Archive for category: Personal Brand

Can Your Old Content Work Against You?

23 Mar
March 23, 2015

Last week I was looking at an old presentation I gave at a conference 3 years ago.

The deck itself wasn’t my finest work, and from my memory of the event, it was far from the greatest presentation I had ever given.

Partly it was the theme of the conference and my desire to pick up an early speaking gig even if it wasn’t an ideal fit, but largely it was the views I expressed at the time.

I looked at it in the the context of my current thinking on the subject I was speaking about, and it no longer felt like me.

As thinkers, we evolve, and while three years may not feel like a long time, the pure speed of information that shapes our opinions has changed. Three years ago we hadn’t heard of half the platforms that are now the biggest on the planet. Consumption habits change, attention spans get shorter. Customers demand more. But in the face of all that, we exist on platforms designed to house, archive and organise content for people to find easily.

So given this permanence, what is the impact of old content on a brand, be it a corporate or personal one?

The Only Constant Is Change

I read an excellent piece recently about Content Ownership and Agile Content Development, and what stood out for me was this – “When our organization changes, the education of our target audience changes, or even the way they consume data changes, we need to repeat the process.”

There will always be a bedrock of information that aligns to the industry you work in, especially if governed by legislation and regulation.

But when it comes to thought leadership, opinion and educational pieces, how do you manage when your organsiation changes a position, or your customers needs change?

Recency as a search criteria is important, and people are looking for information that is current.

Should You Delete Old Content?

I don’t think there is anything wrong with retiring old content, be it a white paper, a slide deck or a blog post. There will come a time where the relevance will decline. I don’t think this should be the first port of call, however.

The greater value is in review and updating, and where possible, calling out what has changed (which I am currently doing with the old presentation on my SlideShare). Why? Because it demonstrates that you have evolved as your market or customer has. It shows you as in tune with the audience. It also demonstrates how the reader should be thinking about things as well.

Make Content Maintenance Part of Your Process

Just like a car, your content should have a regular tune up. Not every week, but at the least every quarter.

This ensures that the small things are still relevant, given the speed at which information moves. It also facilitates efficiency in the process of creation, because your base line is already there.

There will be a time when the content itself no longer makes sense, and your promotion of it will naturally decline. If you can’t find the new value, or it no longer makes sense, then pull it down and maybe revisit it again at some stage when it may make sense.

But above all, you need to make sure what you’re talking about reflects both the current market, and your current opinion.


At What Point Are You a Sell Out?

19 Nov
November 19, 2012

I was lucky enough to have dinner earlier this week with a couple of friends who are chefs, and we got onto the topic of product endorsements.

With so many of their peers beginning to spruik pre-made stocks, museli bars and designer burgers at KFC, the question came up – at what point do you become a sell out?

Brand ambassadors and celebrity endorsement are nothing new, they’ve long been a staple of marketing. But sometimes the fit between the product and the endorser is so jarring that it’s obvious it’s for nothing more than the money.

So my answer to the question of when you know it’s happened is “when your first thought is about how awesome the money will be”.

Any kind of endorsement should be seen as an extension of you – is it something you use / eat / buy already? Is it a competitive brand to to something you use / eat / buy etc already that you can be convinced to use instead?

Most importantly – is it in line with your values?

Let me give you another example. Oprah got on board the widely panned Microsoft bandwagon last week, tweeting about how much she loves the new Surface. Techcrunch then ran a great story about how the tweet came from her Twitter for iPad app.

It’s no secret that Microsoft has spent a bunch of money marketing the product, and I can only imagine that this particular endorsement had lots of zeroes in it, but the very obvious mistake of the above shows that she doesn’t actually use the product.

Bottom line – unless you plan to actively consume what you are promoting, and believe what you’re saying – you’ve sold out.

PHOTO – captainslack