Take a calculated risk. Rewards await outside your comfort zone.
“Groundhog Day,” the eternally great Bill Murray movie about a TV weatherman living the same day over and over, may seem an unlikely place for content marketers to ferret out valuable industry insights. But stick with me: Remember, one of the gazillion brilliant aspects of this film is that Murray’s Phil Connors finally slips free of the time-loop grind only by departing from his pattern. He leaves his go-to comfort zone and the world opens up. (See?)
With Groundhog Day around the corner on Feb. 2, now’s a good time to think about taking calculated risks when it comes to content that may be feeling like it’s coming at us on a loop. There are a number of key factors to think about before going out on a messaging limb:
- Assess your audience.
- Experiment with formats.
- Consider context.
And remember to consider your client’s propensity for aversion to risk, and that curating content isn’t synonymous with starting from scratch. It’s about being creatively efficient to keep messaging refreshed and repurposed. You’ve already been delivering content and you’ve banked it up, so be smart about how you use it.
Reevaluate audience needs, then double down.
Keeping up with your audience is a natural way to keep your content from falling into same-same territory. People change. Content should, as well. Are you giving your audience exactly what they really want? Pay attention to metrics to determine what’s working and what’s not — and the more granular the better. If you’ve learned that certain types of headlines performed better than others, follow the evidence and make the needed adjustments. If a certain topic outperformed others, consider what made it stand out. Did your audience bounce and view no more content, suggesting a UX issue? Or did they stick with you and consume complementary content?
Metrics that merit close attention — click-through rates, engagement measurements, and conversion rates revealing how effective you were at getting readers to do what you aimed for — are key tools in your quest to break free from your routine. As you reevaluate what your audience is truly looking for, expand beyond your own echo chamber for data. Monitor information that’s out there from think tanks and industry studies and more sources that enable you to better know your audience in both up-close and big-picture ways.
Experiment with formats.
Changing up format and delivery is a smart way to take a calculated risk. If your default delivery is a standard 500-word article to cover a complex issue — something like tax-loss harvesting — realize that not all messaging has to handle a topic the same way. It’s tempting to fall back on an if-it’s-not-broke-don’t-fix-it stance, but a new format may reap more rewards. Think: What if we tried a short video? What if we tried on a talking head video? What about a personal testimonial? One of the factors to consider when it comes to format is how promotable the content is. Interactive video is sexier than a wall of words. A quiz can be a more satisfying experience than plowing through another dense tome.
Take cues from what’s happening now.
Make sure your content keeps up with external factors and accounts for current cultural, economic and environmental priorities. Your audience has only one choice for when it interacts with your content: now. Be sure you’ve placed the piece of content in that now. You may have initially created it 18 months ago, but that tax-loss harvesting piece is going to hit much differently given today’s variables, like inflation, interest rates, and supply chain issues. Timing, as Bill Murray knows exceedingly well, is everything. And nailing it can lead to a Hollywood-style happy ending that leaves your audience smiling.
We’d love to discuss how your organization takes risks to keep content curated, refreshed and repurposed (and your favorite “Groundhog Day” scene). Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.