Content, Trust and the Bob Dylan Conundrum

May 3, 2011 9:00 am

Online and mobile content can’t afford to rest on its laurels

Quality content isn’t simply about words or videos or images. It’s also about engaging people and, more importantly, establishing and maintaining their trust. From the moment they first read, see or hear what you’ve got to say, they need to feel that a personal connection has been forged. And each time they return, they need to know that you’re not taking that connection for granted.

Bob Dylan is currently touring Australia, and the sheer number of tickets sold at over $100 a pop is proof positive that the bond of trust he cultivated long ago is alive and kicking across generations. That trust was built for many on the inherited experience of their parents and grandparents, on the hype and vibe and cult personality of the famously private folk idol. Others have been lucky enough to see Dylan in his younger years, and that trust is rooted in nostalgia, and the memory of seeing someone truly great break the mould.

There are certain things that, whether seeing Dylan play for the first time or the 10th, people expect. They expect to be moved by his lyrics and touched by his wisdom. They expect to be rocked the way they were the first time they heard his more political songs, and wooed the way they were on first hearing his love songs. Most of all, they expect to experience a bit of the magic of those songs that formed his gory years.

Content must connect, not take for granted

During this latest tour, however, many punters were denied that experience. Refusing to allow screens to project his image to the crowds, and facing away from the audience for large parts of the show and failing to perform almost all of his major hits (with the exception of a handful of barely-recognisable renditions) both his Bluesfest appearances and his gigs at the Sydney Entertainment Centre left many feeling their trust had been abused – that Dylan had broken the connection.

And here we have a conundrum.

Does Bob Dylan deserve his audience’s trust and continued support, having earned it all those years ago? Should we make exceptions, allow him to showcase the new direction his music is heading in without paying homage to the songs that made him famous in the first place? After all, he has shown he can create good content – but is that fact alone enough to keep people coming back?

On the one hand, it seems fair that the legend himself can choose to take the show in whichever direction he pleases. But on the other hand, Dylan must know that the bulk of his equity lies in a shared remembering of another time, and that to use that equity to fill a stadium without ever truly delivering is an abuse of the power his fans have bestowed upon him.

Content can create loyalty – and also lose it

The Bob Dylan conundrum contains a lesson for content creation. The bond of trust between producer and consumer needs to be nurtured and worked at, not taken for granted. A blog that engages readers and then slowly descends into blatant product placement and paid promotions is abusing the trust in the very same way. Likewise an online newsletter that garners subscriptions with one sensational article or promotion but fails to follow through with further valuable content. Content needs consistency if any loyalty is to be achieved.

Many fans will remain loyal to Bob Dylan because the lure of his image is bright enough to blind them to the current reality. But, for others who were present at his recent Australian shows, the times really are ‘a changin’. We’re predicting the next time Bobby comes to town there’ll be quite a few enthusiasts who’ll choose to stay home with their record collections and live in the golden age when Dylan’s content first earned their trust.

 

The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

Image: Brisbane Times

Read more...

  • Content Marketing News & Views Why Your Brand Needs a Podcast

    Why Your Brand Needs a Podcast

    Can you imagine speaking directly to a captive audience of potential customers? I’m not talking about the room of people you might find at a conference or seminar, but potentially tens of thousands of prospective buyers, listening to you from their home, on their way to work, during their lunch break or maybe even at the gym. This is the power of podcasting, and it’s one of the fastest growing and exciting marketing mediums available to businesses in 2017. It’s […]

    Read more →
  • Content Marketing Features The Power of Personalised Content

    The Power of Personalised Content

    With the incessant growth of digital communications, newspapers and other publishers have been forced to come up with new ways to tell stories. Companies that are not in the publishing business, but use content as a part of their marketing strategy can learn a lot from these emerging storytelling tactics. When it comes to personalised content, gamification is king. The more you can learn programmatically – primarily using data for better targeting – about your customer or audience member, the […]

    Read more →
  • Features Social Media The Latest Social Media Fails

    The Latest Social Media Fails

    There’s one big flaw that all brands have that no one likes to talk about: they’re run by fallible, emotional and sometimes careless human beings. Every once in a great while, these humans make mistakes—they slip up all too publicly on their brands’ social media properties. When this happens, most us watch the disaster unfold with bewilderment at the stark stupidity of it all. While these mistakes often create backlash for brands, and sometimes a bit of recovery work, they’re not necessarily […]

    Read more →
  • Features News & Views Is All Publicity Good Publicity?

    Is All Publicity Good Publicity?

    We’ve all seen those marketing campaigns that went, oh, so very wrong. They’re often around to clog up our social media feeds for a couple of days, garner some negative attention, and then they die off. But the real question for marketers is: how damaging was the campaign to the brand? We’re taking a look at whether or not all publicity is good publicity, and whether you can expect to recover from a serious popular culture blunder. Everyone’s Goal: Good […]

    Read more →
  • News & Views Don’t Forget to Pat the Dog

    Don’t Forget to Pat the Dog

    A few days ago I posted an article called The Stupidity of Silence where I suggested that ceasing all contact when someone doesn’t give you what you want is a really dumb strategy. Here’s another one. We’re looking to sell our house at the moment. Part of the process is interviewing real estate agents. Theirs is an incredibly competitive business where all they’re offering is reputation and the perceived ability to persuade people to buy. The first agent who came […]

    Read more →
  • Content Marketing How to Make Your Content Actionable

    How to Make Your Content Actionable

    Content is not a magical formula that will make your target audience find your product and then breathlessly buy from you. The power of actionable content comes from your ability to attract the right audience, enabling them to interact with you and then to elevate that relationship to the next level i.e. for them to become a customer. So, how do you make your content actionable? Most importantly, you must give the reader, viewer or listener a sense of how they […]

    Read more →
  • News & Views The Stupidity of Silence

    The Stupidity of Silence

    It always astounds me when people in business don’t follow-up with a simple thank you email or even a note – when was the last time you received a handwritten thank you note? – after we’ve had some type of interaction.

    Read more →
  • Email Marketing Features What you Need to Know About Email Marketing for Mobile

    What you Need to Know About Email Marketing for Mobile

    It’s no secret that smartphones and tablets can no longer be ignored by email marketers—and there aren’t many more marketers out there doing so. It is a massive part of customer communication and revenue, but do you know just how massive? The following statistics come from all corners of the globe, and from many different industries. While they keep changing everyday, some are quite shocking. Here’s a brief description of everything you need to know about the power of email […]

    Read more →
  • Digital Marketing Features How to Reduce Your Media Spend & Achieve Better Results

    How to Reduce Your Media Spend & Achieve Better Results

    Digital marketing has changed the media landscape forever and marketing budgets are being spread across channels – mainly digital – that previously didn’t exist. The problem is that optimisation is not as simple as it was before; if you’re not careful, your spend can get out of hand. By optimising each of your channels, you can reduce your media spend and achieve better results – all the while proving a positive return on investment (ROI) for every dollar you spend. […]

    Read more →
  • Features News & Views Digital Marketing Lessons To Be Learnt From Donald Trump

    Digital Marketing Lessons To Be Learnt From Donald Trump

    Donald Trump teaching you marketing lessons? Seriously? Yes, seriously. Love him or hate him, Donald Trump has made the race for the White House fascinating. And fascinating doesn’t happen by chance. Exceptional marketing combined with good old fashioned, in-your-face salesmanship are central to the success of his campaign – so far. So putting aside your opinion on his politics, let’s look at what can be learned from Trump’s ‘Making America Great Again’ campaign. Know Your Audience Contrary to the opinion […]

    Read more →