Content Marketing Secret Weapons: What We Learned from Our April Fools Video
If there are two kinds of people who love April Fools Day the most, it's probably little kids and people in the tech industry. It's become almost a contest to see which tech company will have the best faux product or service announcement, or will amuse and befuddle the world in some other way.
At Percussion, we couldn't resist having a little fun with our own fake (yes, sorry) product announcement for a new content marketing product named Percussion Triangle. As much as the primary goal was to get a few laughs (although we did manage to trick some viewers into thinking this was a real product), it was also a great exercise to try something we haven't done before. Video is the fastest growing form of online content, but like many content marketers, we are still in the early stages of adding it to our content strategy.
According to the findings of the 2014 Content Marketing Benchmarks Study, experimentation and variety of formats are critical for the most successful content marketers. Trying something new is also a great way to surface some hidden strengths and talents you might have on your team.
Here are some of our takeaways from the project that will become our content marketing secret weapons in the future.
1. Producing Your Own Video
It's easier than you think. Having video professionally produced can be a big expense, and it's challenging to justify the budget for something you're just experimenting with. With a very small (less than $600) investment in equipment, we were able to set up a studio with lighting and a backdrop. Wistia has some excellent tutorials on shooting and editing high quality video for people who are new to it. We do all editing in iMovie, and everything is filmed using iPhones—no fancy or expensive cameras required. The end result is the ability to produce something fun in a format that is particularly mobile-friendly and easy to consume.
2. Using Humor
A lot of B2B content marketers voice frustration that they don't get to have as much fun or personality as their B2C counterparts. While there may be some sectors that do have to be more serious, in general, B2B companies are still to selling other people and have opportunities to create content and interactions that are more fun for their audience. Adding a little levity and self-deprecation to your brand personality makes your more likeable, and gives your prospect some welcome relief from constantly processing an endless stream of information. A little humor and heart in your content can go a long way.
3. Discovering Your Team's Secret Talents
Just like discovering that we could get creative, quality video results without a huge investment in equipment, we also found that our team boasted lots of talent. We have people who are great in front of and behind the camera, and even some talented singers and musicians. Trying out different content formats and media also enables more people to participate by sharing their talents, even if normally they wouldn't be part of our content creation process. And plenty of skills can be learned. Our video specialist is a talented musician, but a video novice. You never know where someone might step up and excel.
Creating enough useful, interesting, valuable content for your audience is a challenge for most marketers, but not impossible. Think outside the white paper-blog post-webinar standard trifecta. With a little creativity, curiosity, and without much spending, you could surprise yourself and your audience with your own set of content marketing secret weapons.
Karo was born in Poland, and learned to speak English by watching "Saved by the Bell" reruns during her first summer in the U.S., which has left her unable to go through life without occasionally breaking the fourth wall. As Percussion's content marketing manager, she oversees and creates content that drives website traffic, engages followers, and helps fill the marketing and sales funnel. She writes about content management, content marketing, SEO, social media and web design, and how to make it all less complicated.