A few years back, on a balmy summer evening, I looked out one of the small windows flanking our front door, and alit on the glass pane in front of me was a giant moth – bright green, an almost fluorescent creature, glowing in the August moonlight. It was probably the size of those bars of soap you get at a hotel, big enough for me to emit an audible gasp. Not that I was afraid or anything but I was glad it was on the OTHER side of the glass.
My first reaction was to wonder what Art Evans, that bug expert guy on WCVE would say about it, but immediately after, I called to my daughter, wanting to share my discovery with someone. She immediately (well, as immediately as 17-year-olds come when they are summoned by their father) joined me in the foyer. She took one look at it, matter-of-factly uttered “oh, cool” and proceeded to capture the Lepitoptura (okay, I looked that up) with her iPhone, presumably to share with hundreds of her friends on Facebook. (This was during her pre-Twitter and pre-Instagram days.) Seconds later, she was back doing whatever it was she was doing.
I was reminded of this episode recently in talking to clients about the need to “socialize” their expertise and experiences with their online followers. I talk to clients regularly about their stories, and more often than not, they are too close to them to even realize they ARE stories. Not seeing the forest for the trees kind of thing I suppose. So many marketers fail to take a step back and realize that what is right in front of them, what they are experiencing daily – the problems they are solving, the insights they are providing, the behind-the-scene images of their workplace – actually have marketing value to their target audiences.
It’s rare that we meet a client that we don’t think should have a blog. An ongoing blog gives marketers a chance to showcase their expertise, to put flesh around the bones of their brand, to amplify their key messages, to shape an identity that people like and can relate to. Blogs do all this and more. And they can be more than words, but include images, videos and links to someone else’s smart musings. Yeah, we love blogs.
But invariably, clients tell us that they are too busy to blog, and more to the point, that they don’t know what to blog about. (Insert another audible gasp here.) The maddening answer, of course, is that blog content is right in front of them – big and green and fluorescent – just waiting to be shared, quickly and efficiently, with everyone who should care. So many Millennials go through their days socializing their everyday experiences with those they are digitally connected to. It’s a mindset – actually, it’s moved beyond a mindset to become something instinctive. They go through their days looking for experiences, links, images, videos, newscasts, embarrassing texts from parents – anything that they can share with others to let them into their world.
Blogs don’t have to be some profound treatise on the state of the industry. They are the brief episodes of a business day that basically have readers saying, “oh, cool.”