Inbound marketing assumes that people will come to you because you are providing them valuable, even remarkable content. What then, is remarkable content? Put simply, by social media and marketing expert Seth Godin during a recent Boston event, “… remarkable is something that other people find interesting enough to remark upon.”
Ok, maybe not that easy – but ultimately, your brain and your creativity are the only bounds to the quality of your content and how remarkable it is to your target audience, and possibly beyond.
In different industries and situations, remarkable may look like one of the following:
- Having a CXO engaging personally on a blog or site in a very staid organization
- Sharing a strong opinion on an industry ‘elephant in the room’
- Publishing funny music, videos or cartoons (Humor can drive ROI)
- Creating an award and nominating suppliers or customers in a category
- Publishing pricing when no other competitors share that information
Only you know your audience well enough to know what is out of the norm or what information they crave and therefore could be remarkable to them.
Take an example from the sporting industry. Inbound marketer Charlie King recently launched his Campaign for President … Campaign for President of Golf Instruction that is.
Charlie already had an existing website at Reynold’s Golf Academy . It’s a great site, with excellent golf advice, high quality videos, offers and calls to action. But Charlie wanted to make a splash in an industry that can stand to have a little more fun – I mean it’s a pastime for goodness sake. Let’s loosen up!
After customers told him he was so passionate about it that he sounded like he was running for office, Charlie literally bought the domain http://charliekingforpresident.com . His campaign site is chock full of creative videos like the one of Charlie being interviewed by a GNN, Golf News Network, reporter or like his endorsement by funny man and golf student Steve Harvey. He’s used imagery and a style reminiscent of a classical political campaign that lets him share his platform for candidacy – The New Rules of Golf a new method of golf instruction – with his constituents.
Now I may not have an election for the President of Golf Instruction coming up in a jurisdiction near me, but, Charlie did get a lot of interesting inbound links and buzz in the golf press, where his potential customers are found. And you know, if I were new to golf, I’d want to work with someone who is both skilled and fun – Charlie proved it with his presidential campaign.
What tips can we extrapolate from Charlie’s experiment?
- Stand for something. Charlie’s New Rules of Golf turn the old way of teaching golf on its head. There are probably golf pros all over telling people he doesn’t know what he is talking about, but he believes there is truly a better way – and he is telling people about it. Is your industry ready for a shake-up? Are you willing to address an unpopular problem? If you answered yes, then tell the world about it – someone is probably looking for your idea, solution or content - because it is remarkable to them.
- Take a risk. Different can be good . I doubt any other golf pro has ever run for a fictitious office. That’s ok. I doubt any other golf pro has as many people spreading content online about them either. At very worst, Charlie spent some time and effort creating content, but he hasn’t ruined a reputation or done anything that could ‘blow up’. At very best, Charlie’s content and ideas will spread and he’ll be so overwhelmed with fans and leads that he’ll have to grow his staff and go on a speaking circuit. That’s the outcome I hope for him. Think through your worst case and decide if it would really be so bad. If not, then do something different, for people may find it remarkable.
- Know your audience. Charlie picked something that would be easily understood by all the people he interacts with, be they other golf pros or total amateurs. Using common vernacular and a medium that a lot of golfers use, video, he created something that could appeal to all of them. He could have chosen to go into technical detail or a lot of instructional jargon, but like a savvy politician, he kept it high level and stayed on message. He appealed to his audience in a way that they would groc and find remarkable.
- Engage people’s creativity. This may be the hardest part of Charlie’s exercise. When you first get to the site, it takes you a second to get what is happening. Then, just like with a good movie trailer, you suspend disbelief for just one moment and get immersed in the idea. I spent a good twenty minutes actually looking at and enjoying the videos on the campaign site. While I chuckled a bit, I stayed and I learned what Charlie was all about. Sure some folks might move on, but don’t underestimate that some audiences enjoy using other parts of their brain than pure logic and may in fact find it remarkable enough to share with friends or colleagues.
What idea have you been toying with but just haven’t pulled the trigger? Do it now, try to create something remarkable and find out what gets your audience engaged! Then, tell us all about it.