Mind Readings: Momentum

In this episode, learn how to leverage momentum in marketing to hold the attention of your audience. Discover how to ladder up on attention and leverage it to reach a larger audience. But, be aware of the short news cycles and the concept of disposable content. Discover the importance of having a repeatable and reliable reach audience through email marketing, text messaging and community building tools like Discord and Slack. Don’t miss this valuable insight on how to capture and hold on to your audience’s attention.

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Christopher Penn 0:00

In this episode, please note I’m parked for safety reasons.

Let’s talk about momentum.

So momentum is one of those things when it comes to marketing, that is very, very difficult to obtain.

And it’s extremely difficult to keep.

When we talk about momentum, we’re talking about the ability for us to garner attention and hold attention hold the attention of people.

So one of the things that I learned in public relations when I was working in that industry was that when you get any kind of attention, you have to ladder up on it, leverage it in some ways.

So if you get a placement in a relatively small publication, maybe somebody’s blogs on his podcast, you then use that to pitch to the next tier of coverage, maybe it’s a trade publication or industry publication.

And then as you get more and more attention to that you can lever up to a reasonable publication, maybe you national publications or international publications, it’s very difficult to do that.

Because the story has to be one that is newsworthy enough that it will be worth providing to these publications.

And at least in the context of PR, an awful lot of public relations is paid, not the PR people.

But the journalists, the publications themselves are paid on things like page views and views and watches, because they’re all ad driven businesses.

So your story, your pitch, your idea has to be something that’s going to generate traffic that will pay the bills.

When something takes off, when you get a lot of eyeballs on something, you will get more and more coverage because everybody wants a piece of that pie.

Everybody wants the idea in their publications so that they can get traffic as well.

They can earn traffic, particularly from new sources, like if you are writing about sales, marketing automation, normally add a new thing on chat GPT comes out.

Well, of course, you want that in your publication to attract audiences that are interested in chat GPT, but not necessarily marketing automation, you try and leverage that.

Here’s the challenge.

news cycles are very, very short and getting shorter as we get to more and more disposable content.

This is something I heard autumn industry podcast.

One content creator was saying yeah, Tiktok really introduced the concept of disposable content, you watch the video, you like it, you chat about it for like two seconds, and it’s gone and gone to the next thing.

And we’ve known that’s been the case in marketing for a really long time.

But it’s more prevalent now.

So something that captures people’s imagination, and holds it for any amount of time people want in on it because it’s like leaping from story to story trying to catch attention as as you can go a bad video game character.

The challenge is, if you’re more than just a flash in the pan, you’ve got to do something with that momentum and try to hold on to as much of it as you can.

This is where the concept of the repeatable, reliable reach audience comes in.

This is why things like email marketing and text messaging marketing are so important.

Discord community slack can be any place where you can capture an audience and so that you have reliable reach is something you desperately need to do as soon as possible.

The moment you start getting attention, you roll out an email newsletter, you roll out a discord community roll out something where people can sign up and be a part of that community.

And you could hold their attention for just a little bit longer.

Especially once the initial news story dies down.

however big the story is, you’ve got to capture that audience.

Because in public media, public social media, public mainstream media, it’s like squirrels on meth, right? This a new story pops up a new Tiktok video pops up and boom, you’re off the front page, you’re gone.

And no one remembers you.

If you have captured that audience when it’s coming in, then you can reach them again.

Right? You could say hey, here’s something new, isn’t it? It’s have more value if you liked the initial story, here’s an add on.

Here’s a new benefit.

One of the biggest flaws I have seen in public relations is people expecting that an audience is loyal on a single piece of attention.

Right? An audience is interested in a single piece of potential single news story, a single social media trend.

They’re interested about loyal.

They only become loyal once you provide them benefit over and over again.

And like like in television, and books and other forms of entertainment.

It’s very difficult to one up yourself, right? You do this thing and again, it gets great coverage so you do something even more outlandish and even more outlandish and at some point It, you know, either you can’t do that anymore or you implode or explode sometimes very spectacularly, you know, you see in music and in movies and stuff that television seasons, like if you I watched the watched CW is the flash and that series just getting more and more outlandish.

They they, they use up a lot of their best ideas early on to capture that audience.

And then we’re like, oh, we don’t have any really interesting compelling stories to tell.

World of Warcraft, same thing.

The second expansion, the Wrath of the Lich King is widely regarded as the best expansion because it was the apex villain and every expansion, since it has been kind of like, I’m like all these weird, crazy storylines, trying to come up with bigger and bigger bad guys.

And at some point you run out, right? At some point, you have to restart and and and figure out where to go.

So the solution is for momentum is the reliable reach audience and capturing it early on.

Because if there’s benefit that you’re providing in the form of a newsletter in the form of a text messaging, updating in the form of weekly or monthly chats in discord, or contests or giveaways, you can keep that audience’s attention and eventually create loyalty because they continue to get good value from you all the time.

It doesn’t have to be a smash hit, right? Every newsletter issue you publish every post you put in the announcements channel in discord.

They’re not all gonna be hits.

But they all have to be valuable enough that people say, Yeah, I’ll stick around another week, and you are constantly re earning people’s loyalty.

If you don’t have that capture mechanism in place, then the moment that this your story is out of the news, you’re done.

Right? It’s it’s game over at that point.

There is not much you can do except find a way to make news again and repeat that process.

They are the laddering up very, very slowly.

So if you want to make use of the attention when you get it have a capture mechanism in place before you start, before you start.

My friend, Laura Gassner Otting calls is wonderful planning for wild success, overwhelming success.

And it’s a great way to think about it.

What does it look like? If you succeed beyond your expectations? Do you have mechanisms in place that will scale to let you capture your success while you have it because everything is transient, everything is fleeting.

And once it’s gone, it’s very difficult to get it back.

Think about this.

Apple computers had basically like four hit products in 30 years, right? The Apple two, the Macintosh, the iPhone, and the iPad to a lesser degree.

And yes, they’ve got Rebs and versions of these products and stuff.

But when you watch their product announcements and things, they are not all news or anything, a lot of them are just refinements.

Oh yeah, the Apple Watch, which arguably is is pretty good success story.

So five products in 30 years, right? Five big hits in 30 years.

If a trillion dollar company can manage that.

What does that mean for us, the people who are not working at trillion dollar companies.

It means that whenever we get any scrap of attention, we’ve got to be ready to take it.

Take it on and and it’s a terrible word but harvested as much as we can.

Anyway, thanks for tuning in.

Talk to you next time.

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