What's the Relation Between Creating Content and Marketing?
It is a simple question that has complex ties into other businesses and industries. If you are (or are going to be) any kind of a content creator, you will likely want your content to be visible. You're going to have to learn the marketing ropes or hire an expert. A marketer will have connections and ties to different social media and crowd sourcing tools, as well as public relations channel for putting out messages on popular media. The specific choices of interfaces (i.e. landing pages, ads, fliers) from your media to the world will be specific to the content that you are going to provide and your potential customer group. The web marketer will have to be familiar (or learn) how to connect to that niche.
In the beginning of most projects, an individual is both developing and marketing the media. At best a small group of friends will help spread the information to see if it catches on. The good news is, you really don't have to pay for the old advertising system anymore. You don't need publishers. Although the greatest publishers will survive by evolving their into powerful conduits to existing markets. All you
really need to do is start the engine. After that it'll be to your advantage to orchestrate a funnel of potential customer interfaces. The strategy is to implement a number of different virtual landing sites where people can find out about what you or your group is producing. The alternative having everyone fall in love with your product, open business model, and design philosophies like balsamiq.
The landing sites could be blogs, social media sites, internet magazines, or PPC (pay per click) ads. For long term planning, it is relevant to understand that the specific media format you choose may come and go. As there are new evolutions of connectivity, there might be software that sits on top of them. They
might become operating systems or frameworks for future social media. The big winners in social media will allow their users to connect on information that they are most interested in with the least amount of
Part of the Marketing Effort Will Be Strategically Placing Landing Pages
What does that mean to your content? After all these landing pages or virtual pipelines to your content are built, your task is creating the core of a giant snowball that your fans and customers will build into a bolder. The virtual connection points (links) could be on a blog (my preference), Digg, Facebook groups, Myspace page, LinkedIn, Ning, or other social media (twitter/Friendfeed). There are many potential paths for people to connect to your content. What you have is a dynamic bill board to let folks know about what you have created. As far as being a product/media provider (writer, podcaster, video maker, software developer), discovering the right content or initial product becomes a question of "is it good enough" for my current fans. Being flexible with your initial instincts will aid in honing in on a customer/reader need.
- At first you may be aware of a simple solution or feel
this compulsion to share something, because you think its cool
- there's going to be some refinement of your message, and I'm not
saying you're going to have to compromise, but as time goes on you
will learn from the people that really enjoy what you're producing.
- You'll make it better, you'll actually improve what you offer.
You're going to find out that people don't see things the same way
that you see them or perceive them.
- That's the whole idea behind
social media design, but that's another subject.
- That's the whole idea behind
This series of developmental steps correspond to an individual or small group and the content they generate. You'll have a feedback loop, and you'll be producing content. There are people that can interact with the content/product that will give you more information about their experience. In addition, they'll provide valuable insight into new development directions.
Analogy to Open Spectrum
You can take that concept all the way to the wireless internet and open spectrum. Providing wireless internet to much of our nation (and perhaps globally) could be made less expensive, if an individual or organization develops efficient methods for using the full spectrum (electromagnetic bands we transmit information on). If telecommunication companies are unable of leading in this area, they
are in danger of becoming obsolete as wireless providers. While massive data flow still requires
land lines, in the as technology advances wireless transmissions will become more effective over new opened up spectrum. I suspect there will always be some mix of physical lines and wireless information flow. Imagine all communications as local wireless packets, to ultra wide band width land lines, back to local wireless somewhere else.
Tribes and Their Leader
While recently reading Seth Godin's book Tribes, I found much of the work is focused on the qualities of great leaders and how almost anyone can take the reigns and create a new community. What it boils down to is: if you're a media creator or product inventor, you can become a thought leader.
This is accomplished by:
- sharing something you perceive as necessary (or fun)
- converting abstract concepts in concrete designs/media
- building a new market
space or helping fill out existing ones.
- building a new group, a new interacting community (he calls
this a tribe)
There are many tribe types with varied criteria and philosophies. An example of an effective tribe is one in which the leader builds a framework for tribe members to populate. After constructing the foundation for others to build upon, the media creators/leaders back off. The users are encouraged to interact and develop their own utilities on a foundation designed by the organizer. The inventor ( creator, author, entrepreneur) creates a new framework and spends their time observing usage to determine where (and when) to best offer solutions. They lead by becoming the new infrastructure and the tribe grows by users building specific content.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are hierarchical top down tribes. Typically defined by a leader continually communicating (broadcasting) to the community. At first I believed that without comments that's how Seth Godin runs his blog. I quickly realized after emailing Seth that he checks and reads all emails (and often times responds to them). This is the philosophy he lives by. He doesn't allow comments on his blog, as its easier for him to keep track of feedback by email. As a reader who really appreciates his ideas, it's difficult for me to interact with other people who also enjoy following his thoughts.
I don't always agree with Seth (what fun would that be). I'm confident there are others who enjoy what he does, but would like to take some of his views in a different direction. By allowing public comments, small communities can sprout up, and thoughts can be hashed out. Seth doesn't support this environment for his blog right now, and that's his prerogative as a media author. He has developed a platform to allow his concepts and thoughts to spread. Those ideas correspond to a changing market which is more concerned with the customer (which is fantastic in my book).
The First Steps and Trail Blazing
As an example, I'm currently developing my own type of soap box (this blog). Within it, I share my views on the walls to efficiency in the way our culture cultivates work, entrepreneurs and ideas. I've submitted multiple posts to various crowd sourcing sites, actively participated in blog improvement communities (31 Days by Darren Rowse), and worked on developing connections with people on twitter and friendfeed (many wonderful folks). The analysis I share in Victus Spiritus can't be done using cold mechanical methodology, but by asking the question:
"How can I contribute my best for myself and our future?"
This lead me to a series of other questions:
- "How can each of us contribute our best for ourselves and our future?"
- What can I do that I enjoy the most?
- What can I bring the most enthusiasm to?
- What work can I do that will be most
inspirational to others, positively affecting people around me (friends, family and coworkers)?
- What can I do that really make a difference in my life and for
- What will society value most from my efforts and time?
My solution was simple.
When I align my daily work with what I love and need to do, it has meaning to me.
I do my best with each post to generalize this approach so others can benefit from my experiences. When our daily efforts are tied directly our greatest hopes, we will be rewarded best by our community. By being selfish and pursuing a life path we love, we're not just benefiting ourselves. We're benefiting humanity because the world is getting our best, and all of us deserve nothing less.
It is my belief that everyone will benefit from pioneering a path of passion.