Examples of creative content ideas show it is possible
Compelling content is the key to successful marketing. You know that. Your boss knows that. So why are so many marketers still half-hearing it?
Folks who work in 'boring' industries have an added challenge.
Let’s say you are a marketing specialist in insurance or for a mortgage bank. Even if your company and services are important, these topics have snoozefest written all over them.
The good news is that there are some simple tactics you can use to make your marketing campaigns more exciting.
Create a Voice with an Attitude
Creating a brand voice is nothing new or at least it shouldn’t be if you write content for your company! Some of the most influential brands have created strong voices that their audiences connect with. Just think of some of today’s largest companies - Coca-Cola, Salesforce, Apple. You can imagine exactly what they sound AND look like.
But, imagine that your company doesn’t have a fun or sexy product. Let’s look at Dropbox for example.
Now, most of you probably don’t find cloud file storage and sharing super exciting. I mean, maybe you do, but I’d guess that you’re not hosting Friday night cocktail parties about how to backup your files in the cloud.
Most of the time when you’re backing up files, you have to sit and wait for them to upload, sync and then finally finish storing. Snoooooreeee!
Plus, if you used to do it the old-fashioned way, you would need to store these files on your hard drive. For someone like my mom, who has no idea what the 'cloud' exactly is, storing files virtually seems like a completely foreign and scary concept. Getting her to text on the iPhone was a hard enough task!
Needless to say, there is a lot of education that goes into convincing people why to use a service like this, especially around the how-to’s, privacy concerns, product tools, tips and tricks, and more.
None of this sounds fun, but what has Dropbox done? They have successfully managed to pull off a fun and cool voice that actually makes cloud storage sound interesting.
Dropbox understands the importance of connecting with their audience, even if storage is a pretty boring topic. Take a look at this email above. Notice how they’ve used a customer pain point to help educate their customers?
Instead of using a boring scripted 'how-to' use Dropbox with your mobile device, they’ve made it short, fun and engaging.
Let’s look at their language. Their message is conversational. Even using simple phrases like 'Happy syncing!', and 'Don’t worry' gives Dropbox a character that you can connect with. No, they aren’t just a boring cloud storage service, but they are actually people who are trying to make your life easier - insert smiley emoticon here! 🙂
Now, let’s look at the image. The stick figures also help to give Dropbox a personality. With a compelling little cartoon, Dropbox is telling a story, and if you’ve had the same problem, then you know what the poor little guy on the right feels like when carrying all of those boxes.
See? Cloud storage doesn't need to be boring or full of technical words that the average user doesn’t understand. Their message is simple, it makes sense, and the cute little stick figures make you like Dropbox for keeping it real.
Pro Tip- fun explainer videos are fantastic for teaching your audience about your product while keeping their attention. Here’s an example from SquareHook about their drag-and-drop website builder
Useful Content is Always Key
Not every marketing campaign is going to be a hit like Gangnam and you shouldn’t try for that anyway. You also don’t need to be a content marketing master to have success.
At the end of the day, you’re trying to sell a service that is necessary for your target audience, so why not provide useful information? Take a step back from your content brainstorming sessions, and try imagining a content strategy that focuses around why YOUR brand was created.
What is your company’s story? And what are you trying to tell your audience at the most basic level?
Don’t get stuck on trying to sell the products and services that you offer, and instead take a look at your company’s mission. This is always good place to get clues about what is useful to your customers.
Underwater Audio campaign
For example, the company Underwater Audio creates products for swimmers, but is also becoming a hub for swimmers to learn more about techniques, gear, and news. The addition of blog content has sparked their social media community, members of which now frequently purchase from their website.
Another great place to start is by trying to answer questions that your current customers have. Your customers are obviously struggling with something, so why not put together useful tools and tricks for them to get their business on track?
One idea to do this is by answering your client’s questions. Sit down with your Sales Team and have an open discussion about what their conversations are like when going through a sale:
What are their clients concerns? Is it price? Is it the long-term reliability of this service? Or maybe it’s a concern about a product feature
You get the idea. Create a list of concerns, and then use these to create content. It’s going to be meaningful and important, even for those people who aren’t your customers yet. After all, relieving your customers pain means that you’ll gain a fan.
If you don’t have a good idea of what their top questions are, then you can do a couple of things. You can send a survey to your clients to understand what their top questions and concerns are.
Or, you can also work with your best clients to find out why they love your product or service, and why they decided to choose you over other providers. This is a really smart and simple way to get to the heart of the matter.
Plus, stroking your client’s ego is never a bad thing!
Warm Leads Won’t Find Your Content Boring
Last, but certainly not least: Even if you’re having a hard time making your content sexy, the bottom line is that warm leads won’t find your content boring. If anything, they need you as a resource to improve their business. If they are trying to find a solution, and you have a solution, they are going to do their due diligence to make sure that you REALLY know what you’re talking about.
Focus on making your content useful and fun for your readers. Adding a little personality to your brand and including stories about other customers who have had similar pain points are going to make you stand out as a leader in what you do.
Final Thoughts: Don’t be afraid… to get a little hilarious
Don’t give into the snoozefest that is your industry. As much as it excites you, don’t be fooled. Your prospects and customers think you’re totally boring. You know what will be your power tool? Humour.
Be shamelessly funny. And if you’re worried you’ll offend someone?
Stop. People like funny. Humour and hilarity will help you win hearts.
Thanks to Chris Kilbourn for sharing his thoughts and opinions in this post. Chris is the CEO and Lead Growth Strategist at TOFU Marketing. In past lives, he was a professional rockstar (seriously), and he built and scaled 3 successful companies from the ground up. You can request a free consultation with him at LinkedIn, Twitter or Google+.
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