Cai Guo Qiang’s artworks are a blend of interestingness with intensity (courtesy of Topical Musings)
Anybody who is plugged into the new world of marketing knows that the centres of gravity have shifted.
With the gradual death of the “hard sell” marketer, consumers are increasingly attracted to a new breed of advocates and influencers.
This new generation of opinion leaders and shapers are found both inside and outside today’s organisations.
While some are cultivated and groomed, many are accidental rather than intentional.
These new group of influencers have two things in common:
The first quality Interestingness, according to the Free Dictionary is “the power of attracting or holding one’s attention (because it is unusual or exciting etc.)”
Interestingness is the state of being unique, fascinating and attractive.
Other than differentiating oneself from the hoi polloi, being interesting also requires one to be endearing to one’s followers/readers/fans.
It means daring to challenge conventional wisdom, not just for the sake of being different, but with the intent of finding a niche that people will care about.
The next quality highlighted above is Intensity.
By now you would have learnt that success in any endeavour doesn’t just happen by accident.
Those who are able to attract huge groups of followers are highly focused on their craft, honing, refining and improving whatever they’re doing, post by post, video by video, photo by photo.
Think of the most popular bloggers out there. Notice how much energy and enthusiasm they put into each and every post.
Like good producers of content in any other media, social media influencers pay special attention to the way in which their photographs are taken, the way in which their blogs are designed, the frequency of updates, while also ensuring that they are thematically consistent.
Influence = Interesting Content + Hard Work
Being a good blogger, Facebooker, Twitterer, and YouTuber is bloody hard work!
Like a well respected professional, influential content producers are well regarded in their areas of specialisation.
This can be in areas like business, food, fashion, art, knitting, gardening or lifestyle.
But wait, there’s more.
Influencers can also be specialists in the more kooky and unconventional arenas like slapstick humour, political parodies, bitching about life, bikini babe pics, or even “partying till you drop” (I’ll leave it to your imagination to consider what that means).
The thing is that you need to have an area of depth, expertise and knowledge and to stick to it. Oh, and make sure that people care enough about it – there is an antonym to interestingness called boringness, by the way…
Thought Provokers and Taste Makers
As arbiters of taste and style in a specific genre, influencers are usually thought provoking in the way they tackle specific topics.
Very often, they’re au fait with the latest and most widespread tastes, wants and needs of their followers. This can be rather idiosyncratic, and vary widely according to the tastes of their followers.
The next time you consider ways to build up your personal or corporate brand, consider embracing both interestingness and intensity in producing, filtering and disseminating content.
Through this dual approach, you can position yourself or your organisation as a thought leader, taste maker and trend setter in specific domains. This is especially critical in areas that you or your organisation make a living from.
Who knows, you may hit upon something big – or at least have fun doing it!