Over the pas five years, many articles have been written on how you can succeed in digital world. Businesses must produce content. Produce quality content is great. But, produce massive amounts of content in order to flood your prospects and your customers is definitely a bad idea…
According to various statistics, we live in a world where every minute, 200 million of digital contents are produced, nearly 1500 blog articles are published and more than 200 million messages are sent. These numbers make you dizzy and pose a simple dilemma : how to stand out among this mass ?
The common denominator over the last few years is that the effectiveness of content marketing has dropped dramatically. The main factor contributing to this is the illusion that putting content in front of people is the only way to succed in the digital world today. Why is it an illusion ?
We believe that in the future, digital interactions will be more important than the content itself. Businesses are beginning to fell the effects of trying to grow through content creation without looking at the heart of the problem : creating interaction, environments and digital systems.
The illusion is that, by constantly pushing content in front of customer, business grow from the tracks generated by its content. Illusions tend to create cyclical behaviors. One of the is “the more elusive something is, the more you will try to reach it”. In our case, more effective of content marketing will be elusive, the more you will have to put forward.
That’s the illusion of content marketing.
The emphasis on content has led companies to not see what is happening in the digital world. People, both in business and consumption, are looking for interaction first and foremost. Technologies allow interactions. Yet, many organizations have not devoted resources to developing interactive digital environments or interactive digital experiences. Giving customers the ability to download content is not an experience in itself, nor even a digital experience. In his book Real Time Preparing for the Age of the Never Satisfied Customer, Regis McKena defines the brand as an active experience and not just a name. The company, the brands must therefore become active experiences, prisms through which we look at the world and a participant in the familiar, societal and emotional environment of consumers.
It has been a long time since consumption is no longer reduced simply to the act of purchase. On the contrary, it is a set of interactions that refers to practices or exchanges of values and meaning. As sociologist Maurice Halbwachs puts it: “Consuming is not just about spending or acquiring material goods, it’s really about taking your share of social life.”
Brands and businesses need to understand that social networks open the door to a new engagement society where there are new ways to connect and where our relationships with others are reorganized.
Do you remember the media outcry that occurred when content marketing appeared? This one seemed to sign the end of the journalists. Well, first of all as far as I know, the job of journalist still exists, but this process of reflection led to a misdirection. Indeed, companies creating content have followed the tradition of distributing information from traditional media setting up a massive distribution of content. Inadvertently, brands have entered a vicious circle where they have condemned themselves to produce ever more content to respond to this reflection and expectations that we can expect from brands seeking to emulate the practices of newspapers.
First of all, you have to get out of this process. Rethink everything. When I say rethink everything, I’m talking about all marketing techniques. Many of them have been designed to refine the ability to put content forward towards customers (personalization, inbound marketing …). Think of your content creation in terms of contextual interactions to enable people to connect better, it will change the way you approach the dilemma. By doing this thinking, you can begin to focus on how people interact and have connection objects with each other, so it’s useful to see how content is involved in this social connection process as well.
Do you know how we perceive brands and businesses? Like people. According to a study conducted by researchers at the Baylor School of Medicine in Texas, areas of our brain related to social cognition (such as the pre-frontal cortex, for example) were solicited when we asked the subjects to express their views. felt when they thought of brands or companies. These areas are usually used to think of people. The authors of the study concluded that the brain networks that underlie our ability to understand the actions of businesses or a person happen to be the same. Companies are therefore represented on the neuronal level as social beings and not as inanimate objects.
With the omnipresence of digital tools and the increasing use of social networks, the human factor may seem to be set aside. Absolutely not ! It seeks, on the contrary to impose even through the virtual channels. The screen indeed impose a physical distance between the client and the organizations, but it is in no way desocialization. Antonio Casilli tries to show that it would be a mistake to think that and that it is simply a redefinition of the scale of our social spaces. Humans are “people in networks” with each other. Your go, dear brands, dear companies, to integrate them. Today, your customers are actively seeking online social capital by joining groups or communities of brands, helping you connect with you and others.
When you make content the pinnacle of your focus, you hide from your vision the true potential of the interactions and connections available in this connected world in full digital transformation. You delude yourself and go totally against the new world based on digital realities different from yours.
It’s up to you to break out of this vicious circle: do less, do better and propose a new field of possible interactions with your customers.