Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Can We Hope "Content" May Yet Be Reconsidered?

Does it happen to everyone? Throw away something you've been holding for a long time, and sure as shootin' you need it a week later. I've just finished going through a wastebasket full of paper with no luck.

The article I was looking for was one in a direct marketing trade paper that quoted an executive in the business whose name escapes me now. 

The remark was to the effect that when she has a headache, she doesn't want a relationship with the guy who sells aspirin; she just wants pain relief.

What sent me scrambling back looking for it was another, more recent quote in the same publication, this one from a guy who has an advertising agency named for him (and I can name him this time: Jeff Molander). It's about "content marketing." I've registered my opinion of "content" in some previous posts. Content ain't King; Content is Kommodity.

Molander says content should "produce leads; not friends, followers, shares, or engagement." And while two quotes may not make a trend, coming from experts, we can hope. 

Could we be getting past the preoccupation with online conversation for its own sake? the idea that if a whole bunch of people "follow" you or "like" your stuff you're a success?  I guess you are if you're a teenager doing your Facebook page, but if you're a marketer, it ain't necessarily so.

Selling hasn't changed, not fundamentally, just because the page has gone from paper to electronic. You still have to get the attention of the people who are your prospects, follow with a message that interests them, make them want what you're offering, tell them how they'll benefit from owning it and, ideally, motivate them to do something toward acquiring it.

You'll recognize that, if you've been around long enough, as the old AIDA formula -- Attention, Interest, Desire, Action -- with Vitamin C added. And no, the C ain't for Content, it's for Conviction. AIDCA still works, even electronically.