Your job as a communicator is to produce content that makes your audience go ‘holy smokes.’
My favorite quote of PodCamp East was from C.C. Chapman, who shared his miniskirt theory of blogging: “It should be long enough to cover the essentials, short enough to keep it interesting.”
I know you are thinking, “What’s PodCamp?” According to the website, it’s an “innovative gathering of new media enthusiasts, professionals, and anyone curious about what’s next in blogging, social media, podcasting, video on the net and more.” What prompted me to get out of bed early on Saturday morning to attend was at past PodCamps, I’ve gained practical knowledge, met some interesting people and had more than a few laughs.
The event was an “UnConference” where the attendees themselves presented the sessions, which were full of interaction and conversation. The idea is to run the event with volunteers to keep it free or low cost (PodCamp East was $20, which was donated to charity) and avoid sponsored presentations (otherwise known as pitches). BarCamp is another example and one is scheduled in Philadelphia for November. I’m fortunate to live in a city where there are groups of creative and innovative people who organize interesting events. I recommend exploring the associations (such as Social Media Club) and UnConferences in your town and checking them out.
Create “holy smokes” content
Looking back at the presentations I attended, a theme appeared: it’s all about content. “We need to get back to what’s important as marketers. There’s only one key to success: creating amazing content,” said Jason Falls. “Your job as a communicator is to produce content that makes your audience go ‘holy smokes.’” He explained to the crowd that “holy smokes” content can elicit a variety of emotions, ranging from laughter to sadness and showed examples of each. The recent Oreo and AMC Theatres Twitter interaction is an example of humor.
C.C. Chapman echoed this sentiment when he said, “Let your passion shine through when creating content—no matter what the medium. Don’t chase the likes or shares.” Basic search tactics were also recommended, but the emphasis was on writing good content on topics of interest to you.
Create once, share widely
Once content is created, it should be shared widely, especially with others who are also writing about the topic. Regarding social media links for search optimization, the consensus was that Facebook has no value since it is closed and not indexable, Twitter has some value, and Google+ carries the most weight. Lynette Young recommended never posting straight text but using photos, links, and embedding videos—which are more interesting to both people and search engines.
It’s important to think of social media as more than just someone “liking” a brand. The key question is: did you get people to do what you wanted? Chris Penn walked through his Digital Content Marketing Ladder to show how you can move people to be more committed via social media.
Unfortunately, I had to miss Sunday’s activities and didn’t get to hear Geoff Livingston, Whitney Hoffman and Cecily Kellogg. But there’s always next year. Have you been to an UnConference? What did you think?