“Groundhog Day,” the classic Bill Murray comedy about a TV weatherman living the same day over and over, may seem an unlikely place for content marketers to cull valuable insights. But one plot point holds an important content truth: It’s not until Murray’s Phil Connors breaks the pattern that he finally slips free of the time-loop limbo. He leaves his comfort zone, and the world opens up.
With Groundhog Day around the corner on Feb. 2, now’s a great time to consider taking a calculated risk. Do you have any content “on repeat” that might hold untapped potential? When considering something new, we recommend these three steps to improve the chances of success:
- Reassess your audience.
- Experiment with formats.
- Consider context.
Reevaluate audience needs, then double down.
Keeping close tabs on your audience is a natural way to avoid Groundhog Day monotony. People change, and content should change with them. Start by reviewing performance metrics (e.g. email open rates, clickthrough rates, website entrance and exit rates, organic traffic numbers over time) to determine what’s working and what’s not. 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, see if you can identify what made it stand out.
As you reevaluate what your audience truly needs, be sure to look beyond your own echo chamber. Monitor information that’s out there from think tanks, industry studies, and other sources to paint a more complete picture. Once you’ve got a refreshed understanding of your audience, take a look at some new tactics.
Experiment with formats.
Changing up format and delivery is a smart way to take a calculated risk. If you’ve been defaulting to articles for complex topics — something like tax-loss harvesting — see if there’s a more engaging way to deliver that info. What if you tried a series of explanatory, animated videos? What if you created a downloadable report with case studies that demonstrate real-world application? What about an infographic? One factor to consider is how promotable the content is. An interactive video or quiz, for example, can offer more promotional ammo — not to mention a better experience for your audience.
Take cues from what’s happening now.
The final step is to make sure the content you’re considering accounts for the current climate, whether it be financial, cultural, economic, or otherwise. Your audience has only one choice for when to interact with your content: now. Be sure you’ve positioned the content in that now. As an example: You may have created a piece on tax-loss harvesting 18 months ago, but it’s going to hit much differently in times of volatility. Timing, as Murray’s weatherman knows, is everything. Nailing it can make your content a star.
We’d love to hear how you approach taking risks in your content — please don’t hesitate to reach out to us here, so we can find time to jump on a call.
Happy Groundhog Day!