The New 90/10 Rule

Posted: April 21, 2011 in brand, customer engagement

Greetings Storytellers!

I recently attended a fantastic workshop on the new landscape of indie cinema marketing courtesy of IFP MN and was reminded of the 80/20 rule of social media marketing. This concept suggests that only 20% of the content you share over social media be directly about you or your brand. A wise rule of thumb.

It got me to thinking about the content itself – specifically the stories we tell to engage our audiences. Brands have been getting better and better about shifting the focus of their content from being all about their product or service to being all about their customer or supporter. Rather than the brand being showcased, it’s the customer that should take center stage – and in which the brand becomes a supporting player in the customer’s hero journey. It’s about tapping into the customer’s passion conversations and letting their unique story shine.

To that end, I’d like to propose a new challenge to marketers and branded content creators everywhere. What if we took the social media posting rule of 80/20 one step further in the physical content we create? What if we held ourselves to a 90/10 rule and really let the authentic stories of the people we serve have the prominence they deserve? After all, this is what people connect with. Not sales pitches, not facts or figures – but other people. People with hopes and dreams and real challenges – just like them.

I’d like to share a couple examples of this rule already in practice. The first is for Gold’s Gym and is a brilliant showcase of moving stories created by Phos Pictures. The second is something very recently created for Ecolab as part of their Why Clean Matters web experience by Bolster, showcasing the story of one of the finest chefs in the Midwest.

As a brand storyteller and content consultant, I plan to push all new branded content toward the 90/10 benchmark – will you do the same?

Gold’s Gym

The Teaser

The Campaign

Why Clean Matters

Heidi’s Minneapolis

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