Love your work, and you’ll get love in return

Appropriately enough for a blog post on Valentine’s Day, I want to talk about love – and digital content. Basically, I believe that if you love what you do and show it in everything you do, success will follow.

Sonia Simone has just published a piece on Copyblogger inspired by Seth Godin’s new book Linchpin. Sonia writes, “One core theme (of Godin’s book) is the idea of emotional labor — bringing more human feeling and connection to your work, some essential part of yourself that can’t be automated or outsourced.”

“….When you’re starting out, it’s tempting to look for a paint-by-numbers solution. Something that tells you exactly where to start, what to do, and how to do it. Something that works a lot like a franchise, with a three-ring binder that explains what buttons to push.

“The problem with push-button systems is that you can train a robot, or an ultra low-wage worker offshore, to push that button for you. If the business’s genius resides in the system and not in you, what happens when someone comes along who can push the button 104% more efficiently than you can? Or who can push it at 97% of your cost?”

The difference between doing it by the numbers and doing it ‘differently’ is emotional labour, which, she writes, “is about the part that’s outside the system.

“It’s about the part that you can’t train a chimp to do. It’s about the part that wants your creativity, your strange ideas, your ADHD, your intersection of interests, your passion, your giving a damn, your hard thinking. Simply put, it’s the love that you put into it.”

This has perfect application to the content you put on your website. If you just publish the bland PR releases that you’re pumping out through traditional channels, or if you just blindly pursue an SEO strategy based on badly constructed, soulless copy that contains all the right keywords in the right density, you might get the traffic to your site, but they’ll suffer a let down when they’re there and you won’t get the conversion.

But if you put yourself into your content, show that you’ve got some personality and that you’re truly passionate about your company, you’ll get the payoff. It might be a quirky, slightly daggy video showing how customers can use your product, or it may be a blog where your CEO professes his or her passion for a 60s psychedelic band, or just personal phrases inserted in product copy.

So today on Valentine’s Day, and every day, feel the love, show the love, and you’ll get some love back. (Cue Barry White singing “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe”)

Ray Welling

Reprinted from the Zazoo blog

Consumers to companies: give us entertaining online video

eMarketer’s recent report on the use of online video by the consumer packaged goods sector has uncovered some interesting results, such as the numbers showing that people are expecting to be entertained by companies as much as they are expecting to be marketed to.

Across nearly all of the categories, entertainment rated as high as marketing (see above). Solving problems and offering incentives to buy were the highest rating expectations, on average.

The survey, conducted among nearly 600 US new media users, demonstrates the strength of online video and shows how consumers’ perceptions of marketing and advertising are changing, as the line between content and promotion becomes increasingly blurred.

“Digital video content, whether delivered through a computer, mobile phone, handheld device or TV monitor, has the potential to ignite two-way conversations between consumers and brands,” said Tobi Elkin, author of the report.

According to an eMarketer summary of the report: “Putting a hard number on the dollars spent by consumer packaged goods marketers on online video content is difficult, as outlays are not included in measures of paid advertising spending. Assessing its effectiveness is likewise a problem for marketers. The same metrics issues that bedevil marketers trying to assess the effect of online advertising on their brands also plague the ability to evaluate the performance of video content.”

Reprinted from the Zazoo blog