We love to hear the new stuff, but you can’t beat the hits.
In the wise words of former Google CEO and current Executive Chairman of Alphabet, Eric Schmidt:
“The internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn’t understand, the largest experiment in anarchy we’ve ever had.”
In other words, it’s every man for himself. If the internet is one big experiment, is experimentation what is needed? Yes and no. Tweak, revise and update your strategy constantly, but in mind that the simplest ideas tend to be the ones that stand the test of time. Here are five of the best and most timeless content marketing wins.
Sell stories or products but NEVER both at the same time
Great content tends to focus EITHER on the product OR on wider storytelling. It would be unfair to say that you should never create content based on your brand’s products and services. Just don’t try and do everything at once. If you have something new, educational or totally unexpected to say about your product then feel free to share it with audiences. Unfortunately for you, your customers and potential customers don’t care about your sales. They probably don’t really care about your product. Talk about the things they do care about. Teach, engage and inspire.
Why not get your audience to generate the content for you? User-generated content is a tried and tested way of forging a meaningful connection between brand and customer and can increase the potential ‘virality’ of your campaigns. Something as simple as designing the user’s next Facebook cover photo can get fans and their friends excited about contributing to a brand’s marketing footprint. One of the oldest tricks in the book but it works.
Inbound marketing gets your message in front of appropriate audiences without being too intrusive. It can be argued that SEO and social media targeting kind of do the same thing – by delivering relatively personalised content in an unobtrusive way.
It works in the real world too. One great example, Google placed interactive posters around the San Francisco Bay community, giving passers-by the opportunity to choose the charities worthiest of a donation.
Leverage brand ambassadors
Some brands find it difficult to convey a personable tone of voice with their marketing activity. Thankfully brand ambassadors are an easy and effective way of bridging the gap.
Unlike sponsorships and paid influencers rand ambassadors don’t necessarily need to be approached or employed by the company itself. In fact, the most influential ambassadors will be your customers themselves, which will require greater engagement and inclusion.
Use emerging technologies
With nearly every experiment, you’re bound to get something wrong at least once. But you might as well try to utilise an emerging technology just in case it turns out to be the next big thing.
Recent developments like virtual and augmented reality haven’t fully found their feet yet, but as reported on previously, brands including Jeep and Cancer Research are still capitalising on its capabilities. Other opportunities such as wearable technology are slowly but surely gaining traction too, but they could soon be classified as ordinary rather than experimental.