Content marketing is a smart strategy to grow your business. And as more businesses are embracing creating original content as a means to connect with the customers they want to reach, you'll need to work harder to ensure you produce the kinds of content that makes your brand stand out.
While traditional forms of content such as blogs, podcasts, and educational videos do still work, consider adding different types of special content to your plans, as a means to differentiate your brand, and win new customers.
Here are four different types of content to consider to help you get started.
1. Pop-up events
When Nike launched its React running shoe, instead of just relying on traditional forms of media and content to spread the word, it included the Nike House of Go pop-up houses in select cities around the world.
These fun houses helped those who visited them to experience core features and attributes of the new shoe with various experiential installations. Potential customers were even able to try on the shoes and go for a run around the block along with some of the Nike pros.
I attended the House of Go in Buenos Aires with friends and was won over by the live experience -- even though I never considered myself a runner. The experience at the house was transformational, in that it got me to see myself as a runner. I ended up buying a pair of Nike running shoes a few weeks later and took up running again.
Events like these help you attract customers who may have previously ignored your standard content in more traditional formats. Think about fun ways you can create a pop-up event to demonstrate the attributes of your product in unique ways.
2. Content event
When actor Will Smith turned 50, instead of just hosting a big party, he took the opportunity to host a live content event, the Jump, and it was watched by millions all around the world. For the Jump, Smith bungee-jumped from a helicopter over the Grand Canyon.
The event was about 90 minutes in total. Prior to the jump, there was about 60 minutes worth of content, hosted by Smith's long-time pal Alfonso Ribeiro, including interviews with Smith and his family, and experts showcasing the process behind setting up and executing such a feat. During the course of the live-streamed content event, viewers from around the world contributed funds to Smith's charity.
Brainstorm ways your brand can create a one-time special event that an eager and interested audience will want to tune in and watch. The event doesn't even have to be directly related to your product or service if the goal is to introduce a new audience to your brand or to connect your existing audience to you at a deeper, more emotional level.
Last year, a former client of mine launched a documentary series. I didn't work with the client on this project as a part of our engagements but was impressed by both the innovation and the reception the film received from around the industry.
The documentary was unbranded, with no mention of the brand that created it. Of course, the brand received a number of accolades, as everyone knew who sponsored the film, and as spokespeople for the brand talked about it at events.
As you work to achieve your business goals, consider using long-form content in the form of a documentary to tell unique and interesting stories that are relevant to your industry and the work you do.
4. Contests and charity events
A while back, I hosted a pitch competition in partnership with a friend here in Buenos Aires. The competition was a way for my friend and me to use our strengths as businesswomen to give back to a city that had given us so much. Our objective for the event was to engage with and support local entrepreneurs in Buenos Aires.
The competition offered cash prizes along with mentoring for the finalists. As an avid believer in content creation, I chronicled the competition with videos and photos.
Consider ways you can give back to causes that are important to the communities your customers and or your company are a part of. Chronicle the events as a way to tell stories about the people you are helping, rather than placing the emphasis on you being a do-gooder.
Even in a world where content is in abundance, yours can stand out. Use some of the ideas above to create original content people are excited to consume.