In Our Nation’s Capitol 

I spent last week in Washington DC for the National Association of Realtors Midyear Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo, as BombBomb video email marketing software is a great fit for real estate associations, brokers, and agents.  Our nation’s capitol is a fitting place to have learned about a fresh form of content marketing – content lobbying!

US Capitol, capitol building, capital, Washington DC, Lego, Legoland

Not exactly a simulation of Facebook lobbying efforts at the United States Capitol.

Facebook and Content Lobbying

As a breakout on the Facebook IPO, the Wall Street Journal published a one-column story on the company’s lobbying history.  Though I read it in print (thanks to a stack at the front desk of the Dupont Circle Hotel), you can take a look at that story here.

Though they’re moving toward the traditional form of lobbying – tossing money at campaigns to buy favor (at $2,500/legislator) and setting up their own PAC – Facebook trails Google and Microsoft significantly in spending at this point.

Far more interesting, though, was their start.  They hired inexperienced lobbyists by design.  They earned favor by teaching politicians how to use Facebook to connect with constituents (read: campaign contributors).  Content lobbying!

They later broadened that out to visits to preferred politicians’ districts to teach business owners about technology in general and about Facebook in particular.  Each of these sessions would include an opening by the host politician.  Content lobbying roadshow!

I expect that this approach isn’t wholly novel, but I found it to be a fresh take on content marketing.

Content Marketing Takeaways

The essence of lobbying is the currying of favor.  At best, this looks like gaining access and making strong, persuasive arguments.  At worst, it’s a base, crude exchange of favors and back-scratching. Transactional. Quid pro quo.

Content marketing is marketing through education.  It’s teaching.  It’s edu-sales.  It’s the sharing of your experience and expertise (which are not the same thing) with your prospects, customers, colleagues, and community.

Content lobbying, then, isn’t so different from content marketing.  Beyond the access required for proper lobbying, any differences are subtle and are based in motivation, expectation, and explicitness around the giving of value.

What value do you have ready to exchange?  For what do you ask or what do you expect in return?  What access do you have to influencers, political or otherwise?  You, too, may benefit from content lobbying.

Again, you can see the full story from the Wall Street Journal right here.