Content marketing to the “global enraged”: Let’s turn those frowns upside down
A new study identifies a huge population of the “global enraged”—consumers who think business stinks, and who don’t trust messages that emanate from corporations.
Consumers who see business as greedy and overly influential have become “a powerful and potentially dangerous vanguard,” according to Michelle Singer, who heads Global MONITOR. “Anger has pushed consumers past the tipping point.”
To the extent the survey is true, it represents a hell of a problem for content marketers, no?
A problem, and a raison d'être.
Knowing consumers expect your organization to be selfish, oafish and out of touch, you must combat their perception by making content that’s down to earth, humble, and all about consumers.
What does content like that look like?
It contains no corporate language: No world-class low-hanging fruit, no synergy, no strategy, no pillars of excellence. Instead of corporatese, content marketing should be full of human beings saying things that jar even the most skeptical, globally enraged person into thinking: Damn, this company sounds different. In fact, it doesn’t sound like a company at all. It sounds like a bunch of fine and smart people working hard to contribute something that the world needs.
It reads like G.E. Reports, where a brilliant ex-journalist, Tomas Kellner, follows his still-curious nose to all corners of the global corporation to report on the rich human history of the company, the weird and wonderful things that G.E. people are thinking about and the ridiculously fascinating feats that G.E. engineers are pulling off.
And it looks like these video stories, from Baylor Health - one of McMurry's own clients - where the content people made a rule never to interview the staff in these videos—only the recipients of the organization’s care.
If people think big organizations are bad, marketers can’t very well tell them they’re not. They have to show they’re not—by making content so candid, warm, human, real and truly interesting that it is its own refutation.
And to the extent that the global enraged actually have a point—and dare we say they do?—an organization that’s communicating more selflessly might become more virtuous, to live up to its own rhetorical humanity.
So: Do better content marketing. And change the world.
David Murray is program chairman of the Strategic Video Awards, which are accepting entries through Oct. 26. The editor of Vital Speeches of the Day, he also writes for magazines and newspapers. And he blogs about his work and his life at Writing Boots.