Make Deeper Connections Not Throwaway Moments

deeper connection_the id group_content marketing

It is far more rewarding to create a moment for someone else, rather than duplicate what has already been done.

As we start the New Year, the messages of hope, enthusiasm and generic ‘this is the year’ expression of optimism, means we have walked into a packed networking event of clichéd delivery and the new business cards to take away are either embossed or foiled to look that extra special.

Create Not Duplicate

For many, it is the equivalent of working in recruitment advertising and dusting down the ‘New Year, New Career’ headline and bringing it out again proudly for it to be seen in early 2015.

New Year New Career

What I mean is that it is far easier to duplicate a message and press a button for everyone to see, rather than look to make a deeper emotional connection with someone.

Sharing the experiences we have, the viewpoints we seize and the information we consume, helps us transmit a feeling that we want others to partake in. This is the crux of this article where it’s all about the feeling generated and not just what is read/listened/watched.

I personally don’t think that sharing a jpeg image with a quote from Richard Branson can stir an emotion. It is just copied from someone else who got their first. What becomes the trigger is when the delivery of content has a deeper meaning.

When reading a quote or a comment where the original source is credited to someone else, this becomes no more than a throwaway comment and means very little to someone else. Unless we think of others first, we can’t make that move to connect with someone else. All we become are generic travellers on an underground tube ride where everyone wears the same clothes.

A New Way Of Looking At Engaging With Others

There is an answer though. This is to move direction from duplication to engagement:

Throwaway Comments

Mark Schaefer recently highlighted, from his {grow} blog, that 2015 will be represented by content ignition. What Mark states is that we need to become more ‘clever, more resourceful, more strategic’ in the content we create where others ‘see it, engage with it and share’ that creates the real value. As businesses, we need to work a lot smarter than just creating content and distributing with our fingers crossed.

During December 2014 Instagram announced over 300 million people used this social each month (compared to 284 million users for Twitter). Not only are we competing with other businesses for our rightful space in the social hemisphere, but our friends, family and everyone else we come into contact with. It is going to become even more challenging to be heard, recognised and listened to. You’ve got to think about adopting another approach.

Easier, But Harder

It is becoming easier to reach, but is also now becoming harder to consume. I say this from a personal level when using the LinkedIn publishing platform. I posted my first article in April 2014 and early posts were reaching 000s of reads on the site. As more people registered to use the longer-form publishing tool, the readership numbers have been more within the 00s. The channel has become overused.

Many have decided to take to the LinkedIn ocean but the fish aren’t biting as well as they used to. More people registered and what was once a pretty useful tool to use in terms of reach, over time has become a more commonplace means of communication that doesn’t feel as special.

Giving A Different Slant

There is absolutely nothing wrong with sharing something you have already seen somewhere else but has struck a chord. Just as long as you make it stronger and perhaps approach from a different angle from where it first appeared. We can’t create moments for others to engage if our delivery is bland and our message completely mundane. You don’t have to look any further than a message on LinkedIn from a local estate agent on the first ‘proper’ day of work for the year (Monday 5th January).

keep calm
Yes, this is 2015 not 2008!

It is our responsibility as businesses (and individuals) to share a meaningful journey where we are relevant to others. This is the essence for how we differentiate. By taking a story first approach we can create a movement by others having a shared goal alongside what we stand for and wanting to engage because it has a more profound meaning.

An Example From A Brand That Connected

Dulux achieved this during the latter part of 2014 with their ‘Colour Britain’ campaign. Rather than taking a stance of just bringing colour into peoples lives, they took a step further. Dulux demonstrated deeper meaning by transforming city centres with giant murals hand painted onto canvases (including Sheffield, Manchester, Brighton and Birmingham).

A series of videos were produced for each project, alongside a main two-minute film (over 1.3 million views on YouTube). This is a great example of incorporating a more imaginative message into a brand narrative that connects with people.

I am not saying that we need to have deep pockets to develop initiatives such as Dulux, but what we can become is essential to the problems that we can solve for others. We need to have a wider purpose for our audience rather than regurgitating what someone else has thought (or what someone said over 50 years ago).

Rounding Up

I believe that the companies who will succeed in 2015 will be those who understand how everything fits together and have the ability to create their own rivers to meander within, rather than think that they have to combat in an ocean. When I say ‘fits together’, I mean the balance where the digital and direct communication works together that can engage an audience.

This is the challenge for all of us. It is time to step out from the carbon copies and what the rest of our respective marketplace is doing to be heard.

It is time to discover the ways where we can make an impact on others and to cause a reaction where we can challenge, entertain and be seen as representing a credible source that can create moments for others to be part of.

Image at the top of the article courtesy of KaleBrewer

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