At Spokal, we understand that the pressure to create excellent content can be pretty stressful at times.
That means that suggesting you “lighten up” might not be the easiest thing to hear or do.
But don’t worry, we’re here to help!
Because even though each day you’re competing with 27,000,000 other pieces of shared content, you have 8 seconds to grab a viewer’s attention and only 1 out of 5 people will make it past your headline – you’ve got to lighten up a bit!
Because being fun will help improve your content marketing!
We know, we know:
“Fun? Content Marketing? Really?”
According to a global Nielsen Survey of Trust in Advertising conducted in 2013, almost half (47%) of the respondents said that humor resonates with them more than any other content approach.
Injecting some fun into your content marketing strategy can be exactly what you need to help you stand out from the crowd.
So let’s take a look at a few fun ways that you can use to lighten up your marketing strategy.
1. Lighten Up with Some Fun Puns!
Puns are like marmite: You either love them or you hate them.
And Google hates them.
In a world where we’re driven by SEO, headlines are beginning to focus on information-heavy content and keywords. This means that playing on words in your headlines, may damage your searchability.
But that doesn’t mean that puns are out of the question all together. There are ways that puns can still be used to draw attention to your business:
- Use puns in sub-headings
- Use puns to market on social media platforms
- Use puns in your headlines or blog titles, but make sure that the title is still informational.
For example, the UK supermarket Sainsburys had a hilarious pun-off on Twitter with one of their customers. It was so successful and funny, that it actually made news headlines.
2. Parody: Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
If puns aren’t your cup of tea, how about trying to parody?
Parodying yourself or your industry helps you lighten up the mood and engages customers in what your job really entails.
Start by asking yourself “what really bugs me about my job?”
Write it down.
Now see if you can see the funny side of it!
Jen Campbell was inspired to start a blog by the weird things customers would say to her in her bookshop. This then turned into an entire book, which then turned into three entire books!
Another example of effective parodying is the hilarious and viral “This Is A Generic Brand Video” created for Timothy McSweeney’s San Francisco-based publishing company’s daily humour website, Internet Tendency. Created by Kendra Eash, the video takes all its images from stock footage from Dissolve and narrates it in “typical” marketing fashion. Stereotyping marketing videos is a clever way to poke fun at an aspect of their own industry, while marketing themselves and lightening up the mood while also further engaging customers!
3. Keep An Eye On The Stars – Celebs Sell!
Another fun option to lighten up your marketing strategy is to tap into celebrity culture.
We can’t all afford to endorse Kim Kardashian or Justin Bieber, but with celebrity endorsements boosting sales by 20%, we can sure to try to use this to our advantage!
For example, when Jennifer Lawrence had her hair cut short, salons were quick to use the celebrity’s new shorter look to promote their business. Free Salon Education was among the few that did a really fantastic job with this, creating a thorough, informational yet relevant how-to Youtube video.
4. Don’t Forget To Celebrate The Good Times
There’s not always something relevant to your business going on with celebs, but don’t let that bring you down. Instead, try and think if there’s an occasion coming up?
When holidays, milestones or weekends are on their way, try and create some content that you can share with your customers to celebrate.
Christmas is an especially important time to do this, with small to medium sized businesses selling 20 – 40% of their yearly sales around the holidays.
Safeway did a fantastic job at creating excellent content during the 2013 holiday season. Their blogs range from “Giving Back During The Holiday Season” to “New Year’s Parties: My Favourite Things To Bring And Serve”. They also shared recipes and ideas for centre pieces – and of course, you could buy everything you needed from Safeway.
5. Go The Extra Mile For A Customer
A different approach to lighten up your marketing strategy is to show some kindness.
Going above and beyond for a customer can be either incorporated as part of your holiday season marketing strategy, or it can be done during the quieter times of the year.
Simply choose somebody you think could use a helping hand, whose friendliness made you feel like doing something extra special for them or a loyal customer that you want to show your appreciation to and excel in your service to them.
Customer testimonials have the highest rate of effectiveness at 89%, so don’t forget to reach out and ask for one afterwards.
6. There’s Nothing Like Some Friendly Competition
Another way to give back to the customers and improve their engagement in your business is through competitions! Giveaways generate 1,888 entries on average per campaign.
Be sure to choose a competition that suits your marketing needs and don’t forget that the best months to run competitions are in June and November.
1. Sweepstakes draws
The first option is the Sweepstakes draw. This is when you ask people to like a page, retweet something or just do any type of social media activity. The winner is chosen randomly from the people who have completed the task.
While this is a fantastic way to gain new customers and encourage engagement, it happens at a surface level. You get a lot of people entering, but not a whole lot of people reading your blogs and learning about your business. Basically: They’re just in it to win it!
2. Creative competitions
If you want people to engage more deeply, have them create something. Baking, creating a new logo/slogan, coming up with new products are all examples of fantastic ways to get customers to not only engage, but actively take part in your business. This has the added potential to engage with current customers as well as encouraging new ones.
How about trying a “Caption This” photo competition? They receive, on average, 5.5 times more comments than ordinary posts.
Quizzes are another excellent way to generate new leads, with 36% of big companies saying they use them.
The trend started in 2013 when Buzzfeed’s “Which ‘Grease’ Pink Lady Are You?” quiz went viral and was ranked as one of the most trafficked posts of the year.
7. Think Back To Your Childhood
Quizzes were definitely something that used to engage us as kids, so what else caught our attention back then?
What engaged you then, would probably be just as effective today. Think about what colours, drawings, sound, music, games etc. attracted you as a kid, and try apply it to some of your marketing.
Remember when you used to just sit down and play games all day? Well, now is your opportunity to market your business and get back to your roots with “gamification”.
Vendors claim that gamification can increase user engagement anywhere between 100% to 150%. Imagine that!
In 2010, Starbucks used gamification in its rewards program by giving customers Foursquare badges and offering “mayors special” discounts. At the end of November, 2012 Starbucks reported it had 3.6 million active members in their rewards program, 2 million of which were gold star members.
2. Colouring Books
Another activity that used to keep us happily occupied when we were kids were coloring books.
Marketo tapped into this long-lost past-time and created their very own “The Big Marketing Activity Colouring Book” which you can download for free from their website. The content not only helps lighten up their marketing strategy, it also markets the company and engages the customer (and potentially the whole family too).
3. Graphic Novels Or Comic Strips
If colouring in seems a little too remedial, what about a graphic novel, or comic book?
They’re definitely back in vogue – so why not use this trend as a fun new way to lighten up your marketing? It doesn’t have to be an entire graphic novel, you could even hire an artist to write a small comic strip for you relating to your business!
Kapost did an excellent range of comic books which you can download once you subscribe to their blog. This is a great way to encourage new customers as well as keep old ones interested.
Financial Intelligence also used the graphic novel to lighten up their marketing strategy. They adapted their bestselling book into a graphic novel, making something that could be potentially dull, a lot more interesting!
If you’re thinking that all of this sounds a little expensive, then printables may be a more cost-effective option for you.
Printables are a relatively cheap way to give something away for free and have become super popular on Pinterest, so take advantage of that if you can.
Masks, crowns, decorations, signs – the possibilities are endless. Printables are an easy, cheap and flexible way to lighten up your marketing. Don’t forget to add your brand or logo to the print-out for an extra touch of marketing flare.
What are some fun methods that you’ve tried to generate customer engagement? Have you tried any of the above? Leave us a comment and let us know!