Page & Page is only six months old but we’ve already enjoyed more briefs from our clients than we ever expected. Since we began a pattern is emerging and we have agreed one thing with all of our clients: we will help them produce content but it is going to be content that is relevant and valuable to its target audience. It will not be content that merely adds to the sea of unread and irrelevant information of which nowadays, everyone agrees, there is far too much. Life really is too short for that.
Great content marketing – without dramatically shortening your life
You’ll know, from the previous outputs of Forget the Box that we’re all about using our imagination and inspiring everyone around us to use theirs.
The million-dollar question is how do you ensure that your content marketing inspires, that it is loved and it enriches your target audience’s life without it in turn dramatically shortening yours?
Our approach – don’t start here…
We have to admit to perhaps having something in common with the fellow who when asked for directions replies “well I wouldn’t start from here”. Our point is if you really want to produce imaginative, loveable, valued content don’t start by trying to post or repost, tweet or retweet, or even ‘like’ or comment on something. We recommend taking a couple of steps backwards and starting with some basics because content that people actually want to consume can be identified by:
– the heart-felt energy and enthusiasm with which it has been written
– the eagerness with which it is read because it resonates
This means that if the person reading it met the person writing it they’d actually have something to talk about and they’d find they have much in common.
Start by listening
- What does the audience you want to target care about? We mean really care about. Forgetting, for the time being, what your brand has to offer them, what are they talking about? What insights can be developed?
- If possible demonstrate you’re listening and trying to understand. Reply, contribute and take part but don’t yet be tempted to push your brand. Start to test the insights you are developing.
Reinvent your brand if necessary
Given the insights you have developed about your audience what do you (or your brand) have in common with them? We have a workshop tool we use to help us in our thinking:
In the majority of cases it is unlikely anyone will need to totally reinvent their brand. However, our point is that loveable, imaginative, inspiring content comes from people and brands that have much in common with their audience. Their values resonate, they believe in similar things, the way they do things fits and of course at the end of it all the service or product sponsoring the content does something the audience values.
If you don’t stand for something, you stand for nothing
It is important you develop the content using a recurring theme. People want to know what you believe in – you are in many ways adopting a cause that resonates with them. You build your own proprietary content around this theme, only reposting, retweeting commenting or liking someone else’s content when it has a great deal in common with yours.
In other words, we tip the balance away from being a curator of other people’s content towards being an author of your own content. The aim is to be more singular, to create a single-net impression that, when asked, your target audience spontaneously and lovingly recall.
To summarise, the Page & Page approach to content marketing requires us to unearth the philosophy for the brand and, through cohesive repetition of original content, ensure the brand starts to stand for something.
All it takes is a bit of imagination.