On Monday, Seth Barron, head of creative business partnerships at Google/YouTube ZOO (my bro), provided some guidelines for content marketing to ensure that your efforts will stand out among the rest of the digital distractions like Engage’s posterior, am I right folks? Of course, as Captain Content, I understand how to make content stand out more than a Kardashian at a dollar store, but that doesn’t mean this information can’t help all of you. So, let’s review some of Sethy-Seth’s best practices for content marketing, and good ole’ Cap will provide some insight on what’s being used by a brand successfully today. Be Your Own R.L. Stine
That is to say, find the story within your brand, and tell it like a boss (Goosebumps are my fave). “Stories drive emotional connections,” Barron said. “Ads are just well-told stories that drive action. It’s a beautiful piece of content with a great media plan around it.” Don’t be afraid to tell the story of your brand, your consumers, or your products. Make a grand gesture as to why your brand is going to change the world. Metaphorically stand outside of your crush’s window with a boombox playing Peter Gabriel.
Real World Example
I’m taking it back to the old school because I’m an old fool who’s too cool for this one. Apple. 1984. Two words, and you get it, right? Steve Jobs created this conceptual commercial airing at a time that guarantees the largest audience. An Orwellian-nod to a future of conformity and oligarchy is shattered by a lone innovator going against the monolithic grain. It was moving. It was inspiring. It was different. The best part: they did not show one computer during the entire commercial. No need to. Stands on its own---don’t you think?
Put Users First
Listen, I learned the hard way that my selfish needs shouldn’t be placed above the needs of the very person in which affection I desire (sorry about that, Engage). Make your users your brand story’s protagonist--your very own Atticus Finch, if you will. Tell such a moving, relatable story that your users will be picturing themselves in the place of the protagonist at the center of your story. Don’t make your story larger than your product, though. You will want to deliver on the level of quality in which you portray. In other words, don’t tell a story like War and Peace when you’re selling a Flowbee.
Real World Example
Gatorade is not just something that you drink the morning after a heavy night of drinking. Its brand positioning is aimed at athletes from weekend warriors to NFL players. They market their product to all athletes, but also provide resources to it primary users through Beat the Heat Safety Kit PDFs, an interactive science lab, and visually stunning commercials with incredible art direction.
Fall in Love
I’m not talking about the type of love between The Bachelor and his 20 rose recipients (Yes, I watch The Bachelor, doesn’t everybody?). I’m talking about a love affair between the user and the brand that brings out feelings of loyalty and emotions. Show that you love your consumers and your consumers love you.
Real World Example
Subaru is a tried and true example of their content showing the love to their consumers, which makes their consumers love them back. The Dear Subaru section on their website displays a collection of stories, photos and videos that were submitted by real owners. Those stories are separated into the primary consumer categories for which they tend to choose Subaru over other vehicles: adventure, pets, safety, community, love, longevity, versatility, and performance. They reinforce that brand story with compelling and heart-string pulling advertisements.
I’m not crying--that’s just additional eye liquid that allows my eyes to be more lubricated, allowing my X-ray vision to work harder.
When it comes to content marketing, tell your story. “Embrace the fact that content is liquid and stop planning it by platform but by user,” Barron said. “It doesn’t matter what screen the content is on, the more you think about your strategy as who is this user and how can I put them first the more successful you will be.” “Love your users. If you do, you will help them. You won’t get in their way.” If you need help with your content marketing, contact The Contentinators® by calling 866-471-4748.