Click here for his new Bricks and Feathers content marketing ebook, written exclusively for Vocus (and excerpted here).
Do you remember the trick question from grade school? Which weighs more, five pounds of bricks or five pounds of feathers?
As you may remember, they of course weigh the same. After all, five pounds is five pounds.
But in social media and content marketing, not all communication has the same heft or impact, and you need to produce communication of both the light and heavy varieties.
Feathers are the tsunami of flotsam and jetsam that constantly envelops us online today like a Snuggie comprised of words and photos.
Feathers are tweets. Feathers are Instagram photos. Feathers are status updates. Most blog posts are feathers. Like a feather, these content executions are lightweight, ephemeral, temporal and disposable.
You might love a feather. You might even share a feather. But a feather by itself – or even a whole pile of them – is unlikely to have enough persuasive power to cause you to make a purchase.
What is a Brick?
Bricks are the building blocks of digital communication. They are the longer, more in-depth executions that break through the shower of feathers by having extra heft, production value and relevancy. Bricks are ebooks like this one. Bricks are webinars. Bricks are infographics. Bricks are “real” videos (Vine and Instagram videos are typically in the feathers category).
You may not love bricks in the same way you love feathers, because bricks are often more serious and detailed. You’ll never see a brick meme. But bricks have a lifespan that feathers do not. Bricks are downloaded, saved or printed out.
Bricks are what Ian Greenleigh, author of the forthcoming new book, “The Social Media Side Door,” calls “rocketship content” because they can be quickly elevated within organizations to reach the desks of decision makers.
You don’t often forward your CMO an Instagram photo (or even a blog post, usually). But you do forward well-executed bricks.
Special thanks to Chris Sietsema, head of digital operations at Convince & Convert, for pioneering the “bricks and feathers” concept.