This morning I took the tram to an appointment in a nearby suburb.
As I always do when on public transport, I slip on my noise-cancelling ‘Beats by Dre’ headphones and started listening to a podcast (on this occasion, it was an informative chat between best-selling marketing authors Mitch Joel and David Meerman Scott).
But even with my ‘phones on and listening to a podcast, I could still hear a middle-aged man (let’s call him ‘Big Talker’) across the aisle from me talking to a similar aged man sitting next to him (we’ll call him ‘Poor Sod’).
Big Talker was loud. Excruciatingly so. The man didn’t draw breath as he regaled Poor Sod with a story that was all about himself.
So not only was he loud. Not only did he annoy everyone within earshot, but even worse his story was a self-centred one. Let me assure you, it wasn’t interesting in the least. It wasn’t as though this guy had climbed Mt Everest or was on the verge of curing cancer! I really felt for Poor Sod. He was not paying attention in the least, but Big Talker couldn’t even see that!
CONTENT MARKETING LESSON: Don’t be a ‘Big Talker’ brand
How many times do we see ‘Big Talker’ brands? Businesses large and small that talk (loudly and incessantly) about themselves without any thought for the audience. Too often, yeah?
It’s always been a bad look of course, but then that’s what a lot of advertising and PR has always been about over the years. But the world’s changed.
Today, now that businesses are able to easily create and publish their own original content online, being the Big Talker and subjecting us – the audience – to Poor Sod status will do your brand more harm than good.
At the very least, we switch off (just like Poor Sod did) and avoid you in the future.
At worst, if you annoy us that much we will call you out publicly via social channels.
How to make sure you don’t become a Big Talker brand?
Provide information that is of interest and relevance to us, that will help us with our purchasing decisions.
Tell stories that entertain or inspire us to take action.
Shine the spotlight on others who are doing cool and interesting things.
Empower us with knowledge that will make us smarter, sexier, healthier or just make better decisions.
Do that and we’ll be more than happy to sit next to you on a tram.