Inspired story-driven content marketing can be taught to us from Dr Seuss, one of the world’s greatest storytellers.
“If you never did, you should. These things are fun and fun is good.”
Don’t be afraid to try something new – it might be FUN. Content marketing is about engaging your audience, being interesting, and empowering your audience to be involved in creating the story with you. Allow user-generated content to lead you down paths you hadn’t imagined. It can be terrifying to do something you’ve never done, but it will lead you to places you’ve never been. Who doesn’t love an adventure?
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
The way to find your people is to be YOU. Share your story, your why, your reason for being. If someone doesn’t like what you have to say, why are you expending your energy to win them over? They don’t matter. You might be surprised at just how many people out there share your kind of weirdness, so let your true self out and celebrate with those you attract.
“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”
Shake things up. Be bold, not boring. How are you going to be different, stand out from the mass of content marketing out there? Use storytelling. Maybe be like Superman and put your undies on the outside. No judgment here.
“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
There is a whole big world out there, and something to learn from everyone in it. Read, read, and read some more. Watch. Listen. Learn. Open your mind and expand your horizons. Look to papers, blogs, popular literature. Watch your competitors, and imitate the best by researching which posts are getting attention and why. Study completely different industries. There are no limits to knowledge and where it can take you. How exciting is THAT?
“They say I’m old-fashioned, and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast!”
Old doesn’t always mean obsolete. Putting out a bit of great content is just the start of the relationship with your audience. There is still a place for email, direct mail, and events. Think “high tech, high touch” – yes you need to be using up-to-date technologies, but don’t forget we are all human and those old school methods still mean a lot.
“A person is a person, no matter how small”
And since we are all humans, we still have to relate to each other on an emotional level. Tell your story in a relatable way. Whether your audience is the size of an elephant or a colony on a dust speck doesn’t matter.
“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”
Content marketing has to be engaging and interesting. More than just interesting words, you need captivating visuals. Tell your story in a variety of ways – make up infographics and videos, use user-generated content to tell your story. Dr Seuss excelled at using illustrations to bring his words to life, making impressions that last a lifetime.
“Step with great care and great tact. And remember that life’s a great balancing act.”
You know that guy who crossed the Grand Canyon on a tightrope with no safety net? He knew a thing or two about balance. Ok, maybe that’s an extreme example. I mean no-one’s going to die, but you still want to make it to the other side. The point is to find a balance of quality and quantity. Too much content and you’ll fade into the noise that is already out there, too little and no one will be watching.
“If you want to catch beasts you don’t see every day, you have to go places quite out-of-the-way. You have to go places no others can get to. You have to get cold and you have to get wet too.”
Stay ahead in strategy, technology and knowledge. Read trade publications and stay on top of trends to keep things fresh, but add your own spin. You might have to get a bit uncomfortable. My grandmother used to say, “You’re not made of sugar so you won’t melt if you get wet.” Maybe she just meant to stop whining about walking to school in the rain, but I like to think she was passing on a bit of encouragement as well. Get out of your comfort zone, and see what you can find.
“Think and wonder, wonder and think.”
If you have to call IT about your misbehaving computer, what’s the first thing they say? Turn it off and turn it back on. The flood of multimedia that exists today can be so overwhelming that we forget to turn off sometimes. Whether it’s getting into nature, going bowling or taking time out to enjoy a really good meal – whatever works for you – unplug and let yourself think without the noise.
“You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.”
Or in the words of Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Stay alert, be confident and keep your eyes open. Technology is advancing at a rapid pace. Don’t miss out on opportunities presented to you.
“Will you succeed? Yes, you will indeed! Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed.”
Unfortunately, no-one has the magic wand for guaranteed instant success in content marketing. However, being consistent, engaging, and authentic – and having fun day after day – is the #1 formula. Do that.
Think big, catch those beasts.