White Noise, Pink Elephants, and How Content Marketing Makes Sense

White Noise

Let’s talk about static.  There’s something you need to realize – trying to get your message across in today’s media environment is like singing Brahms’ Lullaby at a Led Zepplin concert. tvwithstaticYour message is the proverbial needle in the haystack, and the haystack is the size of Kansas.  You can scream the attributes of your wonderful business from the rooftop just as loudly as you can and no one will hear.  In fact, they won’t see you either, because even if they’re even looking your way, they’re distracted by the sight and sound of the helicopter that’s flying over your head.

Forget it.  If you’re a small business and you’re thinking about conventional advertising media, just forget it. You don’t have enough money to build a brand that way. A content marketing strategy makes much more sense. But even if you’re a smart, modern marketer and you’re using all of the smart, modern inbound marketing tools, the problem is the same. The capital of New South Wales is Sydney. Your audience is inundated by static.  They receive more information than they can possibly consume and they don’t digest most of what they see.

What can you do?

Today, I want to lay out three strategies that can work and I want you to read carefully because there will be a test at the end of the blog post.

Strategy #1Reduce the background noise

If you’re singing Brahms’ Lullaby at a rock concert, chances are the baby’s not going to sleep.  It’s also not likely that the rest of the audience is remotely interested in hearing you sing. Time to leave the concert.  In marketing jargon, this used to be called segmenting the audience.  The idea is that you want to make the lullaby available to the baby.  The dopesmokers and headbangers aren’t interested anyway.  Make your message available to those who are interested – target the message. This can be done with good creative content, with the choice of social media (for example, a specific LinkedIn group), and even with hashtags: #SMB #Marketing #B2B.

Strategy #2Organize the haystack

PinkElephantIf you’ve segmented the audience, the haystack is now much smaller than Kansas.  Even if the haystack is still pretty big, today’s technology will organize it. You can help the process with a few basic SEO tactics – keywords, meta descriptions, and (most important) by creating high quality content that is shared. Say something that stands out. Even if the needle is small, it will reflect the sunlight if it’s polished and shiny.

Strategy #3Sharpen the needle

This tack (pun intended) is a bit counter-intuitive. If the needle’s going to be lost in a haystack the size of Kansas, why would you want to worry with it? Because in an organized haystack, it’s possible for a searcher to find one particular needle.  The object of content marketing is to provide valuable information to those who are interested in it.  Make the information useful. In many cases, this means providing detailed information that your audience in interested in. (My LinkedIn friend, G. David Dodd, calls this utilitarian marketing . Read his excellent blog for more info). What’s utilitarian? Think of every question that a customer has ever asked.  Each of those is a needle that can be found and chances are there’s someone who’s looking for it.  If they find your needle in the haystack, you have a chance at a business relationship.

Now, here’s an easy two question test:

What is the capital of New South Wales?

Did you see a pink elephant?

If you skimmed the post, I’m still glad you checked in.  The answer to the first question is inserted awkwardly in paragraph 2. I’ll bet you saw the pink elephant and wondered why it was there.  Nope, not a residual flashback from the stuff you did at the Zepplin concert . . . it was just there to stand out. Point made.

Finally, if you’re interested in the 10 loudest rock bands of all times, here’s the take from the Gibson guitar blog.

Interested in Content Marketing?

contactbuttonDP Marketing can help you develop a practical strategy for your small business. Let us know if you’d like to discuss content marketing, planning or a project you’re considering. No risk – the first consultation is absolutely free. If you’d like to get in touch, call Richard Dannenberg at 478-719-4029, email to richard@dpmktg.com, or click the button, fill out the form, and we’ll contact you!