One of the most eye-opening conversations that I’ve ever had in my marketing career happened the other day when a client was discussing content strategy with me. It was one of those moments in which the significance doesn’t hit for a couple of days. This one hit me like a medicine ball to the face.
We were trying to find content that would really work for his website. He’s a car dealer with a “boring” brand – nothing sexy like Audi with their current cars or Dodge with their old school muscle cars – and we were having challenges finding the right content to post on his site that people would find interesting. The brand isn’t doing a whole lot in the way of making news lately. No new models are coming out soon. The dealership has nothing happening and the local area has a a hockey tribute game in February that’s arguably the biggest news in the next six months.
We ended up finding some awesome content to post about on his website but not without a good amount of brainstorming and Google searching. The goal during this session was to find content that people wanted to share. That was the biggest challenge. Thankfully, we set about the process and came up with some great ideas.
The epiphany came when I realized that we were asking the wrong questions. We were looking for sharable content, a concept that is one step higher than where we should have been looking. It’s easy to find sharable content when you’re in the right area or sell the right products, but when challenges arise, it can be a roadblock. We made it through, but I wasn’t satisfied. I called him up and asked him about the content that people would want to see. Suddenly, the flood gates opened.
“Everybody loves seeing our little league hockey team,” he told me. “We get more attendees there than at high school football games sometimes.”
Once we switched out perspective ever so slightly to what the locals wanted to see rather than what they would be willing to share, the possibilities exploded. There was plenty that people in the local area love to see. We put together a list that was twice as big as the first one in less than half the time. It was actually a wonderful moment for me personally – I love shifts in view that make me think from a different angle to tackle a problem.
It’s subtle. While on the quest to find sharable content, we often get stuck thinking about what content would get people to push the big blue thumb or the red +1 button. Instead of worrying about what they’ll share, we just need to think about what they’d like. If they see it and like it, they might want to share it. My only regret is that I hadn’t been working from this frame of mind all along. I never really had to. For the vast majority of clients, the sharable items are pretty obvious. When the situation requires more creativity, new doors open. Now, I’ll be able to apply it to everyone. You should, too!