Is Your Content Too Narcissistic?

Recently, the front page of the New York Post displayed outrage toward a group of people who took a selfie with a New York City apartment building ablaze in the background. Two people died in the blast and many others lost their homes, but these people thought it an opportune time to say “cheese” and post the pic to social media. Perhaps being witness to this tragic event somehow made them feel important or a part of something big or perhaps it is the perfect example of just how narcissistic our society has become.

narcissticSo what does this have to do with your content? Sirius VP Marisa Kopec said it best at the 2014 Sirius Decisions Summit, “Most B2B content is as narcissistic as a selfie.”

The Error of Narcissistic Content

Although content marketing has been at the forefront of marketing strategies for some time now, many brands still struggle with the old school inclination to go for the hard sell. Companies love to make it about them, “here are all the reasons why we’re the best,” or “look what we can do.” Many simply cannot resist the urge to use their blog as a repository for press releases and new product announcements.

What many companies must learn is that you’ll never truly realize success in content marketing until you accept that it’s not about you, or your product or your organization. It’s about your audience.

The Importance of Customer-Centric Content

Content that goes viral is content that helps your customer, provides knowledge to your customer or evokes emotion within your customer. Your customer doesn’t want to hear stories about how great you are; your competitors are singing the same song.

The only way to win over that customer is to show them. Unfortunately, many companies are scared to give away their secret sauce, afraid that if they share too much, the customer won’t need them anymore, or their competitors will steal their ideas. However, we are now within a sharing economy, therefore, we must adapt. What you will find is that even if you tell a customer how to do it, they will likely hire you to do it anyway, if your ideas are good.

Today, every organization is a media company of sorts and we all operate a 24-hour newsroom. No media company worth their salt would continuously publish only stories about itself. Instead, it would ask what its audience wants to hear. It would publish stories that keep the audience informed, solve problems facing its audience and tell compelling stories about the communities its audience cares about.

How to Adapt

The old way of marketing required companies to constantly get their name out there and there’s still room for that in sales, advertising, promotions and PR. However, content marketing and social media are a different story. These platforms should be used to serve the interests of the customer, not as one more place to toot your own horn.

You have to trust that if you offer compelling content that keeps your audience engaged, they will remember your name, come back again and again, and in time, become loyal purchasers of your products and services, because you look out for them and they trust you.

So stop sharing the shallow content equivalent of selfies, and instead create a post with your customers in mind, bragging about how great THEY are for a change.

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