Creativity is a strange concept. When flowing freely it’s one of the most satisfying and rewarding parts of a content marketer’s daily work.
So, what happens when you get ‘creative block’? Blame it on the work you’re doing? After all it’s not your fault – there’s just no way to make accounting / car parking / [insert chosen industry perceived as more straight-laced than others here]. WRONG! Getting creative with your content marketing should never be dependent on the perceived ‘coolness’ of a business’s products, service or sector.
In this blog post I will highlight some great tips for creating engaging brand content.
1. Use data creatively
Imagine you’re creating content for a car parking business. The way to generate unengaging, non-sharable content is to focus on the details and nothing else. A blog post or maybe downloadable guide with pricing for each car park the company owns. Boring, right?
What if you flipped that pricing data on its head, creating an online app that worked out the cost of a taxi home after a night out in direct comparison to leaving the car in an overnight car park? You could launch it in tandem with a drink driving awareness campaign, perhaps results could be sharable and each time an app user shares their savings they are entered into a contest for a month of free parking.
Takeaway: The data is there – it’s being creative with it that governs a campaign’s success.
2. Widen your perspective
In order to think bigger picture and step away from the detail of a brand, it’s important to connect the dots to discover creative opportunities that are not immediately obvious. Creating a mind-map is a great way to help make these new connections.
One of our own clients, Flexioffices, provides serviced office space throughout the UK. On first impressions you could think that all content needs to be about available space and current property offers. In reality, there are so many topics linked to office space, such as business issues, or top tips for creating a happy workplace.
We chose to look at what affects employee productivity, making the link with exercise during the working day and exploring the benefits of a lunchtime run. This allowed us to collaborate with fitness and running bloggers, getting them to run a route around Flexioffices’ Shoreditch office locations – securing natural links to the homepage and Shoreditch location page in the process.
The results – increased search visibility, enhanced brand awareness and fantastic blog coverage on blogs not immediately obvious in their connection to an office space provider’s brand.
3. Tap into a story – tap into emotion
A fantastic example of a brand positioning itself as a beauty product for ‘real women’ is Dove. This wonderfully emotive series of videos focuses on the story of several women who have lost sight of how beautiful they truly are, with the subtext being a story of today’s media pressures on body image and expectations of women.
I will let the video do the talking, but it’s a moving example of how emotion and real people make for captivating viewing. If you can create emotional connections with your brand, you are onto a winner.
4. Create newsworthy onsite content that attracts links and visits
‘Newsworthy content’ is the type of content that you yourself would read – irrespective of whether you were specifically on the lookout for it.
It’s not just about a catchy headline, your newsworthy content needs substance and one great tactic is to run a survey. This is because journalists know that the stories they create are given far more weight with some well-placed data involved. If you can provide that data for the journalists, without them having to do the legwork, then you’ve got a great chance of your story being picked up.
The key here is to create a ‘hook’ for the journalist, giving just enough information in your press release, leading into a link to your blog or website’s news section where the full story / full results from a survey will be hosted.
Reaching out to journalists with interesting content for their publications is a sure fire way to increase awareness of your brand and even establish valuable links back to your website. Google’s algorithm rewards fresh, highly relevant onsite content, so it should be a key focus of any content marketing strategy.
NB it is important to note that any ‘follow’ links you generate from PR outreach should be from reputable sites with high domain authorities that are relevant to your brand. Google frown upon ‘follow’ links from article placement sites and as such this is a big no-no.
5. Monitor results, learn and repeat successes
Analysis and monitoring is always the key to developing future campaigns that fly. Make use of Google Analytics, social reporting, press coverage tracking tools and brand listening to learn what worked and what didn’t during and after each campaign you run.
When your brand’s campaigns ooze creativity, you will frequently reap what you sow, achieving results above and beyond your original campaign objectives. We have delivered several campaigns at Leapfrogg where enhancing search visibility was the primary objective, but a by-product is often sales transactions, enquiries or improved rates of social media interaction.
Go forth and let your creativity run wild!