Confession… I can’t really recall the last time I watched television live. In truth, I have become entirely too dependent on my DVR. I take comfort in the fact that I can truck away at the office without fear that the rush hour commute will preclude me from seeing the first few minutes of “Survivor.” I appreciate the fact that a dinner out with my husband Friday night doesn’t keep me from catching up on the latest episode of “Say Yes to the Dress” (Hey, I’m a newlywed; I can still watch this.).
But on the morning of Thanksgiving—with my DVR cleared out and the food prep pretty much done—I found myself (gasp) watching live television. My irritation level was already at an all-time high as I HATE commercials, when I surprisingly found myself smiling (even enjoying!) a recent Sears holiday commercial. It follows two 20-something-year-olds who are headed to the mall to see a movie when they stop by Sears to quickly browse the racks. Immediately, a 10-second shopping trip turns in to an all-day excursion as they keep finding items for themselves, their significant others and their families. The girls start saying things like “Who really likes previews?” as they grab a scarf and “It will be out on DVD soon” as they head for the dressing room.
For some reason, I loved this commercial and didn’t mind when it came on multiple times throughout the day. And when I think about it, it’s because it was believable and 100 percent relatable. So what does this have to do with your content marketing strategy? It has to do with the fact that “believable” and “relatable” are two words you should hope come to the minds of your existing and prospective stakeholders each and every time they interact with your brand. Let’s take a look at three tips to keeping your content marketing strategy believable and relatable:
- Be True to Your Brand: Just because your competitors are hopping on a certain bandwagon does not mean you need to buy a ticket as well. Conversely, consumers resonate more with brands that are transparent, steadfast and honest with who they are. For example, if your company really doesn’t like the idea of holding contests for your most loyal customers every quarter, then don’t do it. Instead, find other ways to celebrate your VIP stakeholders. If it feels too out-of-the-box for your brand, chances are your market won’t buy it either.
- Put Yourself in Their Shoes: The reason the Sears commercial worked for me is because I’ve been there. I’ve attempted to go to a movie only to get sidetracked doing something else. Your marketing strategy needs to take a similar approach. Put yourself in the shoes of your customers. Ask yourself: what are they feeling? What words do they want to read on your blogging platform? What lessons do they want to take away from your webinar? It’s not about what would get you to download your white paper; it’s about what will get your audience to fill out that lead capture form.
- Don’t be so Serious: When I attended Content Marketing World this past September, one of the best takeaways came from Cisco’s Senior Marketing Manager Tim Washer. He encouraged marketers to be funnier. With the C-suite so concerned with ROI and turn of profit, as a marketer your creative juices can often be squashed. But don’t let your marketing strategy be dictated by numbers and “bottom lines.” Instead, remember to have fun with your content marketing strategy and weave in the personality of your brand whenever you can. After all, you probably remember the commercials you laughed at a whole lot more than the commercials that garnered a yawn.