It’s kind of become something of a craze, and it’s paying off for brands massively. Using content topics that are not necessarily ‘yours’ can make a huge difference in traffic and reach.
Basically, it means blogging, tweeting and updating about stuff that people wouldn’t necessarily link to you and your brand.
Sound like business suicide? Well, it isn’t. More and more brands are casting their content net wider to get a piece of the action.
Content about breaking news and holidays
This is perhaps the easiest way to get started on different content categories. Simply jump on the latest news that has just blown up and tell everyone about it.
Obviously, it isn’t that simple. If it was, everyone would do it and it would work in the same way across the board. With news now being something that Google and Reuters can deliver within seconds, it isn’t easy to lead the way with exclusivity.
The best way to manage breaking news is to grab it as soon as possible and then to give it your own unique slant, preferably with a bit of insight or comment. The newer it is the better, but if you can give it a personal touch it will be more likely to be seen.
Another thing to consider if you’re going to ‘newsjack’: be aware that breaking news can be of a sensitive nature. It pays to be considerate of your audience’s sympathies and backgrounds. Having a clear understanding of your audience is vitally important for any kind of marketing anyway. You shouldn’t have a problem with this if you have done your research. Just pay attention to what you’re creating content about. If it’s going to upset or offend a part of your audience, it isn’t worth dealing with.
With holidays and events, it’s a little easier. Here’s a recent example. Marks and Spencer were tweeting about the Valentine’s Day with some helpful content that ensured hearts (sorry, ‘likes’) and retweets. This is kind of easy to do. It ensures that you get traffic and engagement because it’s simply timely. But what about the other ‘categories’ of content out there?
Find the perfect #ValentinesDay gift. Here are our editor's top 10 picks of the bunch > https://t.co/dY2Mxb3Jso pic.twitter.com/j6Th1jPqqB
— M&S (@marksandspencer) February 5, 2016
That’s right. You can use celebrities as content anchors. When it works well, you have brand ambassadors. This is when a celebrity uses your product or service and tweets about it. For most brands this is not something that is anywhere near possible, but there are ways around it.
The easiest way to make an impression and bring some celebrity to your content is to simply link content to a celebrity and their life. If your chosen celebrity is fond of a jog every day, and you sell running gear, you might consider linking to a photo of them running and ensuring that your gear is mentioned somewhere. It’s simple. It’s easy. It gives you instant celebrity content.
If you want to try and get celebrities (of any calibre) working with your brand and endorsing it, you need to work a little harder. If you have connections of any kind and of any level of remoteness, utilise these to get in front of the celebrity you want to bring in on your project.
If you’re able to do so, think about using your product and the value it will bring to a celebrity to leverage up your chances of getting that all important work done. One of the very best examples of the past five years (we think) is the Kevin Bacon content the American Egg Board created. Kevin Bacon must have seen the synopsis and signed within seconds. It’s his ‘brand’ being amplified by content. A no-brainer.
The one thing you should never do when aiming to have some kind of celebrity endorsement for your product or service is badger them. Celebrities (especially those of a less famous nature) have to work incredibly hard to pay their bills, and if they are not interested in you it’s simply because they have other priorities. The last thing you want your brand to be known for is stalking.
Link to a celebrity’s content or media exposure, and if you want to go the whole hog, prepare for a lot of hard work. The benefit of using celebrities directly or indirectly is that the content is very shareable. People will always have a ‘thing’ for celebrities, so creating content around them is something that every brand should consider at some point.
That’s right. Food. Over the last five years or so it has become very obvious that people like reading about and watching food content. It seems to have an inexhaustible level of fascination. No matter how much people watch food shows on TV, they will always want more.
When it comes to content the story is exactly the same. If we were to choose a definite content category that we know will get you some serious exposure we would go for food. It has that certain something that gets the vast majority of people wanting to engage.
Food is big. It drives huge levels of traffic. Remember when cat videos were so popular? Food is travelling along that curve right now. One of the biggest places for the category is Facebook where companies who don’t usually create videos about cheese toasties are slapping them up all over the place. This is mainly because Facebook video is so darn huge. Facebook video also provides content creators with real data about who is watching the things.
The very best example of a success story here is Business Insider. The established site has developed a reputation for fast and often unique business news, but never food content. That has changed, and Business Insider (via it’s Insider channel) has launched Insider Food on Facebook. And it’s full of food videos that are simply beyond tantalising.
Why would they do this? They’re a news channel, right? Yes, they are. But by creating Insider Food they grab a market, get reach. Then they know that the market will visit the rest of the Business Insider experience. And everything just starts to blow up.
Some fashion companies have been sensible enough to mix things up a little. They’re creating content on their social media feeds that capitalises on their fashion insight but also takes some serious celebrity input too.
Take Dapper Distress. They create fashion content. The way they effortlessly bring in the celebrity element with the Kardashians means engagement hits a boost. This tweet resulted in a massive improvement in the number of likes compared to other tweets at around the same time.
Kylie Jenner x Kourtney Kardashian
– Yeezy Season III x Balmain pic.twitter.com/BcK0wZa8Oc
— Dapper Distress (@dapperdistress) February 12, 2016
Brands that can do this kind of stuff?
Not every brand in the world can use categories that are different to their own, natural stuff. But there is one brand that we perhaps should start with. Kind of get it out the way.
Red Bull are possibly one of the most powerful brands in the world in regards to the content marketing. Everything they do seemingly turns to gold. They have come up with incredibly powerful campaigns that show other brands how to get it done. Check out their website. You will see that they are creating a ton of content that has pretty much nothing to do (at least directly) with the soft drink the brand is built on.
It’s kind of cheating to focus on Red Bull because the company has its fingers in so many pies, but their food content is literally some of the best in the world. They are following the model that matters. Providing food content that is engaging enough to build up interest in other parts of their offering.
For you and your brand we recommend thinking about newsjacking first. It’s the easiest way to get involved in new and different content categories. It also ensures that you can gain quick traction. Building up a relationship with a celebrity may take a little longer we think.
Thinking of building up that celebrity relationship and looking for a way to see how it will affect your social media? Check out Locowise for a 14 day free trial. It’s the way to know if your Kardashian factor is boosting your reach.
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