December 17, 2017

How Leadership Is Critical In Content Marketing


Leadership is critical in content marketing.

Because there simply is no content marketing without the leadership to drive it.

As content marketers, you and I must think and act from a leadership perspective if we are to impact on the world.

1. Leadership Is  Critical To Marketing On Facebook

Organic reach is down across the social media platforms. And demonstrating real leadership is the only way you're going to counter the problem.  

First off, Facebook is getting closer to a pay-to-play platform - with every possibility that the future of all social networks will be paid.

This means that fewer people are seeing your content on Facebook - or on LinkedIn, for that matter.

Unless, that is, you boost your content with cash.

Or boost the content with quality.

Why Is Organic Reach So Low?

There are lots of reasons why we've come to this point of low organic reach.

Clearly, Facebook has a financial interest in keeping organic reach low - so they can convince us to shell out money to reach our connections.

Yes. But there’s more to it than that.  

The fact is that with so much content out there, the competition for attention is through the roof.

And the reality is that Facebook and LinkedIn are inundated with content.

To be fair to them, it would make for a very poor user experience if they were to pile every post from every one of your connections into your feed.

This is why they have developed an algorithm to select and limit what you see and what you receive.

So, we’re at the point where we’re seeing only a small percentage of the content that gets published by our connections.

And here’s how Facebook/LinkedIn make the selection:

  • They reward “good” content with higher visibility - and showing it to more people.

  • They suppress weak content by burying it and giving it lower visibility.

Never forget that Facebook has a vested interest in creating a certain kind of user experience for their audience.

Facebook wants the good stuff.

Or, at least, they want the stuff that keeps us glued to our screen. (Which may not be the same thing.)

In any event, the stats are clear: The longer they can hold our attention, the greater the potential to increase ad revenue for Facebook.

Leadership is critical to marketing on Facebook

Getting More Reach on Facebook

There is a way to play the game, a way to achieve better organic visibility, without paying for ads or for a boost on Facebook or LinkedIn.

There is a way to counter the drop in organic reach and here it is:

You take on a leadership role in your space.

And create better content.

“Good” content in this context is the stuff that people respond to - content that generates comments, shares, interactions, likes, etc.

But the algorithm has a particular way of discerning what “good content” is.

And the algorithm long ago decided that “good content” is in the eye of the People On The Other End Of The Content.

Facebook measures the good stuff according to whether or not it stands out

And how people react to it.

More reaction from users indicates better quality content.

We’re looking at another case of gaining attention by leading.

The Moral of the Story

Content creators have to do it better now.

We have to get audiences to react more, do more, respond more.

Average content, me-too content, content-for-the-sake-of-it - none of this will cut it any longer on Facebook or on LinkedIn.

You have to stand out these days.

You have to create value with your ideas.

If you are to get seen on Facebook, your content  has to lead, to do something different, unique, better.

You and I - we both have to, erm, lead.

2. How Leadership Is Critical To Building Audiences

Think about how the media has changed.

In the old days - all of, 20 years ago - investing in a media channel was a massive commitment: It took many millions of dollars to build a radio station, launch a TV channel, or set up a newspaper or magazine.

People did it, though.

Rich people did it.

Rich people who knew the competition would be dissuaded by the costs of the set up.

Rich people who could overcome that particular barrier to entry.

Clearly, those types of investors saw the value that could be had from owning a media channel.

They were willing to take the risk.

Because they understood that that media channel could be used to do one thing in particular: Build an audience.

Audiences then. Audiences now.

Audiences are still immensely valuable.

In fact, it may be the case that they are critical to even playing the game. In almost every scenario for the future, building audiences will be a key part of the business model.

So, yes. Since ancient times we’ve known that audiences are valuable. They can be used to spread ideas, influence the public, and generate cash from advertising or sales.

But I believe we need to remind ourselves of all that.

Because, these days, the tools needed to build an audience have been democratized.

These days, building an audience doesn't require millions of dollars. Even massive audiences can be built and scaled for very little investment.

All it takes is the right strategies,  a decent amount of talent, and a generous amount of willingness to lead.  

The Value Of Your Audience

Not only can each one of us build our own audiences now - we must build them: When every company is a media company, building and serving audiences is the business model to be in - the business model of the future.

So, I say all this to remind you of a few fundamentals:

  • The value to your business/personal brand of having an audience is greater than at any time in the past

  • The need to build an audiences is greater than at any time in history

  • The cost of building an audience is still ridiculously low.

But the key to building an audience is in the leadership that it requires: The only relationship you can have with a voluntary audience is one where you lead the way and they willingly follow.

It's up to you and I now, today, to go out, build and serve an audience.

It’s up to you and I to take that leadership leap and go do it.

Don’t worry about how you're going to monetize that audience just yet.

And, in fact, it's entirely possible that failure to build audiences will mean failure, period, for pretty much every business over time.

The platforms are there.

They’re cheap, they're manageable.

Are you leveraging the leadership skills to build your audience.


Focus on the audience

3. How Leadership Is Critical To Effectiveness In Content Marketing

I’m not recommending leadership in your content marketing because I feel that you should.

Or just because it’s trendy.

I recommend that you do leadership because I’ve seen value it creates for a business.

So, what is that? What will leadership skills do for you, the content marketer, and for your business?

Well, leadership for marketers has the same purposes as leadership for anyone else.

And it’s kind of a big deal when you think it through.

So, this: The purpose of leadership in content marketing is... effectiveness.

Groups/individuals that are well-led or inspired by a leadership mindset are simply more effective than groups that are not.

I want you to let that sink in.

Because effectiveness is a big, abstract concept. But it means winning. It means competing. It means being successful in whatever it is you do.

Clearly effectiveness is critical to success in content marketing.

Think, for example, about influence. Brands, messages, individuals who lead on some level are typically more influential than those that do not.

This is no small matter where every company is a media company.

In fact, so great is the issue of Influence Over The Network that I will return to it very often in future posts.

Then, there’s competitiveness. People/brands/organizations who lead will beat the also-rans every time. They’re simply more competitive.

Leadership, as we will see in posts in the near future, is deeply connected with the ability to compete in almost any context.

Leadership and effectiveness in content marketing
It goes on.

But influence, effectiveness, and competitiveness are a  good start.

It’s time to lead in your content marketing.

Leadership is critical to success in content marketing


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