The Forms of Selfish Content
I've had my share of car buying experiences, most of which have been mental beatdowns. On one occasion, I was talking with a salesman who was really pushing me to buy.
At one point, I asked his team to run some numbers on what a particular vehicle would cost me every month.
"Am I going to get your business today?" he asked.
"Not quite sure yet."
"Well, I'd hate to have my guys run these numbers and do all of this work if you're not even sure about buying today."
"But...isn't that your job?"
It was clear this was much more about what he would get out of it than me, it and would be totally reasonable for me to have left right then.
This is one of the many reasons people hate the car-buying experience. They've had so many experiences like this that they practically expect the sales team to do what they can to benefit themselves over the consumer.
The same is true online.
People are used to misleading clickbait, disappointing content and corporate marketing that they've become cynical. Brands must find ways to break that cynicism by writing and producing content that clearly conveys a genuine interest in their audience - no strings attached.
If you've already sat in a car dealership for 2-3 hours, you may tolerate a little more selfishness because you've invested time in it. However, it's much easier to form a negative opinion and disconnect yourself from selfish content.
Getting to know everything about your audience and customer takes some time, planning and strategy. However, there are some things you should already know just by living the human experience:
People don't want to feel like someone is trying to trick them
People don't like the idea someone is taking advantage of them
People don't like to take extra steps when their needs are simple
Finally, when it comes to human behavior online - if you give them a wrong impression, they will instantly go elsewhere.
Here is a quick video sharing three examples of content that will look selfish to your audience.