Everybody talks about the value of organic growth, but it’s really hard to achieve, which is exactly why it’s so valuable. My name is Michael Boezi, and let’s talk about the benefits and the challenges of organic growth.
In content marketing, what I like to talk about is sort of moving up the payment scale, if you will. And really that goes from attention to advocacy to payment or actual capital and then really to extend the relationship into loyalty. So let’s break that down a little bit.
Customers First Pay Attention
First of all, attention. In today’s world, it’s way more scarce because everyone is out there, trying to get their message out, connecting on social, producing all this material, so you’re trying to sort people against all this noise. And because it’s so scarce now, it’s actually gone up in value. When people are paying attention to you, and I love that term, we call it paying attention, it’s actually a payment of sorts.
You do that by providing value to them, showing up first, giving them something that is of value to them, whether it inspires them, informs them, entertains them, enlightens them. Whatever that is, they’re now paying attention. That’s a small payment to be sure, but every relationship has to start somewhere, and it always starts with attention.
You Want Your Audience to Share Your Content
If you’ve built that up, that attention happens the first time the second time the 20th time the 50th time, whatever that is, now you might start to activate advocacy. This right here is sort of the holy Grail of content marketing. If you’re producing stuff that is so compelling but you can’t help yourself but to share it.
That right there is really what you’re going for in content marketing. And when you’re trying to measure the results of content marketing, really that’s to me the only metric that matters, was it compelling enough to share? If your business goes at the speed of you, it’s not good enough. It has to be activated in this network. The only way to do that is really really compelling content that’s going to get shared. But if you’re not taking that attention, converting it into advocacy and then converting it into capital, you don’t have a business.
Payment Changes Customers’ Expectations
Once you’ve gotten to that point, where people are actually paying you, you can now start to have that exchange of value happen over some time frame. That challenge is a little different right, because as soon as there’s money in the equation, the dynamic changes a little bit. Now that customer, a paying customer, has a different set of expectations of you, you’re providing value to them in a different way, it’s an entirely different challenge. And of course you going to want to start to think of your content strategy as helping them now too.
It’s a picture little bit differently than trying to earn a customer for the first time, but that all has to be wound into your complete and cohesive content strategy. For me it’s worth it. It is my marketing. You have to decide if it’s going to work for you and your business as well. But look, the stuff as I said is going to take time, and there are some real challenges to it.
You Have to Make a Lot of Content
Okay so think of all the content that you’re going to have to create. One, you’re going to have to create buyer personas, you’re going to write blog posts, you have to do all this big push around social – all this stuff is time-consuming, there is no way around it. I can’t sugarcoat that for you, I can’t tell you that this is going to be easy. It’s just a matter of deciding whether or not it’s worth it. The sort of conventional knowledge around this is that basically no matter how much effort you put into it, it’s going to take at least nine months to get this going.
You may decide I can’t wait that long I need to activate this now I’m going to have to go and do something else to try to gather an audience. Now there are of course other ways that you can do that, but that’s going to be costly, it’s going to cost some time, some effort, and really when it comes down to it you’re going to have to pay for access to those channels. So don’t think that you save anything except for maybe time, you’re purchasing time in this rubric.
About Michael Boezi
Michael Boezi is the owner and managing director of Control Mouse Media, LLC. He works with clients to devise, develop, and deploy a cohesive content strategy to build an online audience. He does whatever it takes to help people create genuine, bi-directional connections with their customers.
He is the creator and host of Marketing Without the Marketing, a podcast that helps people learn the basics of using a content strategy to build an audience. Michael is currently building an online course called CreateBiz, focused on helping writers, musicians, and visual artists use their creative content to build an audience. He is also an instructor at Emerson College, teaching a grad-level course that he designed, called “Fundamentals of Content Strategy.”
Michael is a 17-year publishing veteran who has helped hundreds of writers become authors. Today, many of his clients are non-fiction authors, or at least using a book as a “business card.” He has also helped build two early-stage startups from the ground up, and still mentors young startups in the LearnLaunch accelerator program.