I’m frustrated that my worth is measured more by the numbers of followers, views or visitors that I have and not the merit or impact of my work. You too must start to feel discontent when it comes to your work being judged on hollow numbers alone. The ability to cause effect or change behavior is true influence and that’s the core of what we stand for.
Numbers do not mean much. Without purpose and intention, our work becomes part of the noise and not the signal. It’s easy to fall into this trap though as all day today, you’ll get stuck in meetings where you’ll question the value of why you’re even there, flounder as you try to swim upstream in a relentless stream of email and fall into rabbit holes of introspection as politics, egos and general ignorance force you to re-examine where you are and where you’re going.
There’s just no time or real support to change but that doesn’t mean change isn’t inevitable.
In marketing, there are always trends that people will follow and others will miss. The trick is to not fall into a pattern of mediumism where we place greater value on the channels over native engagement and experiences. The goal most overlook however, and this must change, is the need to earn human relevance and not meaningless numbers. While some people yell “fire!” (although rightfully so in most cases) and point fingers at others, you and I will focus on developing strategies and creating content that engages AND adds value. As in life, investing in experiences and moments where people leave with something (you decide) contributes to relevance and reciprocity.
Meta 2.0: The New Storytelling
To demonstrate this point, I recently went a bit meta and worked on a content marketing campaign designed to help marketers improve content marketing campaigns. In a new, fun ebook I worked on with LinkedIn’s Jason Miller and Hugh MacLeod of GapingVoid. Our goal was to help content strategists and marketers enhance audience engagement by rethinking the approach to content and community engagement.
Storytelling in its truest sense is more important than ever. Yet, we misconstrue the opportunity to tell a sincere story with creating and broadcasting content that barks messaging across social networks without really embracing or even knowing the people formerly known as the audience. Instead, we often create for the people who approve our work rather than sincerely empathizing with those people who have an audience with an audience of their own. It’s our agenda or nothing right?! Wrong.
Humans are emotional creatures and they want experiences that engage them as humans. They’re not eyeballs, impressions, views, likes, shares, clickthroughs, or conversions. And, it is through empathy that we can design for “Limbic Resonance” to engage people emotionally and to plug-in to social graphs as a human distribution network for our story. By doing this over and over again, we can connect people through sharing and conversation to form communities that we can then cultivate.
That takes understanding, purpose, intent and genuineness not campaigns measured by vanity metrics.
LinkedIn has made this ebook freely available and we hope that it inspires you as much as it inspired us to think differently. You can download it here.
In the end, do everything in ways that are culturally relevant, meaningful, shareable and form the ties that bind the right people together.