Search Google for images associated with the word tease, and you’ll get predictable results; lots of young pretty girls in stages of near-undress will fill your screen.
But that’s about all that’s predictable about tease images. Use the search phrases tease marketing, marketing tease, advertising tease, advertising teaser, or advertising change teaser, and you’ll get far less predictable results. That granularity matters; as the pursuit of Influency becomes more and more complex and as established trust and relationships become the norm for marketing viability, you need a growing understanding of exactly what your targets expect from you.
While it might have seemed otherwise, my teaser post about teasers was no throwaway. And sure, one of its goals was amping up the Influency-related task of getting readers back again … and again … and again. But when I told you that Bruno Mars, Jason Calacanis, a Russian YouTube Star, Old Media, New Media, and one of My Kids were all tied together, I was serious.
When this year’s there is NO more Influence-y event The Super Bowl was played a few days ago, the game itself was a snooze. But Super Bowl XLVIII was a study in Influency. Bruno Mars, a young guy who’s become popular only recently, performed a medley of his music, joined for a couple of minutes by some guys almost twice his age. Mars worked The Red Hot Chili Peppers into his set in a way that felt way less forced than it could have, simultaneously showing off his talents at a near-shockingly wide range of musical styles. And as is traditional for performers at The Super Bowl, Bruno Mars wasn’t paid. Not a cent.
My son, an aspiring recording label impresario and artist, found this unfair. I pointed out that in the wake of his appearance at The Super Bowl Bruno Mars’ iTunes sales numbers spiked to #1 in the world, and as a result his Super Bowl appearance had earned him quite a lot of money he wouldn’t have had otherwise—and that this was predictable. Mike maintained his position that it’s unfair for an artist to perform without getting paid, and most of the people who commented against his Facebook post on the matter agreed.
The day before Bruno Mars performed at The Super Bowl, an article about the realities of chasing fame and making a living on YouTube appeared in The New York Times. And the Russian immigrant much of the article focused on, who makes what many non-famous people would consider a solid living for what amounts to having fun playing around in her living room, complained that while her gross income was pretty decent, she had expenses to pay. Or—you know—she was running a business and facing the old “gotta spend money to make money” conundrum. It’s an issue that many of our readers face, of course, and one I understand myself, intimately.
Then, the Who’s Old Media / Who’s New Media issue popped up. YouTube, who so many people treat like they’re special, was called out for doing what companies that wield a lot of power pretty much always do; the article described how YouTube takes a significant share of the money that artists like Olga Kay believe they’ve earned. I don’t, by the way, happen to believe that YouTube’s share of the advertising money earned against content posted and hosted on their servers is unreasonable when you take everything YouTube delivers into account. And I’m a guy who once upon a time received a call from our then-partner America Online informing me that they were unilaterally dropping our compensation by 99%. But that’s an issue for another day.
Then, there’s Jason Calacanis.
Mr. Calacanis has come up here a handful of times, most notably when he reamed out an ex-employee for being an ex-employee and when he spoke to his investment theories. Jason Calacanis is a very successful guy who’s made several fortunes on The Internet. His ideas haven’t all worked, but he keeps on plugging. Last week Calacanis flipped the switch on his latest venture, inside.com. And although there’s merit to some of the ideas behind inside.com, I’m predicting that it will meet the same fate as Calacanis’ previous venture Mahalo—on which inside.com is based. Calacanis complains that the reason Mahalo failed was that they were “at the mercy of Google’s algorithm or YouTube’s revenue split”.
Sound familiar? Google’s in charge, and it’s expensive to create content. Calacanis is way ahead relative to understanding that he needs a way around the issues that make up change in his chosen business better than Mike Yablon and Olga Kay do, even if the announcement he sent me about inside.com reveals that he’s still missing the most important point: engagement needs to be real, or it isn’t really engagement. More on that problem, and the not-quite-truths Jason Calacanis is telling about inside.com, next time.
For what it matters, this week Google appointed Susan Wojcicki, formerly the head of Google’s AdWords advertising network, to the top post at YouTube, presumably to find ways to keep its content marketing partners happy. Wojcicki knows a thing or three about Google and YouTube, having been with Google since its humble beginning in her garage.
Influency and Content Marketing are inextricably linked, and becoming more so. And no kidding, your ability to adapt to the changing business environment mixed in with that will determine your success moving forward. Want to talk about it?
By the way: Louis CK belongs in this conversation, too, on the same side as Bruno Mars. Louis CK gets it.