If you have read this blog for any length of time or heard me speak about social media marketing, you know that I wholeheartedly believe that content is the best marketing strategy for using social media tools. Once you know that about me you almost always hear me talk about the Old McDonald approach to creating really, really valuable content. If you’re not familiar with Old McDonald and how he helps you with your content here is is:
Old McDonald In A Nutshell
Really valuable content is content that the people you want to reach will find valuable (rather than content you find valuable) so you want to focus on content for them and the Old McDonald approach (E-I-E-I-O) is to use at least one of these five things with your content:
E – Entertain (comedy, drama, mystery, etc.)
I – Inspire (make an emotional connection)
E – Educate (how to do something, what to do, what not to do, etc.)
I – Inform (news, stats, updates, ets.)
O – Outrage (knowing how to use controversy strategically)
I’ve gotten some really good feedback about EIEIO over the last year. One question people usually ask has something to do with combining these values. They want to know if it’s preferable to keep content in a single category or if it’s all right to combine them into something like content that’s both entertaining and educational.
I don’t think it matters because so much of good content comes down to simply beginning with a focus on what the people you want to reach will find valuable. If boring, dry, static data would be the kind of information that would be valuable to the people you want to reach, then there may be no need to try to be overly entertaining with it. It has much more to do with the people you want to reach than with what you think will be fun to do. You won’t go wrong when you focus on them.
Where to Start
If you’re ready to get started creating valuable content but don’t know where to begin, I suggest you start with educational or informative content. Those two can be some of the quickest ways to show value to the people you want to reach, particularly if they don’t know who you are yet. Once you develop a following, you can branch out into something that may be more purely entertaining, inspirational, or controversial.
Information and education are sometimes the quickest ways to show value too. Entertainment and inspiration, for instance, depend more on people’s personalities and tastes, so if you don’t know the people you want to reach really well, you can add the most value to them the quickest by going the informational or educational route first.
The bottom line is that you want to start adding value as soon as possible. People choose to give their attention to the things they find valuable. If you will shift your marketing strategy to focus on value, you will get more attention from the right people for longer periods of time.