140414_content_not_good“Our best work can’t possibly appeal to the average masses, only our average work can.”

Says Seth Godin. In other words, mass appeal equals dumbed-down, and our most brilliant content would not be well received by a lot of our prospects – and that’s perfectly fine.

It’s a convenient way to deal with indifference and criticism: don’t fall into the trap of assuming what we’ve cooked up is so great and tasty, it can be savored by everyone. Instead, work on delivering it to the ones that really do appreciate it.

Kind of like The Art of War: reinforce the strong, abandon the weak. Practical and workable, right?

Now consider this. If prospects ‘not getting’ our message means they don’t see its appeal, does that mean our offerings too won’t appeal to them?

Of course, there’s merit in the idea that if we walk away from the ‘lowest common denominator’, we enable ourselves to focus on producing truly great stuff. Which, in turn, is good for our brand.

But before you do that, you may want to ask yourself this.

Am I doing this to raise my brand profile, or just for those that ‘get it’?

If it’s for your brand, good. Raise the bar on your own work so you can discover new ways to engage the crowd. But if it’s to concentrate on a few who ‘get it’, pause and consider.

As marketers, no matter which line we ply our trade in, we all want to do the same thing: bring out the best in what we have to offer.

We are, to that world full of prospects, the first contact. We directly affect how our brand, and our organisation, is perceived on a wide scale.

If you’re facing a very specific, high-yield market where your time and effort may be well rewarded, then sure, give that subset of prospects your one hundred percent. Just make sure that you can sustain that constant, top-notch output – the candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long. Without a proper content strategy, content fatigue will hit you sooner or later.

For the rest of us canvassing for opportunity, we can’t make ourselves intelligible only to some. Not when that ‘some’ isn’t the wider target audience.

If the best you’re bringing out isn’t getting results, then you need to change tack. Maybe it’s not actually your best. Or there’s something wrong with it.

This doesn’t mean we should, as Godin puts it, ‘go into high pressure mode’ when we fail to engage. It just means keeping in mind that customers don’t need to see our best – they need to see what’s best for them in it.

So, no – it’s not arrogant to say “perhaps this isn’t for you”. But it’s not necessarily what you should do. Unless you’re doing it for the right reason.

Have a look at how GetIT Comms pulls off content marketing.

Share this postShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone