Saturday, May 25, 2024

“Imagine” Activating a Generation with Content Marketing

Saying goodbye to 2020 is not sweet sorrow! This year, to state the obvious, was exhausting!!  I do not believe we have seen such a level of activism, since the 1960’s and 1970’s.  For better or worse, more people had more voices that wanted to be heard.  The difference between then and now is how the message was delivered.  If we take a look at how the message was delivered and received, we can apply these lessons to our own business marketing tactics.  

Through all cycles of life there are lessons to be learned, especially lessons around how a populace becomes engaged with a message. During the 1960’s and 1970’s, it was music that became the medium which tapped into a feeling that told a story of needed change.  The music reflected the need of the populace to rebel against the status quo and affect change. It was a battle for peace, civil rights, women’s rights, and anti-corruption of the government.  Remember John Lennon’s Imagine? Here is a link to some of the great music that influenced a behavior of a generation. 

Activism today has evolved, moving beyond music, to more individual expressions. Behaviors range from personal video messages, images set as stories, to short blogs.   A great example of 2020’s evolution of activism is found on TikTok.  Tik Tok can be confusing for many who view it as a platform for silliness and strange dancing. However this year, it crossed over to become a pathway to activate a populace. A clear example of the success of the platform was written about in the June 21, 2020 New York Times article: “TikTok Teens and K-Pop Stans Say They Sank Trump Rally.” The article tell the story of how thousands of teens on TikTok shared videos encouraging people to reserve tickets for Mr. Trump’s rally, but not to attend. These teens were able to protest the administration in a way that could not have been easily done before. Teens all over the country, including my daughter, stepped up and offered their voice. This message worked, because content was delivered in an easy to follow format through an application with an engaged audience.  Amazingly, it influenced a generation of teenagers to act, and see how their actions could affect change. 

I was struck by how these lessons could translate to B2B marketing platforms. The starting point for a sound marketing plan is to identify where the audience you are targeting lives. Is it LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, email, blog sites?  The second step is build trust through consistently engaging with your audience. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the content you share, not only tells a story, but is relatable to the audience that you are targeting.  And lastly, it needs to be clear to your audience how to engage with you, your content, or your company. 

In a Content Marketing Institute article written by Lisa Murton Beets, Robert Rose, CMI Chief Strategy said,

Earning that trust requires your content to have four essential traits… It must be:

  • Risk appropriate (avoid asking for something before proving the value)
  • Consistent (deliver reliable content regularly over time)
  • Personal (based on reliable information the visitor has willingly given)
  • Cumulative (building on what came before)

In short, if you want your brand to be well-regarded by your audience, give it something valuable. Be consistent. Be easy to find. Give your audience members content they want and need – when and where they’re looking for it. And make it about them, not you.”

Another great piece of information is provided here from the CMI/MarketingProfs 2020 Content Marketing Report. 

As you can see content can be broken into goals of influence. From awareness and trust to activation (leads generated), knowing what types of content to use for your desired goals is key.  Click here for full report.

While it may not be as profound as activating an audience to protest a meaningful cause, we can glean lessons from the past and create successful ways to reach our desired audiences. Understanding these successes and applying them to current marketing tools is an important element to securing the future of your organization. 

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