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Seeking Your Support Next Week

Come next week, I’m going to make one of my infrequent “asks” from you to vote for Brainzooming on the Innovation Excellence Top Innovation Bloggers listings. The opportunity to vote goes from December 18th to December 31st. If you find the daily content we share on the Brainzooming blog beneficial throughout the year, we would tremendously appreciate your support, so please be on the lookout for voting links next week. And speaking of making asks . . .

The Recycling Guy Has His Hand Out

Making an ask from others is front and center every December as articles appear on what to give the service providers in your life who take care of your hair, deliver your newspaper, train you to stay in shape, tend to your children, carry your mail, etc. In part, these articles seem a hint to service providers to make their BIG hints for a holiday gift.

Recycling-Guy-Content-Marke

Photo by: Aaron Deacon

We received a note in early December taped to our recycling bin from the guy on the recycling truck. It included his name, home mailing address, and a brief sentence about how much he appreciated handling our recycling needs and wishing us Happy Holidays.

Really?

So in DECEMBER, our recycling guy, who we NEVER see, who drives a truck with remote arms to handle our recycling within a few seconds weekly, who probably hasn’t gotten within 50 feet of our house or spent more than 15 minutes this year providing service decided to start what could be characterized as a content marketing effort in DECEMBER by putting a note on our recycling bin to wish us Happy Holidays?

Really?

Unbelievable. But how many of us are guilty of exactly the same thing – at least some of the time?

Content Marketing when You Don’t NEED to Ask for Anything

You may not think so, but the recycling guy’s note IS, in a sense, content marketing (affiliate link). He’s delivering a non-commercial message with the underlying intention of strengthening a relationship leading to a value exchange, i.e. we send him a check for Christmas.

The problem is, based on the timing, the first content he’s shared contains his implied “ask.” There’s no introduction, cultivation, or progression of a relationship with content moving things along.

If the recycling guy shared a joke or funny thought of the quarter, or maybe an inspirational note with a reduce/resuse/recycle theme every couple of months, I might just send him something because he would have made himself memorable, even though we still wouldn’t know him personally.

Content Marketing Is About Frequency and Appropriately Timing Your Ask

Content Marketing on Recycling BinIs your business doing the same thing as the recycling guy?

Do you start (or re-start) a rifle shot content marketing effort when you need a sale right now?

Are you trying to cram your BIG ask and a smattering of irrelevant content (just to make it all seem benign) into an eleventh hour, easily ignored message to customers and prospects?

If so, it’s not productive content marketing. To make your content marketing better and more effective in 2013:

  • Start sharing valuable content well before you need something to happen, i.e. only start in December because it’s beginning sooner than January, not because you need an end of year sale.
  • Repeat your effort multiple times, since it’s not a “one piece of content = customer takes action” equation. Heck, it’s not even a “one piece of content = the customer notices you” equation.
  • Stay with your program so you’re a regular and familiar presence when you do make an ask.

I doubt the recycling guy reads or even knows about the Brainzooming blog, but maybe I’ll tape a copy of this post to the recycling bin next week as my holiday gift so he’ll be in a position to get another one from us next year! – Mike Brown

 

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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One Response to “Content Marketing – Start Before You NEED Something to Happen”

  1. JanLeslie says:

    I must have some Grinch genes because I think it is inappropriate for service people that get paid a wage to do a job to expect gratuities just for doing said job. Some people go above and beyond. Those people deserve our gratitude. Case in point:

    My in-laws are in their 70s. Their trash collector goes up to their garage, opens the door, carries the trash cans to his truck, empties them, then carries them back to the garage and closes the door–every week without fail. That guy deserves a tip. You know what, though? He probably doesn’t expect one.

    My kids got this Bible quote fridge magnet in their church youth group:
    “In all work you are doing, work the best you can. Work as if you were working for the Lord, not for men.”–Colossians 3:23

    I’ve found that to be excellent advice, particularly when I’m having a rough day or dealing with a difficult customer. And if you give your best day in and day out, your clients and customers will notice and appreciate your efforts even if they don’t give you a tip for doing the job.

    By the way, the magnet did not seem to inspire my children to approach their chores with any increased enthusiasm. But it has inspired me to keep going through some difficult situations.

    Another inspirational resource: Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. Regardless of whether you’re Christian, this book will make you think about yourself and your role in relationship to others whether it be in the business world or a more personal sphere.

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