Producing content on a consistent basis is a smart way to both connect to your customers more deeply and grow your business. That's why so many companies, including Amazon, Apple, and Netflix are investing boatloads of money into producing original content. They see it as a core growth lever.

But you don't have to empty your wallet to produce the kind of content that will stand out, especially if you rethink your idea of what great content is. Expanding your perspective about what kind of content will help you win customers will enable you to see the countless ideas and opportunities all around you to create the kind of content your audience will love.

Once you do, I've got good news for you. Tapping into the culture will give you an endless source of content ideas and formats you can use to deliver remarkable content that fuels deeper relationships with your customers. Here's how.

How to leverage culture for relevant content

The song of the summer is Drake's "In My Feelings." While the song is cool, what really made it a worldwide hit was the "In My Feelings Challenge." Tons of people, including celebrities like Will Smith, Ciara, and cast members from the hit show "This Is Us" creating viral videos with their interpretation of the challenge.

A post shared by Will Smith (@willsmith) on Jul 12, 2018 at 10:25am PDT

Then there were kids, grandmothers, and I'm guessing at least one person on your social media feed who made their own version of the challenge. News outlets further fanned the flames with their coverage of the phenomenon.

And now the craze has reached such a high that churches are referencing the song on their signs, and teachers are peppering their bulletin boards with their remixed learning focused lyrics.

Here's another instance of the culture at work. All summer, there's been a meme circling the internet of rapper Cardi B as a little girl. People have been captioning the photo and circulating the images. I can't count the number of laughing emojis I have sent in response to the creativity.

My sister is an independent consultant for Paparazzi, a company that makes $5 jewelry. I crack up at all the memes she posts that use the Cardi B meme.

The culture latched on to a concept and handed it to business leaders on a silver platter. Smart businesses have taken the gift and are running with it. Here's how you can too.

1. Get and stay connected to what is happening in the culture.

A major barrier most businesses have when it comes to leveraging the culture is not knowing what is going on with it.

If your  heads are down all day going to meetings, preparing slide decks and budget files, you won't have any idea of knowing what is going on. Culture moves quickly, so you have to be in it to tap into it effectively.

Encourage your team to spend time on social media and other channels. Where possible, provide opportunities for them to participate in the culture and bring their learnings back to the team.

2. Develop policies that support quick production.

As you're producing your marketing campaigns, make sure you put forth policies that support tapping into moments that present themselves.

Oreos was able to capture on the SuperBowl blackout in 2013 in real time because they didn't have policies that handcuffed their ability to get material out quickly.

3. Get comfortable with experimentation.

Culture is a great environment to test and learn. The beauty of it is your market will give you quick feedback about how they feel about the content you produce.

Over time as you start to engage more within the culture, you can tweak your approach for a bigger impact.

Eventually, your involvement can even help to shape culture as you become a voice begin to as you help your customers view their problem within the context of what is going on in their world today.

You can deliver remarkable content that helps you win more customers. And you don't have to rack your brain trying to figure out what kind of content to produce. Let the culture be your guide.

When you enter the conversations that your customers are already having, you create more opportunities for your brand to become an integrated and seamless part of your customers' world.

As a result, they will feel like they belong with you because you will have demonstrated that you "get" them.

Embrace the culture. Leverage the culture. Win with culture.

Published on: Aug 24, 2018