Content Marketing
Content Marketing, digital marketing, Inbound Marketing

Content Marketing – Are you making documentaries or feature films

We all receive Thank You email when we either register with a website or place an order on any website.

Have you ever considered that email as your biggest content marketing opportunity?

One company with their fantastic Thank you email written by their founder, a few years ago have created 20,000 Google search results.

This very email had created thousands of new customers.

The drafting was this email had become possible when the founder thought of his mission to make people smile (& not ROI/Profit). It was not about selling things and talking about the products.

When entrepreneurs rise above his product and service centricity and focus on his life mission, magic happens. This magic also influences business top line and bottom-line hugely.

Whether he is Tony Heish of Zappos or Derek Sivers of CD Baby or Richard Branson of Virgin, or YOU, the entrepreneur, magic is possible if you think of creating magic and not only selling and making money. Selling and making money follow the magic. You need to have daring, passion, and patience.

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The Magic Content:

The email I referred above is by Derek Sivers of CD Baby written by him in substitute of boring Thank you mail.

Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.

A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure it was in the best possible condition before mailing.

Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy.

We all had a wonderful celebration afterward and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved “Bon Voyage!” to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day, Friday, June 6th.

I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. We sure did. Your picture is on our wall as “Customer of the Year”. We’re all exhausted but can’t wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!

Everyone writes a thank you mail. Writing something like this is not about product or service, not about product quality or timely delivery. It is about the state of mind of the people you are dealing with and their grand mission on earth.

To quote Derek Sivers, “When you make a business, you’re making a little world where you control the laws. It doesn’t matter how things are done everywhere else. In your little world, you can make it like it should be.”

Most Marketing professionals are under the impression that content marketing is about creating content about their products /services.  It is not.

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One more unusual example of interesting content:

It is not only about Thank you mail, even About page can be a good place to show the difference.

Following is an extract from the About page of the author and entrepreneur  Jonathon Fields;

“After my talk, a few of the speakers joined me for a final audience Q&A. Someone asked each of us “who inspires you?” As each person answered, I kept gazing back at the hearts. I went last. But, instead of speaking, I walked over picked up the piece of paper, held it in the air for all to see and said, “This. My daughter.” I couldn’t say more, or I’d have burst into tears.”

People and companies are using their creativity to demonstrate differentiators in whatever content they create. The target audience does take notice of this.

Content is and is not:

Talking about products /services is only marketing. Content is about something which makes the consumer of the content-rich – enhance the quality of his personal or professional life. Content that alters consumers’ life perspectives. Content that makes consumer laugh, smile, think, question the status quo, educates, wows, change the belief, these are the content which resonates with the consumers.

These are the content which the content marketers shall create.

Every company needs to have their communication strategy. What to communicate? How to communicate? When to communicate?  Style and language of communication. The ethos of communication.

Communication includes designing visiting cards to creating content for marketing. It includes CEOs’ letter to the stakeholders and annual report. Every piece of content has the potential to go viral.

Govt and Interesting Content:

While I am writing this, there is a news flash about the resignation of India’s Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramaniam.

While talking about interesting content, it is pertinent to note how Arvind Subramaniam made one of the most boring documents, i.e. The Economic Survey, interesting. He made it from staid and serious to slick and smart.

The Economic Times reported, “ Subramanian also changed the tone of the survey from the prosaic to an interesting collection of voices. The survey used quotes from sources as diverse as Tulsidas, Subramanian Bharati, Sunny Deol, James Bond and Shakespeare. Subramanian dug deep to draw inspiration and used some catchy quotes to articulate key issues facing the Indian economy. This year, the Economic Survey came out in pink colour.”

Even the Govt. is making usually boring things interesting.

Being boring is no longer an excuse nor is in the interest of your business.  On the contrary content marketing is an opportunity to demonstrate how interesting your company is.  We have every reason and opportunity to become interesting in whatever we do. Yet, we do not see exciting and interesting content more.  The companies are busy in adding their boring content into the ocean of Google and in people’s life.

Talking about the company products and services is like making a documentary but creating interesting content like customer/employee stories, using language that inspires, make consumers of the content smile and feel good is a feature film.

Documentaries are realistic. Feature films are fiction (might be based on a real-life incidence) yet people prefer to watch feature films. CMOs need to understand this and evolve from being documentary makers to feature filmmakers.

A plain simple Thank you mail is a documentary and CD Baby Thank you mail is a feature film.

PS: For only ROI driven CEOs, CD Baby was sold for US $ 22 mn and Zappos was sold to Amazon for US $  850 mn.  Magic happens when the company is more driven by passion and purpose than mere ROI.

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