Why be clever when you want to be clear, right? Yep. I tweeted that once, and in spite of myself, I insisted on a clever-sounding title. But before I jump into the bulleted list about content (the point of this post), a brief digression:
cover courtesy of penguinsciencefiction.org
I could have avoided alluding to John Wyndham’s classic sci-fi novel Trouble with Lichen, but after coming across a few headlines this week that read “Trouble with..” I simply couldn’t resist. Something to think about when aiming to be clear: resist at all cost! (unless of course the idea comes naturally)
There’s also a double entendre behind the novel’s title, as I recall it being quite a slog of a read, and Wyndham somehow never really managing to complete his revolutionary thoughts around women in society, immortality, etc.—as if there were way too many things going on. Why be clever with your content when you want to be clear? Oh the sweet irony.
Content is king
Now despite this tried (tired?) and true adage, here are some thoughts which may help give added perspective:
- Less isn’t always more, but it’s usually more concise
I was recently at a seminar on the subject of digital marketing. That event essentially inspired me to write this post. There was so much material crammed into the short time period that the presenter kept apologizing about how it would take days just to properly talk about one of the points. So why not adjust the content to fit the time frame?
- Social media is now a given; Twitter is not a fad
There were many useful nuggets in the presentation. In fact, overall, it was clearly an eye-opener for many of the people in the audience, most of whom were still new to social media. However, I thought it was misleading (perhaps misinformed?) of the presenter to say that “the jury is still out on whether or not Twitter is a fad” and to refer to LinkedIn as “just a directory to me”. If social media is part of your content, talk about it in a way that shows you are actually using and experiencing it, and share the HOW with others.
- Video is underused but only works with good production value
Many corporations are in steady pursuit of finding ways to leverage all types of media in their B2B strategies, including video. The user experience associated with video is self-evident. However, for video to be truly compelling, producing it must really be left to the pros. This is where committee-driven decisions have no place and where collaboration between MarkComm and either its internal team or a vendor must be allowed to be a self-contained process. Think tacky commercials by biz owners who DIY-ed their way into producing their own spot.
- The social web is fragmented; messaging can’t be
Because the web was meant to be a virtual experience of interconnectivity, the speed it takes to permeate throughout the fabric of society shouldn’t really be a surprise. But because of a multitude of channels and platforms from which messages are pushed and pulled, it is important to ensure that the key messages that characterize your content is reflected consistently throughout all your online and offline assets. This is not a new communications insight. However, in the rush to get on the board the social train, organizations, now more than ever, must pay very close attention to the level of integrity and accuracy of their messages. It can make or break all your efforts.
I had the privilege of getting feedback on this piece prior to posting it. A colleague suggested that I tighten up the intro as he found it somehow detracted from the gist of the post. I agree with him. But I thought it would nonetheless be a healthy exercise to demonstrate how one can easily fall into the trap of trying to be clever and end up being unclear. Lesson learned?
What do you think? What aspects of the “King” would you consider worthy of sharing? What pitfalls have prevented you from staying on point?