Looking into 2014 we are going to be hearing a lot about “content” and its importance to marketing efforts. Specifically, content as a tool to position your business, be seen as a leader by your customers, be known as an expert in your field, and quite simply to ensure good online search results. Google’s search algorithms have been changed recently to favour genuine content creators. Witness “Google Authorship” as a prime example of how they are changing the game. Learn more here: http://www.google.com/insidesearch/features/authorship/ If you are yet to open a Google+ account, this is likely a compelling reason to do so.
But creating content, automating and sharing it will simply not be enough in 2014 as the space becomes more crowded. If content is King in 2014, then creating community will be Queen. I was never much of a chess player, but I do remember the power of the Queen. You only had one, but she could move everywhere and help you win. The King, much more limited in maneuverability, was to be protected, or you’d loose. Using this analogy, your original content is your King. Without it you will loose. But content on its own will be limited. You’ll need the power of the Queen to create community around it. That is where the magic will happen. Engaging readers and viewers interests, and creating relationships both online and off will matter. See where this is going? As we get hit with more and more content, and more and more big data is collected, it will be about nurturing relationships with those gathered around you, your tribe, which will make you stand out.
In the spirit of giving and sharing, that is my promise to you for 2014. I will be sharing not only my own content weekly, via this blog and my subscriber based e-newsletter, but great stuff I see out there created by others that I know my community will enjoy. I’ll try to summarize it occasionally or share it through social media if it’s timely. I’m also going to make a point of connecting in person with more of the folks that are part of my online community.
And here are a few social shares to get things started that I think you’ll enjoy:
Lesley Everett is a personal branding expert out of the UK. As the Global Speakers Federation President, I had the pleasure of skiing with her for the day in Whistler prior to attending the GSS 2013 convention in Vancouver recently. She is a successful, world-class woman, and incredibly down to earth and personable. And she has a very powerful message to share. Click here for a link to a video entitled “How customer experience effects perception of your brand”. She makes a great case for how your front-line people “are your brand”, and that first impression is an important one.
And if you like what you see and hear, sign up for her newsletter http://www.lesleyeverett.com/book-lesley/ She’s brilliant.
I love the approach that Chris Brogan takes to building a business, marketing and entrepreneurial insights. His company, based in Boston MA, is called Human Business Works. His weekly newsletter and blog are compelling not only for content, but also the way they are written. In addition to being a little quirky, a little artsy, and at times a misfit, his brain has been hired by leading global companies. I have learned a ton from him. Sign up and see what you think: http://www.humanbusinessworks.com/
And here’s a cool idea for content courtesy of my friends at Watson Gloves. Watson is located in Vancouver, but markets globally. I love the way they post “Throw back Thursday” photos to Facebook. The company has been around since 1918, and they have a treasure trove of photos, memorabilia and old media coverage. Every Thursday they publish something fun to Facebook. It speaks to their history, quality, Canadian heritage, sense of humour and keeps the brand top of mind for customers. What a great way of generating content that reinforces the heart of their brand promise. Here’s a sample: https://twitter.com/WatsonGloves/status/398573738804781056
So here’s my mantra for 2014: CREATE great CONTENT, share and nurture COMMUNITY. And yes, I plan to stay one move ahead on the chess board to win this game! What about you? Are you creating more content than you did a year ago? What are you doing to nurture your community? Hit reply, I’d love to share your ideas.