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What agencies and marketers should learn from Breitbart

By: Kevin R.

A non-partisan investigation into how the world works right now and a simple logic to further your social content objectives, regardless of what they may be.

Let me begin by saying that I am not personally a fan of Breitbart. But I am fascinated by it. How did it become so powerful? Why is it so effective? How does it work???

We studied it. I think we figured it out. And I think marketers can learn from what we think we figured out. Read on, but please beware, once you learn this stuff, you cannot unlearn it...

Breitbart's success (and possibly the success of your next social program) is a "three legged stool" of crafting content in a particular and consistent way. 

Proverbial stool leg #1: Surprise is the coin of the realm. 

The first reaction to any post should be, "Wow, I can't believe they are posting about this. I'm surprised!"

Proverbial stool leg #2: The surprise should reinforce something the audience already thinks they know.

The second reaction should be, "I knew it! I've actually thought this for a long time!"
Cliche: "Know thy audience." An oldie but a goodie and always the single most important thing in the communication business.
TDHeorem: You cannot sell something to someone that they do not want. Period.

Proverbial stool leg #3: The thing that surprised them that they think they already know, should be something they've been told is wrong.

The third reaction should be, "I knew it! I've thought this for a long time. But people told me I was wrong. Now I can share my POV with confidence. I'm going to attach this post to my opinion and share it across my network."

Validation is one of the most powerful tools in social psychology. Be careful with it. It works.

Here's an example of a TDH post that stands up.

To say that taking agency work in-house will cost you more than hiring an agency is surprising to many CMOs. But it tickles the intuitive feeling a lot of CMOs have about why they like working with great agencies - they get a lot of bang for their buck and there's a secret sauce to how great agencies produce great work that would be impossible to replicate within their own corporate culture. In-house creative departments are in vogue (although wrong headed...). The industry press promotes the idea and creates the pressure for CMOs to explore it, even though they feel in their gut that actually doing it would not make things better.

It's logic, not witchcraft. Then again, a good dog photo usually works just as well

Craft is the key. Craft is kinda our thing. Wanna talk about it? Let's talk.



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