What can a 6 year old teach us about content marketing?

The cutest child just hit me up to buy Ducky Derby tickets. She skipped along in front of her mom in a little red gingham checked sundress. Her freckles and blond I-don’t-really-care-what-my-hair-looks-like ponytail may have given me a clue that she wasn’t a professional salesperson.

Despite her pixie smile, I rejected her pitch. So did the lady walking behind me. (The child had resorted to the standard, “Wanna buy a Ducky Derby ticket?”)  At least I had a reason (I’ve already bought tickets from a Boy Scout.). She just said no.

As I walked away I heard the wisest words of my day, “Maybe if we put on a show they’ll buy some.”

Bingo! I wanted to turn and tell her Yes! You get it!

See, we can’t just ask our customers to buy our stuff because we think it’s great. We’ve got to give them something to convince them it is. It’s called “content marketing.” Maybe her “show” wouldn’t have a direct correlation to her product, but it would be of value. She’d have an audience eating out of her hand. How could they not then repay in kind by buying her product?

What’s your show?

So what can you offer as a show? Is it informative content on your blog? Maybe a helpful video that solves a pressing problem. It could be a sneak peak at industry innovations. What do you have that your customers want? What can you give them before you ask them to pull out their wallets (or POs)?

This six year old was on to something. I hope she takes her theory to town and wins the top prize in her school’s fund raising drive.

Why Facebook Gets to Break Every Rule

Today I started my day as usual. Made breakfast for my boys, got them to the bus stop and spent some quiet time in prayer and journaling. With coffee, of course.

Satisfied, I opened my laptop as I do every day to Facebook, Google Reader and our local paper, the Record Searchlight.


My husband had warned me. “They changed everything,” he told me earlier. His everything sometimes exceeds my idea of everything so I wasn’t worried. “Right,” I said. “They sent out a notice last week telling us we can make our own Feed Groups.” I was actually slightly impressed they had given warning. Often that isn’t the case.

Like today. Yup, pretty much everything, at least everything we FBers have come to rely on has changed. Overnight. With no warning.

What other organization can do that and not lose customers?

Facebook breaks all the rules and gets away with it. Why? Because they can. Because Facebook has over 750 million active users. They practically own the modern world.

What if you tried that?

We work hard at building relationships in our business. We educate. We coddle. We move as slowly as our clients need us to move. After all, we are business missionaries, reliant on their good will and, ultimately, their choices.

When our local paper makes format changes, we read about them in detail for weeks in advance. They’ll tell us the columns will be wider, lifestyle stories will now be in the D section and the crossword puzzle will only appear on Tuesdays. Even then, they bear the brunt of shock and complaints when it happens. But we’ve at least been warned. Good service. Courteous service.

Most of us in business know that sudden changes in operations or policy will alienate our audience. If they have other options, they can and will easily make a move.

With Facebook, not so much. We are vested. They own our photo albums (I mean, who scrapbooks anymore?), they own our games, they own our social connections. They know we aren’t going to ditch them–at least it would be very difficult for us to do so.

Should Facebook be worried?

There was a time when Rome ruled the world. There was a time when the United States held superpower rank in presence and economy. There was a time when radio ruled the airwaves. And there was a time when we only had three channels plus UHF on our TVs.

Yes. They should be worried. What they do is not considered good customer service, no matter how royal they believe themselves to be. Google+ may be the happiest of all about the change. Disgruntled users now have an option. And isn’t it funny how many of Facebook’s changes are mirroring what Google+ rolled out (Circles, for one)? I’m thinking they are worried.

Change always invokes lessons. Let’s remember what NOT to do but what Facebook has done and will continue to do. Cherish your clients. Move forward but move with them. Pull them along. Help them. I’d rather have a solid and happy client than merely a client who is reluctantly giving me business in the absence of choice. Wouldn’t you?

What do you think? Should Facebook be worried?