Pixar's 22 Rules, #2: Be Fun. Be Interesting But Be Your Audience

 
would you rather listen?

Break down Pixar’s 22 Rules for Phenomenal Storytelling and you’ll find that some rules resonate for you more than others. This will be true whether you’re creating art for art’s sake—can anyone afford to do that anymore?—or are a proud, unrepentant Content Marketer. But there’s a rule you can’t forget. Ever. Especially in Content Marketing, you need to always Be Your Audience.

It sounds simple, but remember that artists tend to create things they like—and they should. But that only works when marketing isn’t on the table and you have a built-in following that will watch, listen to, or read your work regardless. In other words, when you’re already a celebrity and marketing has become easy, you stop needing to do marketing.

Ironic, right?

Now let me be clear that unless you like what you’re creating your content isn’t likely to be compelling enough to generate interest in anyone. I remember the days when I was doing radio as The Computer Answer Guy; one day a listener cornered the station owner at my flagship and pointed out that it sounded as though I was entertaining myself first and the listener second. That was OK; I had a world-wide audience, most of whom tuned in to hear me make fun of myself, computers, and the way people used them.

Be Your Audience

But in content marketing “I like this” isn’t enough. Every word you write, every noise you utter, every frame of video you shoot needs to be either entertaining or educational in a way your audience is seeking. And oh yeah: that’s incredibly hard to make happen unless you know exactly who your audience is.

So do you?

Pixar knows who its audience is who its two audiences are, and happens to be staffed by incredibly talented people who somehow manage to make cute, non-threatening cartoons for the kids Pixar movies are targeted at and simultaneously keep the parents who get dragged to see Pixar films entertained. So for example, when I commented that this writer was busy spewing his opinion without realizing that his audience was smarter than to fall for it … well, this guy won’t be working for Pixar any time soon, will he?

Be Your Audience, because your business and content marketing success depend on it. Want to talk about how?

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