As I continue to read and learn about creating content for the web, it occurs to me that making great content for everyone is absolutely impossible. Perhaps if I had a multimillion dollar budget and the talent of Wieden + Kennedy that created the Old Spice commercials, then I could reach the masses. Or if I had been in business for years and years and had a client list 1M strong, I could get my message out more quickly and more effectively. But wait, in a world where Macro and Micro converge (the Internet), it’s important to remember that my message matters to someone no matter the number. That someone may be limited to my mother at the time, but it’s a start, right?
I see two possible strategies for my company’s marketing due to the time and resource constraints:
1. Create a funny, creative, impacting viral video Rhett and Link or the band OK GO. This means thinking, organizing, writing, producing and editing an entire video in hopes that it ‘hits’ like I want it to. The right video would generate tons of buzz and increase web traffic, phone calls and money.
2. Target my core audience–right now my friends and family–who is already willing to listen. They will help spread the word if I continue to wow them. It means slower, organic growth, but there’s something really amazing about starting at the bottom and working your way up. It’s more likely I can give the needed attention to my core audience and generate a “family” of customers, instead of a mass of people I need to manipulate and coerce into buying my product through fancy advertising.
Last night a client and friend called to see if I could help troubleshoot her printer over the phone. I tried and it was not possible without actually being there. Fortunately she lives 10 minutes away, so I told her I would run over and not charge her since I was confident I could fix the printer in less than 10 minutes, plus I needed to get out and pick up dinner. Her text response was “Wow!” She has been a huge advocate of mine since day 1 and recommends me to lots of people she talks to. I’m her “computer guy.” Why not reward a “Promoter” with excellent, fast and free service every now and then?
I got to her house, fixed the printer, chatted a little about what’s going on with the family and came back home. I decided not to pick up dinner.
In this example, my “content” was my service. I did what I could to deliver happiness to a great customer. It matters to her. What if I had been trying to act like a big, successful company? They won’t come over on a moment’s notice. They won’t charge zero to help a friend. They would schedule a time, charge for the trip, not talk about family and probably leave without so much as a “thank you for your business.”
Dave Ramsey talks about acting your wage. Well, by giving great service to a great customer, my company is acting its size (1 employee) and age (a few months old).
When you are creating content and working to deliver a high level of customer service, everything is marketing. Focus on what you have, not what you hope to have, and the latter will come to you. What you deliver is your content and it matters to someone.
Michael Jones is a Web Designer and Online Marketer in Nashville, TN who specializes in Search Engine Optimization for small businesses.