Hype vs. Value and Why Everyone Wants Buzz


Buzz_Lightyear Your content can educate, inform, entertain, and even inspire. There are more than 50 ways to create genuine buzz –  connecting with people by making their lives easier or by evoking strong emotions in them, for example.  

Writing content that is valuable to the people you want to attract is a little bit easier when you're passionate about the topic. Another case when value comes through is expert knowledge.

This is especially true for businesses that cater to other businesses. We're still talking about people needing to solve problems, and finding effective ways to do that through helpful resources will earn you points.

You could develop content that helps someone sell your idea to his team. Some tactical executions that have worked for me in the past are:

  • a visual deck with competitive comparison charts
  • a worksheet for tackling implementation implications for other groups
  • experiential tools for teams to test drive your product
  • a drag and drop guide they can configure to appeal to different internal questions
  • an industry news bulletin they can use to stay up to date and will make them look good when sharing

However, in many cases, it takes understanding something for people to appreciate it. Time and time over, I observed how excellent advice and content are overlooked. If you've ever written a post you were very proud of, yet nobody read or liked, you experienced that disconnect.

When hype replaces value

Value is in the eyes of the reader. A balanced diet of the elements that make up a consistent stream of useful content, designed to combine or alternate education, information, entertainment, and inspiration, helps you achieve the two-fold objective of being interesting and interested.

Educating and inspiring are particularly strong ingredients for this recipe of value.

However, when you don't have those ingredients, when what you have is a run-of-the-mill piece of content that offers little in the realm of new ideas or actionable points, and have no additional resources to take that content where it needs to be, your only option to make it work is hype.

In some cases, the hype may be so good at selling the idea of getting the content, that people forget to check its usefulness. That's when you succeeded in building buzz. Just buzz and genuine or real buzz are difficult to tell apart. Which is why everyone wants buzz.

Real buzz

Is reader-generated and usually a win win because the content is also compelling the people it attracts. Content is your digital body language, and it's your ticket to driving action. Seven ideas for generating compelling content are:

  1. creating a feeling of involvement
  2. being honest
  3. providing value and proof of value
  4. establishing authority
  5. building on the desire to belong
  6. creating a sense of urgency
  7. making the whole brain work

There's not doubt that companies are facing challenges with content strategy in the coming year. However, if you treat content as a product that needs production to realize its value, you begin to develop a new business asset, one that will help you meet your business objectives and provide a return on your investment.

What kind of buzz are you generating?

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0 responses to “Hype vs. Value and Why Everyone Wants Buzz”

  1. Hi Valeria – you set the bar high here on buzz and value. I like how you associate value with involvement, belonging an authority and not just creating content. The value is in great content and human involvement/ interaction/ participation. Love it.
    Cheers to you and this post. Thank you.

  2. I can see where Internet Marketing can get absurdly high on the Hype scale with little actual helpful content or real buzz.
    The building of “buzz” around you and your brand sounds like Alan Weiss’ “Personal Gravity” principle.
    As for myself, still have a long way to go on the buzz building.

  3. @Mark — someone’s got to. We’re chasing things into the ground these days: education, critical discourse, economics, etc. People who are involved feel valued, therefore they assign more value to that which involves them.
    Mike — there is also a high expectation of free education on the part of those who participate… lack of appropriate reciprocation is also noise. Sometimes a whisper is can get one further to meeting their goals, than a “big splash”, as they used to say.
    @Brian — an all time favorite post for many.

  4. I entirely agree with your perspective on the importance of content. However, if one is to provide educational content via news blog, how do you create that buzz for the blog itself? Yes, word of mouth is a powerful tool, so if one person enjoys an article and passes it along that begins the buzz… but for a startup swimming in an overcrowded pool of other startups, the biggest difficulty is finding a way to combine hype and value. ANY suggestions? Thanks

  5. The hard thing to do is getting but in from brands and companies to build the trust and loyalty long term. ost marketing managers, brand managers etc are under pressure to get results short term and they come and go in brands anyway. That is why the hype cycle and getting quick wins in social media and other campaigns will always win out over long term strategic thinking

  6. @Michelle — that’s a good suggestion for a future post. Thank you. We’ll do an advanced version of my post on creating a blog.
    @Niali — not always, just as long as it inflates value and gets one time transactions going.

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