Master These 4 Strategies in Order to Dominate Innovation in Your Industry.

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I am a Strategist. I know strategy.

So when my phone rings and it’s a prior client calling, I know it’s for 1 or more of the following 4 reasons. (Side Note: this client happens to be a politician- an incumbent, but this applies to all industries):

  1. A strategy has succeeded. S/he needs more. (Scale Up).

  2. A strategy has failed. S/he needs different. (Lessons Learned).

  3. The game has changed. A strategy, therefore, is irrelevant (Pivot).

  4. Game Over. A strategy, therefore, has expired. (Onward & Upward).

The client called because, after all of his hard work and after all of the content we produced to impact sweeping policy changes, he was at risk of being ousted from his position.

Not the call I was hoping for, but definitely the call I needed to take.

“It’s really frustrating. I worked hard to create these changes and the measures I CREATED and I PUT IN PLACE are having positive results! I don’t get it. Why are they attacking me, trying to make me look like an idiot? I’m the reason they’re hitting benchmark goals.”

I understand his frustration, but what he failed to understand is that being discredited and being de-legitimated are signs that your content is transformational. It’s evidence you’re doing something right. Want to know whether or not you’ve got great content? Look for the following:

  • Increased activity or engagement from competitors.

  • Attempts to discredit or de-legitimize your content.

  • Changes in interaction within your target audience.

I’ll explore each of these further, with appropriate detail, and discuss how they relate to the 4 strategy implications I outlined above.

Increased activity or engagement from competitors

Here, you’ve introduced a novel idea or revisited a concept within your industry, under the auspices of your brand. You’ve started to notice snarky comments or even attacks publicly against your content.

Congratulations, you’re an innovator. Do you, like, want a prize or something?

In all seriousness, don’t ever expect innovation to be met with warm fuzzies and attaboys. Expect content that innovates to smash through glass windows, hit turbulence mid-flight and come crashing down full force until finally, maybe, it gets implemented. Innovative content doesn’t pander to complacency.

Do not look to your competition to gauge the impact of your content, look at its recidivism throughout your target audience.

How well is your audience implementing your proposed changes?

In the case of my client, his policy measures were being swiftly implemented by workers, to the chagrin of competitor industry authorities.

innovative content for many businesses and industries, looks like:

  • Discovering new ways to use old products.

  • Identifying new ways to qualify previously unqualified candidates.

  • If you’re a Realtor, perhaps its introducing a new spin on an otherwise traditional, “Good Ol’ Boys” arena. (My dear friend, former studio neighbor and fellow Gemini Jacki P comes to mind. Whasssup Jackiiiiiii How YOU Doin’?)

Attempts to discredit or de-legitimize your content

If your content IS innovative, and it isn’t full of flaws, inaccuracies and slander then you’ll likely notice the following happening: your competitors will try to downplay, discredit or delegitimate your competencies so that they can, in turn, usurp and profit from your innovation.

They must first discredit you, then they can steal from you. Dark, I know, but it’s strategy. Cast your gaze to Washington; you’ll see it happening everyday. In this instance, your Strategy has succeeded, and they’ll need more. Here’s where you decide: do I stick to my guns and go ALL IN, continuing on this path and fighting for my stake on this territory, or do I open the doors to collaboration and position myself as the commandeering force atop a sweeping industry movement? Sometimes suctioning in salty competitors and increasing your overall marketing reach is more effective than going it alone against the grain.

The follow-up text with my client earlier.

The follow-up text with my client earlier.

Changes in interaction within your target audience.

For my client in question, he unilaterally implemented policy changes throughout his organization. A few months later, he started noticing the following: relationships were improving between workers and contract clients, utilization of member benefits increased without the cost to the organization of those benefits increasing, workers felt like they were learning a lot and gaining a lot…without necessarily having to exert a lot of effort. All good things, right?

So you’re wondering…what’s the problem, Les? Looks like they’re getting great results. Nothing to see here.

While things look good on the end-user side, there’s a choking off phenomenon occurring internally throughout his organization.

His colleagues and superiors resent him and want to steal credit for his evergreen content (here: policy) achieving organic reach (here: successful reception among the target audience).

So while his Strategy has Succeeded, he needs more and therefore its time to Scale Up (#1), the Game has also Changed, that Strategy-as-is is irrelevant and therefore he must Pivot (#3).

He must decide how to proceed, given these implications. That’s not for me to decide. Personally, as a “Type A” (Air Quotes), Extroverted Intuitive, Thinking Judging human, I’d love nothing more than to tell him to say screw everyone else, focus on your end game, and crack a few eggs in the process of making one delicious organizational omelet. But that line of strategy implementation has only ever gotten me running around in circles, solving the same recurring problems and a high attrition rate. (Evidently, no one likes to be bossed around.)

How to Apply All of this in a Way that Positively Impacts my Content Strategy Approach

NOW, for the jump.

I’ve just laid out the rope, trimmed the ends and tied the perfect slip knot. Will you hang yourself with it or reign in your most strategic move ever? Will you take this information, assess your current content game plan and reinforce your weak points? Or will you continue, business as usual, getting the same results and no traction…either with the end-user audience or within your organization?

If your roadblock is Issue #1, you’re likely at the point of Scaling Up your business. Keep in mind—as you grow, your needs will shift along a continuum. What worked for 4 subjects (employees/ contractors/ subordinates/ constituents/ whatever) will not work for 40. What works for 40 will not work for 400. Stay cognizant of shifting needs and be ready to meet them head on to prevent bottlenecks in production.

If your roadblock is Issue #2, you’re likely at the point of figuring out what went wrong by assessing Lessons Learned. You’ve likely realized that your strategy failed to yield profitable outcomes (relationship/ addiction relapse in recovery/ bankruptcy/ strike or employee walkout/ no one liked your posts on social media). Figure out what went wrong and adjust accordingly. Note: it isn’t always the content itself that was flawed. For example, a failed relationship isn’t always because YOU’RE too much or too little of anything; maybe it was a bad fit. The implication shouldn’t be assigned a value: ‘good’, ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’. Frame your assessment in terms of ‘effectiveness’ and ‘efficiency’ for a more accurate, objective assessment.

If your roadblock is Issue #3, then the conditions originally at play are no longer; change your strategy or die. You’ve given the employee another chance; he or she blew it. Your start quarterback is benched for the rest of the season. Your opponent introduced a massive smear campaign ad 3 weeks before Election Day. Whatever the pain point, find your pivot and don’t lose your feet in the process. Creating a seamless transition in your content will continue to solidify your stronghold with your base while capturing the buy-in of new followers. Tread carefully and really, contact me for help in this department.

Finally, if your roadblock is Issue #4, it’s over, darlin’…cut your losses, deposit your gains or plan your next best move…Onward & Upward. You’ve just sold your business. You’ve recently been diagnosed with a late-stage terminal illness. You lost an election. You got dumped/ ghosted/ friendzoned. Whatever it is, realize you’ll gain nothing by trying to resuscitate a corpse. Your strategy now becomes making preparations for the next steps. Identify your knowns and unknowns. Avoid projecting irrational possibilities, and base your steps on certainties.

Relenquish control; it’s just an illusion anyway, and most importantly…embrace imperfection. Maybe it didn’t turn out quite the way you wanted it to. Maybe it turned out better than you wanted to. Either matters none. What does matter, is that you find within yourself whatever it is you need in order to do the things you know you need to do.

So you’re probably wondering…how did the conversation end with this client? I’ll let you see for yourself:

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Need help in assessing your own current content strategy? Want our insights with figuring out your next best steps when it comes to content creation and development? Contact us today. We’d love to help you totally perfect your content game by..what else? Embracing your imperfection.

The 3 Keys to Creating Flaunt-Worthy Content for Even the Most Boring Industries.

Every industry has flaunt-worthy facts and fun features. I don’t care if you’re a bricklayer, a pipefitter or you sell leggings from your spare bedroom, husband’s man cave or Cheryl’s She-Shed. If your career choice were THAT boring, you wouldn’t be doing it for X years. The trick to finding great content for your business is to think about the behind-the-scenes fun that goes down when that open sign flips.

Every industry has flaunt-worthy facts and fun features. I don’t care if you’re a bricklayer, a pipefitter or you sell leggings from your spare bedroom, husband’s man cave or Cheryl’s She-Shed. If your career choice were THAT boring, you wouldn’t be doing it for X years. The trick to finding great content for your business is to think about the behind-the-scenes fun that goes down when that open sign flips.

Think about your favorite song. What about it makes it your favorite? Likely, these three things:

1. It tells a great story. Whether its lyrics captivate your heart and enthrall your senses or the cadence of its crooning message sears the reality of the human condition, the words, no doubt, contribute to its appeal.

2. Its message is well-crafted. The rhythm of the music is apropos to the aforementioned lyrics, creating an opportunity for virality and share-ability. For example, if I say the following, you instantly know what song or at least what band or artist I’m referencing:

  • “…off to Never Neverland.” (Metallica, Enter Sandman)

  • “Give me one reason to stay here…” (Tracey Chapman Give Me One Reason)

  • “…I have to praise you like I should.” (Fat Boy Slim, Praise You)

  • “Hold me closer tiny dancer/ Count the headlights on the highway…” (Elton John, Tiny Dancer)

  • “Whisper words of wisdom…Let it Be.” (Beatles, Let it Be)

As soon as you hear the music, your brain instantly starts filling in the words. It’s as if you know what the lines before it were or what the ones to follow will be. Your heart starts racing, your spirits lift and you’re caught for the next 3-5 minutes in the throws of a great song.

Finally… that great song that came to mind? Chances are…it resonates with your vulnerability and speaks to your imperfections.

3. It embraces imperfection. Whatever questionable, painful, vulnerable, nerdy or quirky tendency resides within us…that shameful flicker that feeds the flame of our essence…is often the most interesting component of our content of all.

Really, that’s all great content does: it delivers a well-crafted message, tells a great story and embraces the imperfection in all of us. Whether its Cage the Elephant reminding us of our wicked tendency to give into the rat race or Chumbawamba reminding us of the struggle to stay on top of our sh*t while getting said sh*t kicked out of us (while also, simultaneously sh*tfaced even…from a whiskey drink, a lager drink, a vodka drink, haha…) we connect with it on a profoundly visceral level.

Finally… that great song that came to mind? Chances are…it resonates with your vulnerability and speaks to your imperfections.

At least, this is what I believe. It is what I have witnessed to be true in my near-decade of helping politicians and public figures develop content in the form of speeches, talking points and soundbytes.

Great, Leslie. But I’m a bricklayer. There’s nothing fun or viral-worthy about my industry.

This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Every industry has flaunt-worthy facts and fun features. I don’t care if you’re a bricklayer, a pipefitter or you sell leggings from your spare bedroom, husband’s man cave or Cheryl’s She-Shed. If your career choice were THAT boring, you wouldn’t be doing it for X years. The trick to finding great content for your business is to think about the behind-the-scenes fun that goes down when that open sign flips.

Here’s where to start:

  • Think about the interesting facts re: your industry. For example: Bricklayers know how to make it hot…the most common bricks are made from clay and heated at 1,000 degrees centigrade. Bet you didn’t know that, did you? Do some digging…find out interesting facts about the work that drives your slice of the economy. Chances are, your target audience wants to know all about it.

  • The Dirty, the Delicious, the Dark, the Dastardly… Doesn’t matter what you do or what industry you’re in…there’s something dirty, delicious, dark or dastardly about it. Chances are, there’s a hidden gem of controversial tea waiting to be sipped by your target audience. A little cocaine in your morning cola, perhaps? Sell makeup through MLM? Bet you weren’t aware that cosmetic powders and creams used to contain radium…a dangerously radioactive element discovered by Marie and Pierre Curie in 1898. Yes…the same radium responsible for the crumbling jaws and disintegrating bones in young female clock dial painters (Google: Radium Girls if you’re curious).

Really, that’s all great content does: it delivers a well-crafted message, tells a great story and embraces the imperfection in all of us.

Another suggestion: start with your story. Think about the reason you got into your industry in the first place. There’s a good chance that whatever keeps you motivated and going to work everyday is worthy of a great place in your company’s content strategy.

So turn on your favorite tunes, grab a notebook (or open your word processor) and start thinking about how you can incorporate the 3 keys to creating flaunt-worthy content for even YOUR boring ol’ business!

Need help crafting ideas for your content strategy? Not sure where to start? Don’t have time to master your own content creation? Contact the crew at BPC Content to schedule a time to chat about how we can help your business or brand create flaunt-worthy content today.