You want a recipe for boring, cookie-cutter content? Probably not, but I’m going to give you one anyway. Start out by considering your own opinion, and then forget all about it. Instead, work on producing what you think other people want to see, and saying what they want to hear in the way that you think they want to hear it. Avoid saying anything that could remotely be construed as controversial, mix in some loosely relevant jargon, and put a bow on it with a vague inspirational quote.
Or you could just be honest!
Look, I value data. I’m constantly seeking out the opinions of others and I’m very big on treating the people I encounter with respect and humanity. But none of that stops me from speaking my mind when it’s time to produce content.
The tough thing about trying to please everyone all the time with your content is that it makes it very difficult to speak your mind. You have your own ideas, opinions, and perspectives on what is happening around you. Your experience is valuable, and it should be a major factor in your voice when you’re creating content.
When I see an ad campaign that falls flat or a marketing trend that just flat-out doesn’t work the way it’s being presented, I’m going to call it like I see it. I don’t want anyone to guess how I feel about things, because that defeats the purpose of what my content is all about. Besides, being honest, authentic, and real comes with its share of benefits. Here are some dos and don’ts:
- No matter what type of content you produce online, you have competition. Someone else is producing content on the same topics, so you need more than just good information to stand out.
- Your audience wants to connect with a real, living, breathing human, and they’ll be much more interested in what you have to say if you’re authentic. Show some personality, crack some jokes if you’re comfortable, and please don’t try to be perfect.
- Savvy content consumers can spot your intentions from a mile away, with an eye toward noticing the difference between honest opinion and a paid marketing sales pitch. Let your audience see you as a person with real, honest opinions, rather than a content creator who praises whichever brand wrote them the biggest cheque.
- The real value of content comes in the conversation that happens after your content is published, through social channels and comments sections. If you just parrot the talking points from similar content, it’s hard to stoke any real engagement.
- Some social influencers play things straight from the Marketing 101 handbook, but the biggest stars are those who are comfortable expressing themselves and their own opinions. It’s a good idea to take your target audience into account when considering how to present content, but you don’t want to change opinions just because you’re speaking to a different audience.
- Speaking your mind doesn’t need to mean being rude, inconsiderate, or offensive. Those are all things that I try to avoid! But it does mean that you’ll have the most success creating content, and building ‘your’ brand, when you are willing to be yourself.
- There is no perfect way to express your opinion or create content, and that’s really the point. There’s so much room to share your own personality, in your own way, and forge deeper connections with your audience as a result. Be authentic, be real, and just be human. Your audience (and your conscience) will thank you for it.
Make this part of your brand DNA. Tell your story in a way people will care.
First published on tedrubin.com