“Audio and photography are the redheaded stepchildren [of social media],” well-known marketer C.C. Chapman told me in an interview at the recent New Media Expo. “They get forgotten about, but they’re both powerful.”
Chapman has built his brand by leveraging both, taking photos he uses to spice up the rest of his content – people are more likely to click on a blog post with a nice thumbnail image – and hosting a popular podcast, Managing the Gray.
It can be hard psychologically to resist the allure of new platforms. Frankly, they can be an easy way to justify your budget or your livelihood. If everyone has to be on Pinterest, that opens up a great market for Pinterest consultants.
You might not make the cover of Fast Company with your groundbreaking e-newsletter, but – depending on your business – it’s quite possible the best way to actually capture your customers’ attention and win sales is through an unsexy but effective medium like email.
“To me, the hottest and sexiest social network right now is your inbox,” popular blogger Chris Brogan wrote last summer. I think he’s absolutely right. It’s all too easy for marketers to jump on the latest trends and abandon the tried-and-true methods.
But there are three powerful reasons to embrace “old school” 2000s style marketing (even if e-newsletters and podcasts were considered pretty high-tech and fancy even five years ago).
You’re evading the competition
If others are chasing the newest fad, they won’t have the bandwidth to truly excel at “older” forms of marketing, whether it’s crafting an amazing e-newsletter or a thoughtful blog.
You’re reducing friction
Video editing can be tricky, but almost anyone can touch up a photo on her smartphone.
“The barriers to entry are lower for photography,” says Chapman. “Anyone can pick up a camera and point and shoot.”
Since a recent HubSpot study showed that photos on Facebook generate 53 percent more “likes” than the average post, that’s a powerful incentive.
You know it works
No, podcasting hasn’t taken over the world. But it’s proven itself for nearly a decade as a reliable way to share ideas and reach a targeted audience.
Thought leaders like Mitch Joel (whom I interviewed for a session at the New Media Expo) have established powerful brands through podcasting; Mitch has done more than 300 episodes of “Six Pixels of Separation.”
Similarly, Jay Baer’s Social Pros Podcast allows him to curate some of the best thinking in the marketing and social media field. Jumping on the latest and greatest social media platform could be a win if it becomes the next Twitter – or you might fail miserably if it’s the next Friendster.
If you want to reduce risk, sticking to the classics (like podcasting) is one way to do it.
What’s your take on the value of blogging, podcasting, digital photos and other “oh-so 2003” platforms? Are they an undervalued opportunity or just old news?
This post originally appeared on the Sparksheet website on February 18, 2013.
Dorie Clark is CEO of Clark Strategic Communications and the author of Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013). She is a strategy consultant who has worked with clients including Google, Yale University, and the Ford Foundation. Listen to her podcasts or follow her on Twitter.