reading
Unless you have a existing niche service or product, you’re heading face-first into a highly competitive environment in this content arms race….and the status quo will not work. How do you differentiate yourself and your business? How do you finish the sentence, “Only we….”? For example, I regularly hear any number of small business owners tout their customer service, but, frankly, everyone does that. Unless you deliver your customers’ products to their homes via a Rolls Royce driven by a billionaire, hand carried by an A-list Hollywood star in a diamond-crusted case and installed by a sparkling robot, with an instant, full money, no questions asked returns policy after a lifetime of use, excellent customer service is what everyone expects. It’s not a differentiator, it’s a given.
As if things aren’t hard enough for entrepreneurs and small business folks, the challenges of digital presence and discoverability just keep mutating. I just started reading Mark Schaefer’s new book, “The Content Code” in which he describes this evolution of digital marketing so far.