Content | March 18, 2015
Do an Innocent (Create Useful, Engaging Content That Works)
In case you missed it, it was Mother’s Day on the weekend, so big respect to all the Liberty mums out there. We literally wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you, so thanks.
However, as much as they might deserve it (along with all the chocolate, flowers, cards and er… Simply Red tickets) this post is not an ode to mothers everywhere, no matter how questionable their taste in music.
The Mother’s Day link is actually a referral to another brilliant bit of content marketing from Innocent Drinks. You know, them with the smoothies and the teeny tiny woolly hats.
Last week (on the 12th to be exact) Innocent Drinks unveiled some emergency Mother’s Day cards on their blog. Just pick your favourite, click on the pic, and print out a bit of Innocent’s signature silliness to flatter/delight/baffle yo momma.
They were lush. Take a look.
Anyway, they got down to business promoting these bad boys on their social channels and voila, their efforts got crazy retweets and were also picked up by The Drum.
Their head of digital and communities, Joe Mc Ewan, said:
“Our ultimate goal in social is to create content that’s so good you’ll want to tap your mate on the shoulder and introduce it to them. We’re not interested in dull, generic content. There’s too much of that out there already.”
So how can you do this for yourself?
1. Remember, there’s a time and a place to feature your products in your content
This one’s direct from Mr McEwan, who says that in his opinion, there are few things more tragic in the world of marketing than a piece of reactive content with a product desperately shoehorned in.
A small logo in the bottom corner was enough for Innocent, because if the content’s good enough, people will talk about you, and that’s the idea.
When you’re creating content, don’t get too bogged down in sales funnels and conversions. Think just outside the funnel and you’ll find that you’re gently guiding potential customers to take the plunge instead of shoving them over the edge.
2. Make your content timely and relevant
Brands that do content marketing well will milk their content calendars for all they’re worth, and if you want to ‘do an Innocent’, then you should too.
You don’t have to jump on every major high day and holiday (especially if it doesn’t suit your brand) but if there’s an appropriate occasion coming up, you need to be prepped and ready to tackle it in advance.
And ‘appropriate’ is subjective. If you can make it work, then run with it.
The same applies for relevance. You might think that the premier of a massively popular TV show has nothing to do with your industry, but get creative and it could well do.
For example, a couple of weeks ago we wrote and promoted a blog post to coincide with the release of season 3 of House of Cards. Timely, yes. But relevant? Yes indeed.
We took some of Frank Underwood’s more famous quotes and applied them to content marketing, and it did pretty well. We got retweets from industry big boys the CMI, Distilled and Jeremy Waite, as well as republication on Figaro Digital – a lovely bit of brand-building if we do say so ourselves.
3. Most of all, make it valuable
Emergency Mother’s Day Cards! What’s more valuable than that? But again, value is subjective.
The value we’re offering in this piece, for example, is useful tips on how to improve your content marketing efforts. And if you actually enjoy reading it that’s an added bonus, and one that might just make you come back again in future (fingers crossed).
But how do you create value? Some quick tips include:
Start with your customer
What do they often ask you? What might they need? Answer these questions and you’re already proving yourself useful.
Quality and depth are better than quantity. One brilliant blog post that’s carefully considered is worth a million that hardly scratch the surface.
Become a part of your industry’s community and figure out what people are talking about. Offer your opinions on a trend or a piece of news, and gain inspiration from the conversation that springs up.
If you want to be valuable, you have to stop worrying about giving information away for free. Share a bit of your knowledge and you’ll be rewarded with what’s been referred to as ‘commercial karma’.
We couldn’t let this Mother’s Day related post end without mentioning another brand’s interesting efforts to capitalise. An honest mistake, or a clever marketing ploy? We’ll let you decide.
#YourMum. Yes, that’s exactly what Penguin Books did last week, much to the delight of Twitter users everywhere. The one above is from our very own @JoeHickers (never one to shy away from a bandwagon, our Joe. Although he’ll insist he was driving it…).
As well as trending and giving them tonnes of brand exposure, their hashtag faux pas was picked up by the Huffington Post and the Lad Bible, so whether it was on purpose or not, they’re laughing all the way to the bank. Though they’ll have to draw out enough money to buy their mum a bloody big present when they’re there, for exposing them to so many crass/hilarious jokes.
So that’s that. Happy late Mother’s Day. To finish, just like Innocent, we’re not going to go for the big sell. If you’re reading this, you know we’re here, and that’s what really matters.