Quick, how fast do you draw conclusions from short statements?
If you're on Twitter and use social networks with some degree of regularity, you're probably fast on the draw, as they say. Shoot, fire, aim — the classic busy person approach. Is it a defense mechanism, or is it an overactive offshoot of our survival instinct: fight or flight?
Everyone is talking about it, it's a reality. And if it weren't… perception about it would make it so. In an age of continuous partial attention, people prefer not to get involved with information. Involvement means commitment, and everyone is already maxed out.
Or are they?
You don't know what you don't know
More than filter failure, we have a discovery challenge. More networks have given us more friends. And more friends are giving us more shared content. Except for, often, unless we make it a point to follow links and chase new stories, we end up reading more of the same (or similar) thing – everywhere.
Even using useful services like Pecolate and Eqentia, the content that finds you is still pretty mainstream. In fact, it finds you because of it.
This makes it a challenge to stay fresh with new things.
It makes it a challenge to be that fresh new thing coming out of the gate. Which is why new blogs require a really strong point of view along with unique value proposition, and perseverance as in sticking to your guns, to continue with the analogy, just like startups.
Record, remember, revisit
Which is why your content strategy should be to:
- record your thinking – what's behind the work, who benefits, how you're changing the world, and also putting your thoughts down for others to pick up, try them on, adapt them to their needs, take them in new directions, build upon
- remember – this is the single, most useful and connective thing you can do. Just like when you remember someone's birthday, or special date, when you check in with someone you haven't heard from in a long time and show them you can pick up the conversation where you left off… well, you can do the same with content, connecting the dots over time, bringing people along
- revisit – things change, so should your content evolve to witness growth, expansions, sharpening in focus, and depth. Like many great artists who develop their voice and style with maturity, so does your content
Your brand is a living conversation the business has with itself.
Your content is how you continue to have people understand what you are by recording, remembering, and revisiting, which allow you to build the context of your story as it meets that of others and comes back to you as feedback.
The best content (and products) sets the stage that welcomes conversation. In a world obsessed with social proofing, let's not forget that the most important conversation your customers and readers have is with themselves – their worldview, their stories, what they want to do.
Do you then activate them, or do they activate themselves thanks to the context you provide?