How do you know when a content marketing idea is truly epic? Charles Caleb Colton once said, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” The answer is to look at what has worked in the past. Those are the models to follow.
The Marlboro Man was about more than just a good looking guy smoking a cigarette. That ad was a promise that went beyond addiction to nicotine. You’ve got the jacket and the boots, now all you need is the cigarette to be really cool. That agency knew their target audience was gullible men around a certain age, so they created a project to grab their attention.
Consider three of the most epic content projects to ever hit a project management calendar and why they worked so well.
The Storytelling Campaign from Liberty Mutual
The Home Team is a video production sponsored by Liberty Mutual. It tells the story of Murray State University, their champion basketball team and the fans that are obsessed with them.
What really stands out, from a marketing viewpoint, about this award-winning video is that it’s not about marketing, at all. It is a story that family-centric consumers can relate to. The Liberty portions of it are really almost afterthoughts, but it is just enough to get the message across. Liberty Mutual is a company that cares about your community.
And Then the Zombies Came
Really, what is trendier right now than zombies? SunGard took America’s obsession with the walking dead and put it to work. Their satirical infograph focuses on a warning issued by the CDC that the zombies are coming. SunGard takes advantage of the approaching doom to point out that moving to cloud technology is a lot like surviving a zombie apocalypse. Once you read it, you have to admit the similarities are a little scary.
Why does this work? SunGard is reaching out to the geek in you. You know the one the secretly believes zombies are real and is tech savvy, too. They picked two themes that appeal to their target audience and combined them into one really, snazzy content project. The zombies may get you, but they won’t get your data.
Xerox took a decidedly different path to creating content. Their Get Optimistic project targeted top accounts and developed a magazine, titled Chief Optimist, just for them. The idea was to allow big wigs, and those who consider themselves big wigs, to interact and get practical business tips.
This approach to content production goes beyond the simple blog. It is a project designed to draw in business whales. Business2Community.com reports that this one project bought Xerox 20,000 new contacts and yielded 1.3 billion in pipeline revenue, proving that content marketing is just as essential for B2B customers.
Wondering what to put on your project management calendar and what to deposit in the slush pile instead? History is an epic teaching tool. Look at what projects worked and which ones tanked for inspiration.
Darla F is a full-time freelance writer who specializes in helping agencies meet their goals by developing creative and engaging content.