How Comedy Helps Content Marketing
So many people are writing about content marketing. Personally, I love how much buzz there is and the sometimes overwhelming amount of blogs on the topic. So why did I decide to write yet another blog about it?
Well, I want to reaffirm the points where I agree with others. I also want to add a couple items I haven’t seen bloggers mention yet.
Here’s my view of content marketing in a way many will understand… with a laugh. Comedy writers create some of the most memorable content, or at least I think so. Hence my use of memorable SNL sketches to help your content and energize your campaigns.
Take a look at some blogs about content marketing and you’ll notice some common themes. One I quickly recognized was:
Say Something, Say it Well, Say it Often.
I totally agree! And in the spirit of sketch comedy, I’m going to yes and these strategies by adding Know What to Say and Measure and Optimize as end-caps to these elements. Here’s how I think about it.
Know What to Say
Before you say anything, you should strategize what you’re going to say and why. Checkout Content Marketing, So Hot Right Now. (But what is it?) for more details on that. Basically, begin with a plan. It’ll set the foundation for creation, publication and management of content.
Not (planning or) knowing what to say is like Chopping Broccoli. Making it up as you go can lead to a confusing message or song in this case. Fast forward to 1:50 on this sketch and you'll quickly see what I'm talking about.
Your content needs to make a statement. That means it must provide value for your readers. In the digital era, everyone is a publisher. That means it can be harder to separate yourself from the pack and provide significant content. Just remember, real marketing is differentiation. Consumers love to hear how you're different rather than how you’re the same as every other product or service.
If you’re beginning to sound similar to everyone else… Create some value by adding a little cowbell. And then More Cowbell until you make the statement your target audience is seeking.
Say it Well
Differentiation is a step towards saying it well, but this element needs to go beyond that. Valuable content needs to relevant for both you and your audience. This requires knowing your brand and your target audience. And don’t forget, knowing when to say it (reach your audience) is also part of this strategy.
The Richmeister almost has it. His words aren’t perfect. In fact, he’s an English Teacher’s nightmare, but a sportscaster’s dream! He knows his brand voice and stays consistent across channels. However, he doesn’t know his target audience or when to deliver his message. Overdoing doing it like the Richmeister is an example of not being relevant, which is a real no-no when it comes to saying it well.
Say it Often
While we all might believe we’re perfect listeners, we’re not! It’s okay, I’m guilty of this too. It’s not intentional, you meet someone and ask them to repeat their name. It’s even worse when people provide different versions of their name in an introduction. You know, like their full name first time and then a nickname the next.
Well brands are similar, people don’t always remember your brand name or your message – so you need to repeat it. Saying it often means being consistent with your message. It can also mean integrating your message across multiple channels, but can also mean other things… Like repeating where you’re located enough times until people remember where to find you. Just remember, consistency is key to saying it often.
Data and measurement are crucial to content success. Analytics will show how your content marketing campaigns are performing. It provides concrete answers on what is reaching your audience as well as what is not.
Making marketing decisions based on hearsay or a feeling would be like having second-hand news correspondent Anthony Crispino (Bobby Moynihan) as your CMO. Don’t do that!
Content for Conversion
WARNING: obvious definition alert. Content for conversion is designed to do just that. Its sole purpose is to encourage and facilitate the consumer to make a purchase. Think of a consumer product landing page. It’s straight to the point and its only purpose is to get you to buy. Another example is any infomercial you’ve ever seen, but rather than plugging the Shamwow or a Ron Popeil product. I relate conversion to the Olympia Restaurant.
Content for Entertainment
Another evident term, content for entertainment, is created to entertain people. This is a far different cry than items for conversion and generally have a longer wait period on the ROI because of that reason. Personally, I’m in favor of content for conversion. You can measure its effectiveness and it provides a quick ROI. But I also like being entertained… The major risk with entertaining content is brand linkage, meaning people will remember your entertaining content, but not what brand it’s affiliated with. Keep that in mind if you’re going down this path.
Now sketch comedy is created for entertainment, so any sketch I aligned to this category would fit. Seeing as that’s too easy, I’ve gathered two brands I feel do entertaining content better than anyone – Red Bull and Old Spice.
Content That Does Both
Every now and then you’ll come across some ad campaigns that are both entertaining and designed for conversion. My two favorites are Dollar Shave Club and Squatty Potty. Rather than explain, it’s better for you to check these out.
Dollar Shave Club
Getting Content to Work for You
That’s right, now it’s time for you to put all of these elements together and create valuable, relevant and consistent content. I recommend checking out the Persuasion Equation and this Revolutionary Guide to Writing Headlines to get started. You’ll also find a mass of additional resources to help you, but those are some of my favorites. Happy Blogging and Content Creating, just remember strategy first!