When Jim Morrison said “If you book them, they will come” in Wayne’s World 2, the music legend effectively delivered a marketing mantra – one that is bang on the button. If you are The Doors, that is.
Jim Morrison’s fans would have crawled miles over broken glass to see The Doors perform. Not only that, the influence Jim Morrison has had and continues to have on the music scene means that if you do manage to book The Doors then getting Aerosmith on board probably won’t be too much of a problem (I realise I’m playing fast and loose with generational gaps here).
That’s because Jim Morrison built a longstanding, cross-generational following almost by proxy. There are fans of The Doors, and then there are fans of The Doors because they fell in love with music by bands who were influenced by Jim Morrison and co.
So how can your content not just gain a loyal following but draw the attention of those with a considerably larger number of followers; in other words, be as influential as The Doors?
Well, by making it as original and innovative as Jim Morrison’s music. If content is king then good is no longer good enough. Jermain Jackman, who came out on top in The Voice on Saturday, is undoubtedly a fantastic singer, but I doubt whether he will go down as someone who influenced a generation.
But crucially he’s opened the doors – he’s put himself in a position to be able to influence and the onus is on him to come with the content. If he wants to truly gain global status he needs to make good tunes, not the throwaway numbers that are marketed to make a quick buck and are quicker forgotten.
Examples of content marketing that have achieved influencer status include the blog of hugely popular social media scheduling app Buffer, which started from nothing and now gets a shedload of shares every time a new post is published, partly because its content is so hot it lights fires and partly because its founders heeded the advice of Rand Fishkin.
Fishkin, co-founder of SEO and content strategy analyst Moz, said instead of creating content that appeals directly to potential customers (the book them and they will come school of thought), create content that appeals to the hearts and minds of the influencers – the big hitters – who already have the eyes and ears of your customer base and can open those doors for you.
‘Influencer marketing’ has become somewhat of a supplementary buzz-phrase lately. To be the influencer, you need to give other influencers the material that they feel compelled to share. This is why guest blogging is still good karma for content marketing. Google’s Matt Cutts may say the search giant no longer appreciates guest blogging for SEO or link building, but guest blogging isn’t necessarily about that. You’re not going to dismiss a blog or other piece of content from your biggest or favourite influencer just because it doesn’t appear on their own digital channel. Instead, it’s about nurturing and sharing content of real value, not making content with the express intent that it must ‘be shareable’. It is equivalent to the difference between a timeless classic song and a throwaway chart hit with a week’s shelf life.
And the only way you can become the Jim Morrison of content marketing is to produce and continue to produce original material that will allow you to Break On Through (To The Other Side) of the divide that separates good content marketing from influential content.