Share or Die

starlight theaterIf the explosion of the web and social media has taught business anything it’s that you must put out tons of great content and be willing share, let others copy, use and otherwise exploit it your, not their, benefit.

The old school model of proprietary content locked, either behind a 27 field form or worse, copyscape or encryption model, is not only silly it’s hurtful to your brand and business growth.

By making your content easily and freely passable, in fact encouraging folks to do so, you must acknowledge that even your most cherished secrets are nothing without the execution to bring them to life and the energy you invest in trying to protect your content could be better used connecting with clients anyway.

I’m not suggesting that people ripping your content off for their own commercial gain is a good thing. I am saying that letting people have and use and pass it in ways that ultimately lead to expanding your brand at the hands of your network, customers, providers and even competitors is a grand thing.

I attended a play last night performed at what I would call a well intentioned, but sadly behind the times, civic theater. As people do pretty much everywhere they go these days, attendees were streaming bits and pieces of the play and music to friends and networks. Throughout the performance the director of the theater jumped up and scolded what were season ticket holders and benefactors for filming and taking pictures.

At some point in time I’m sure that people with ill intent may have recorded events like this in an attempt to sell them and circumvent the copyrights of the individuals, but the only thing my terribly poor quality ten second clip of the song from act one uploaded to Facebook could do is sell more tickets and show my network what a good time I was having at this theater.

Venues like this need to embrace and encourage this practice or run the risk of becoming irrelevant in people’s lives and so do you. First off, 90% of those in attendance had a recording device in their pocket so you’re not going to stop it and they created a harsh environment for the venue’s best customers by attempting to do so. If instead the venue put a few guidelines down (I know flash photography can be disruptive to all) and then made sharing an integral part of the this experience (hello, a hashtag would be genius) the benefits would be so tremendous that their overall marketing would become so much less work.

As it stands, the director of this institution looked silly and out of touch.

This is the kind of counter intuitive thinking that marketers today must embrace.


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