I just responded to a request for a prediction for 2009 from Joe Pulizzi, founder of Top 42 Content Marketing Blogs. His question, which I throw out to you, is this:
"What is your prediction for how brand marketers will create and distribute their own content in 2009?" How would you answer this question?
My answer follows here:
Cutting edge companies like Razer, the computer gaming hardware developer, have been using their founder, RazerGuy, as spokesperson for years. Other brands will find or create a persona to embody the spirit of their company. How else can companies connect and build relationships unless there is a person with a real personality?
As The Blog Squad, my partner Denise Wakeman and I have realized the importance of a 'persona' to connect with people and to represent what our company does. Fortunately, we're real people. I pity those companies that are going to have to invent a persona – that will never work as well as authenticity.
Rohit Bhargava hit the nail on the head with his book Personality Not Included. I predict that 2009 will be the Year of the Personality!
This may be one of the instances where a solo professional has an edge over big companies. At least you don't have to worry about choosing a person to blog for the company and do Twitter tweets and Facebook notes.
And yet, many professionals aren't putting their best face forward. Some are still writing in the 3rd person and aren't comfortable speaking directly to readers and "I" and "you" pronouns. Worse, many haven't developed a persona that adequately brands what they do.
Have you? Do you have a moniker or an avatar or a nickname that brands you? A good example would be Bud Bilanich, the Common Sense Guy.
In the earlier example I gave, RazerGuy, he just happens to be my husband, Rob Krakoff. So I know how this all works on a corporate level. It's just as important – and even more so for independent consultants, authors and speakers. Sorry, but your name isn't enough.
You cannot afford to be anonymous or bland. The easier you make it for readers to remember you and what you do, the better results you'll have from everything you do, including all sorts of content on the Web.
<end of rant>
But maybe you have another prediction for 2009…please share!