The Saddest Thing in Life is Wasted Content – A Plea for Better Marketing

Dan Allocca  Follow

In the now legendary cinematic production, A Bronx Tale, Robert De Niro states to his young son, “Remember, the saddest thing in life is wasted talent.” The statement is as simple as it is profound – and, as marketers and communicators – the saddest thing in life is wasted content!

Let’s face it; writing long-form thought leadership is hard and time-consuming work; coming up with a thesis, doing the days of research to craft an informed (and interesting) perspective, writing and editing the piece in partnership with a network of overworked peers, getting it through legal and compliance review and then getting it posted to the website for the world to read….

Just one problem – the world will not read it, save for your significant other and maybe your mom.

I’d even suggest – and you might want to take a seat for this one…. exactly nobody wakes up in the morning wondering what we think. Our clients have issues to solve and their capacity for new ideas that don’t solve immediate needs ranges from limited to non-existent. So – nothing personal, but the last thing on their minds will be to visit your website, let alone to read your multi-page research piece. In order to be good marketers, we must accept this reality as a base case with all that we do. So, should we take our toys and go home?

No! Of course not. To get our ideas noticed, we must approach the promotion and syndication of thought leadership MUCH DIFFERENTLY than we do the creation of it. Think back to when you were a kid in school – getting the right answer on a math exam was not enough – remember, you had to show your work! Showing your work is how we should think of thought leadership; the world needs to know you did the homework before they will give you any airtime. However, most of the world has not the time nor the interest to check your homework – they just want to know that you’ve done it. So, if the thought leadership is showing the work, the promotion and syndication of your work is the equivalent to the answer itself.

With this in mind, let us consider three small ideas that can yield big results when promoting content. I will use a typical LinkedIn post as a simple example – and unfortunately, I see examples like this daily across professional and financial services. “Click here to learn more about our Q4 economic outlook”

Three simple ideas to improve upon this post:

  • Get to the point – show us the answer: Too many brands hide their main ideas rather than being upfront with them…– why? Can’t you just tell me your views right now?!? Is there some kind of mystery we need to resolve first? Are you hoping I will browse around your website for an hour and then call you to buy your products? Because I won’t… The best brands give you their thinking upfront and create interest with a takeaway of how it will impact their target market. Two examples:
    1. “We believe rates will rise 25 basis points this year – impacting bond prices. Learn more about how this will impact your portfolio”
    2. “Your income portfolio could be at risk – learn more about how to create a stable income stream in your portfolios”
  • Get people to care: People do not consume media the way we want them to. In fact, most won’t even read your LinkedIn post to begin with. You must compel them to stop and pay attention. The burden is on you to interrupt their flow AND to make a point – and then to make a point that matters. Often a question or compelling visual can stop someone long enough to take notice.
    1. “Did you know your income portfolio is likely to take a hit in Q4? We predict rates to rise 25 basis points soon – learn more about how to build stable income portfolios”
    2. “Is your income at risk? It could be. We predict yields to be pressured for the foreseeable future”
  • Get to your audience: Worse than reaching nobody is reaching the wrong people…. With smart planning, you can promote your content to a highly targeted group of clients and prospects across social media, digital media and even out of home – ensuring your upfront time investment to write the piece results in downstream opportunity with your pool of prospects and clients.

The shameless plug: Prosek can help. Syndication and promotion of thought leadership is a highly specialized skill. Our team is comprised of over 200 specialists with deep expertise in financial and professional services. We can help you craft your narrative and then bring it to life through our full-service Marketing and Communications capabilities.

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