Minnesota AMA – Mark Schaefer’s Keynote on Influence Marketing

Yesterday, I had the honor of speaking at the Minnesota AMA Annual Conference, and the pleasure of listening to a great presentation by Mark Schaefer, influence marketing expert and author of Return on Influence, which explores “how brands are identifying and leveraging the world’s most powerful bloggers, tweeters and YouTube celebrities to build product awareness, brand buzz and new sales.” A constant theme throughout the day’s keynotes and breakout sessions was the growing importance of great content, and Schaefer offered some valuable direction on content creation. In his marketing courses at Rutgers University, he encourages students to create content that is RITE.

  • Relevant
  • Interesting
  • Timely, and
  • Entertaining

For his book, Schaefer interviewed Michael Brito from Edelman Digital about the concept of RITE content, and Brito advises that relevant content is appropriate in terms of audience and platform, and adds value to the conversation. Also, the content must align with the nature of the conversation – are people voicing opinions, asking questions, looking for recommendations? Brito feels that anyone can create interesting content, providing they can put their own unique spin on whatever it is they write. “How does the subject relate to you – your observations, your experiences, your life, your stories?” asks Brito. “This isn’t narcissism; it’s the soul of originality.” In his book, Schaefer offers the following ideas to ensure timely content creation:

  • Utilize people and resources to stay on top of developments in your industry
  • Subscribe to blogs, journals and newsletters in your field and read them daily
  • Try to be first to comment (tweet, post or otherwise) on breaking news, developments
  • Make connections between  those developments and implications for your customers

Entertaining content need not be silly, but it should be memorable, says Schaefer. He suggests using photos, video and humor to entice people to read and remember your content. Entertaining content is also more likely to be shared. Among other memorable takeaways, Schaefer urged AMA attendees to stop thinking of customers and potential customers in terms of B2B or B2C, but rather in terms of P2P – people to people, and to recognize the potential to connect not only with a primary audience, but also the “audiences of that audience.” Read more from Mark Schaefer at his company website, Schaefer Marketing Solutions.

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