I recently spent Thanksgiving at home in New Jersey and after the customary turkey-night-black Friday-morning weekend (I got a toaster and a black eye), we decided to wind down by watching a play. We ended up at the Hopewell Theatre on Saturday. As the crescendo of music started and the red curtains shimmied their way up the stage, I realized, there are so many similarities between content marketing and a good, unforgettable play.
Act 1: Suck ‘Em In
Think about the last time you watched a movie. It’s generally the first ten-fifteen minutes that hook you in, let you decide if you want watch the rest of the movie, and make the most impact regarding what you expect from the film.
This is Act 1 of the script. Like any good content marketing strategy, this is just the beginning. A great strategy highlights the brand’s USP before expecting consumers to root for it. The same way that Act 1 of a play begins with establishing character traits. Is our hero brave? An underdog? Naïve? Is our brand solving a problem? Helping us relax? Making us feel a certain way?
Once that is established in the minds of the consumer, buying and brand loyalty follow.
Act 2: Pull out the wallets
Any content strategy worth its salt inspires consumers to buy a product or service. This is Act 2. This is what inspires the audience to root for the hero. If an audience does not root for the hero, the likelihood of paying attention till the end is pretty much zero.
From a content strategy point of view, your content must always have a unified theme. Straying away from the brand image or communication style can cause a disruption in the minds of the consumers. Whether they realise it or not, suddenly, they like you a lot lesser.
To create a content strategy that inspires brand loyalty, you must work on creating a proper brand image. For this, you must establish consistency in:
- Target audience
- Categories of content
- Point of view
Act 3: The conclusion
If you want to create a specific strategy that has a beginning and an end, you must have a solid conclusion. Like the end of a great movie, it needs to provoke some sort of a reaction. Think about the reaction your content should provoke. Is it an emotion? Is it a tangible win (like at the end of a contest)? Is it more sales? By defining this, you can chart out the path your content strategy needs to follow. In a play, if the end goal is for the hero to get the girl, then how does he get to that point? This can help you significantly in crafting the life cycle of the strategy too.
A good play and a great content strategy have audience attention in common. If you can make your target audience pay attention every time you post, you’re doing a great job!