A Gift of Ten Content Tips from Anon.

When I returned to my office after the holiday break I was surprised to discover one of those inter-office routing envelopes sitting waiting for me on my desk. You know, the type that used to be for delivering paper memos and documents (remember those) but whose primary use these days seems to be for the circulation of various greetings cards and office collections.

envelopes

I didn’t know of any impending birthdays births, or retirements so was a little confused as to why it would be there. There was no note clipped to the front, and not signature on the envelope to indicate where it had come from.

Intrigued I opened the seal and tipped the envelope up and a single piece of white card fluttered slowly down to rest on my desk. The card had a note attached which simply read “For Alan.” – No signature.

What had anonymous sent to me? I flipped it over and read the following:

Top 10 Tips For Creating Compelling Content

  1. Less about you
  2. Be authentic
  3. Focus on pain points
  4. Participate in conversations
  5. Bring best of your brand to the table with a differentiated POV
  6. Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate
  7. Think “human-to-human” (not B2B or B2C)
  8. Match content to the channel
  9. Go out on a limb
  10. Loosen the grip

I’ve read a lot of these sort of Top 10 lists over the years, even created a few similar ones myself, but there was something about this one that resonated with me. I’ve kept this card sitting on my desk at the side of my laptop in the intervening three weeks since its arrival, and found myself referencing it several times in conversations, and not always in relation to content creation. – I believe there as some very valid ideas that relate to the way we do business in the digital age in that list.

So over the next few weeks I’m planning on taking a deeper look at these Top Ten items and examine what they mean to me.

Add Bacon To Your Content To Increase Your Profits.

Can making simple content changes have an immediate impact on a business’s bottom line? According to this article on Business Insider, the pancake restaurant chain, IHOP, did exactly that.

By changing their menu design from this:

ihop1to this:

ihop2Driving the redesign were three distinct content driven initiatives:

  1. New “Add a side” boxes next to entrees. The placement makes it more likely that customers will be enticed to order more food. i.e More Bacon!!
  2. Photos of the entrees next to the items. This keeps the diner’s attention more than blocks of text.
  3. Trimming the menu. IHOP now offers 140 items, down from 180

The result? A 4% increase in profits.

 

A Single Word Can Say So Much

This video has been around for a while now, I think it was first posted early in 2013, and I’ve watched it several times, enjoying it as a nice piece of humorous advertising that plays to our obsession with technology and gadgets. – In short it’s a fun piece.

But today a friend of mine referenced it from another perspective, one that made me look at it with new eyes.

It’s not only a witty piece of advertising, it’s a great piece of content marketing that works for a global audience.

It’s message is universal, it works across many cultural boundaries by playing on shared human experiences (and needs!), and by only using a single word, a name, it also crosses language barriers.

Why over-complicate your message, when with a bit of thought and ingenuity, so much can be said to so many with but a single word and some well thought out images telling a basic human story.