Chris Brogan is someone who has a lot of ideas to share.
I follow him on all channels because I enjoy seeing photos of him playing with his kids, seeing what products he is loving these days and reading what is on his mind.
But today in his post he set me off.
And Never Waste Content Without Offering an 'Ask' of Some Kind
If you’re not putting some kind of potential hook to future business into your efforts, you’re not content marketing. You’re writing. And that’s great. But it’s not going to help your business, as such.
While I understand what he is saying, I hate the advice he is giving.
Anyone who starts adding content marketing into their mix, must make sure to have calls to action. If you don't do this you'll never gain new customers, donors, fans or whatever it is that you are looking for to help you grow and thrive.
What worries me is a lot of people listen to what Chris says. They are going to read that post and suddenly feel that everything they create must have an ask attached to it. That isn't the case.
One of the rules that I share with audiences and clients all the time is to "share or solve, don't shill." Having an ask in every piece of content would become shilling in a rapid fashion and that is going to turn people off. But, if you share useful information, peeks behind the curtain or answer questions that are being asked you are going to be more attractive to the audience you desire.
Chris knows this. For years he has been creating content that isn't full of shilling and yet today he is telling his flock to do exactly that.
Yes, if you are a business you need to sell your product. Non-profits need donations and support. Bands need to sell music and merchandise. Authors need to sell books.
Yet, if you feel like sharing a photo, writing a post or recording a video because it is who you are and helps shape the story you are trying to tell, that is valuable content.
Good content comes from your heart or shares another side of you and your business that people might not usually see.
Look at any business that is hailed as successfully using content marketing and you'll find a mix of content across multiple mediums and lots of it will not have an ask attached.
You must be smart and strategic about the content marketing you choose to do. I've watched far too many organizations waste time and money going down a rabbit hole of buzzwords and false science.
Every day people waste time creating content, but there is no wasted content.