You probably wouldn’t send Granny a card with this Naked Santa (even with a clear image; thankfully this isn't) unless she had a robust sense of humour.
It’s all about knowing your audience and respecting the relationship. In this post I show why Content Strategy – creating, personalising and sending
out your content – is the same, and when the right Naked Santa is just the ticket.
Don’t bore them to bits
Let’s start with those long, boring snapshots of ‘the year that was’ which some people send.
If you’re lucky, they’ll have some pics to relieve the tedium of the endless details of trips or infants born to relatives you’ll never meet. The snapshot might be folded into a card or sent as an attachment to an intimate e-card to a few hundred close friends. Whatever; they’re boring, impersonal and only some friends are unprofessional enough to do it.
They’d never do that to their customers, would they? Do you?
Well, if you’re blasting off the same content to your database, without matching it to individual relationships, it’s just as bad. If you don’t like receiving this sort of stuff, don’t ever send it.
Don’t insult Granny
If you’re emailing content to your database just because you can, then don’t. Think first about what they need, what interests them and how they might
like to consume it. Consider this: do they want it at all?
Just as Granny would be slighted if you posted her a card with the ethnically correct but bland ‘Happy Holidays’ greeting, your old friend living in Canada mightn’t appreciate a nativity-style Christmas card if, unknown to you, he's recently converted to Islam.
Before you start, think about what you’re trying to achieve with your content. For instance, if it’s building thought leadership in new markets, the strategy and elements will be different to those you’d use to launch a product.
Just as you might sent a nativity scene to your mate in Canada if you were about to enter a seminary and wanted to warm him up to the idea, you might just email Granny if she proudly phoned and told you she was now online.
Most of all, if Santa in his birthday suit is your thing, be sure to choose one who won’t offend anyone, including Granny. The one above might be just the ticket.
What bits do you send?
Let’s say your main competitor has just been acquired by a global competitor.
The new entity is bigger with deeper pockets but it’s also less agile and free to move. It will also take time for everyone to get comfy together, and priorities and staff may change.
This might be the best time to move quickly.
You could re-position your offering, highlighting your smart 'in-house developed’ technology or skills, your free-thinking, your responsive, accessible local staff and, of course, your independence. It’s a great time to be the agile thought leader in your patch.
To do this, you might write a White Paper on a controversial, topical issue you know a global giant wouldn't touch. Cut it into some blog posts, lay it out as an infographic, add a summary for social channels and spread the lot around.
Apart from matching the bits to the audience and channels, you'll be mighty happy with the spike in response rates and ROI, too.
Who gets what?
It’s just like the Christmas card conundrum.
It might be perfect to write a summary of the last year for the friends you haven’t seen in 12 months - but only if it has great pics and not much text. You might even print and send it by post to Granny.
Then you might cut it down into fewer, more recent anecdotes for friends you see more often.
Topping and tailing core content takes no time and makes a huge impact. No close friend likes to be treated like a number.
Clients are the same - and they're different to network contacts, prospects and suspects - so personalise all your messages.
Make it personal or don't bother
None of this takes much time if it’s planned and done in sequence, and it’ll be a whole lot more effective.
Christmas cards are pain to do, there’s no doubt about it. That’s why just about everyone takes the easy ways out: one long diatribe or a quick insincere email for all.
Don’t do either. You’re better doing nothing.
(My cousin sends an identical wrap-up of his endless global travels to his customers, prospects and me - all with one greeting ‘Dear friend’. Unbelievable. Needless to say, he’s not a very close cousin.)
Your customers, prospects and networks are precious - just like your family and friends. Make sure you make them feel this way.
All your Christmases at once
Create the right combination in the right format for each relationship and make sure that, if they might access more than one type, they’re not identical. That would be like getting 2 long diatribes, one by post and one by email. Groan.
Get it right and all your Christmases might come at once.
Get it wrong and Santa might ride by and never come back.
Good luck - and all the best for the Festive Season.
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