Content Marketing should be cost-effective, scalable and successful

Since attending the Nottingham Digital Summit, we’ve been reflecting on some of the fantastic speakers from the likes of Speedo, Experian, Capital One and Microsoft. It was a great event, organised by Hallam Internet, all in support of raising awareness and donations for Framework Housing Association – helping to keep Nottingham’s homeless off the street. In particular, Kirsty Hulse, founder of Manyminds, inspired us to write this blog post. Kirsty enlightened the audience on how to make content campaigns cheap, scalable and effective. And here’s how:

Cost-effective and scalable

It’s often a common pre-conception to assume that the more expensive a product or service is, the better quality we will receive, however, this is not always the case. Content marketing can be cost-effective and scalable, for any business, and it’s our role as marketers to work hard to unlock its potential when we build campaigns.

Kirsty shared a number of content marketing strategies that can help to cut back costs by limiting distribution and development time.

  • Quizzes – everyone loves a quiz, anyone can make them due to their simple nature. Kirsty suggested using tools like Outgrow, one she finds particularly effective when creating interactive content this highly effective  
  • Outreach and Outsource – get other companies to produce content for you, this approach benefits everyone involved
  • Create stunning timelines simply by developing an interesting topic, collect dating and producing the timeline with Knight lab

Successful 

Beyond cheap and scalable campaigns, we also need to produce content that is highly effective. Effective campaigns consist of three key elements; Idea – Data – Asset

  • Idea – In order to create a successful campaign, a unique, out-of-the-box idea needs to be generated. No one wants to be presented with an idea that has already been done before.
  • Data – Data is vital. Not only is it readily available, but it helps to support and provide the backbone to your idea. Kirsty stressed the need for, and importance of, data throughout her talk.
  • Assets – Assets for content marketing campaigns can be very time consuming and expensive. Of course, assets are important, however; they aren’t always a necessity, and interestingly some of the most successful campaigns don’t actually utilise them.

Successful Content marketing campaigns 

Greggs and British Airways really hit the mark with producing cost-effective, scalable and successful campaigns, that everyone loved. So, what did each of these brands actually do?

Greggs: 2018 Valentines campaign

You more than likely already know the one I am referring to – a campaign that created a storm over social media, one that almost everyone was talking about. A groundbreaking concept that took only 20 minutes to sell out entirely due to the social frenzy that arose. Greggs enticed their pastry lovers by revealing the concept and building up hype around reservations and bookings on social media, all of which received lots of engagement with users liking, commenting and sharing continuously. Ultimately building up and promoting the new sit-down table experience that Greggs was offering.

Quite simply, Greggs jumped on the Valentine’s Day bandwagon and offered a candlelit, dine-in experience including four courses and prosecco. Everyone seemed to go crazy for this simple, yet effective idea that received wall-to-wall coverage and was cheap to implement. Even better, this Valentine’s campaign didn’t require any assets (not even an individual landing page on their website to promote the event); the clever concept itself was enough.

British Airways: Magic Billboards campaign

British Airways made the most out of what they do best (flying to destinations far and wide) and turned it into an idea that was truly outside the box and incredibly eye-catching. They created interactive digital boards, which encouraged passers-by to look up at real-life planes as they flew overhead. This concept was achieved and executed by each billboard recognising the overhead flight via an antenna on top of the board which picked up data from flights within a 200km distance. This information was then fed into the application and, then the flights’ city origination was revealed on the digital board, once flights entered the ‘trigger zone’ and were visible to the public. This campaign was made relatable by showcasing a child looking up and pointing in awe at the plane – mirroring the inquisitive nature that we all once had. Again this campaign was inexpensive, simple and highly effective.

How to generate content ideas that will be approved

Clients rely on us marketers to come up with innovative and successful campaigns – after all, their expectations and money are in our hands. However, as we all know, a great idea doesn’t always materialise straight away.

So what do we do? Don’t panic! Kirsty shared her idea thought process and here are her suggestions to what you should try:

  • Give yourself a time limit of 30s – 60s, and frantically write your ideas down. It doesn’t matter how ‘silly’ or unrelated they seem, it’s all about letting your thoughts flow freely in the home of capturing those first glimmers of inspiration to often lie within our unconscious, and not in the analytical mind. Repeat this process.

Now you’ve got your idea, but how do you seal the go-ahead from your client?

  • Put your idea under scrutiny – you need to think why people would say no to your idea rather than why people would say yes
  • Create a series of questions that will guide your client through the idea, and help them reach the same conclusion as you
  • Don’t ask for your idea to be approved, alternatively ask for your idea to be considered

Takeaways we should all remember when performing content marketing:

  • Data is everything, so use it to your advantage. Make use of white papers and data that are available from academics. Kirsty was very passionate about data from academics and believes it has great potential. The process of obtaining this data is very straightforward all you need to do is seek permission from the academic, who is often unpaid, offer them a small payment, and they tend to be more than happy to provide you access to their data
  • There is no excuse for a lack of data – it is everywhere
  • Think outside the box and aim to generate innovative ideas
  • Ideas are your best friend and, most importantly, are free – get out the office and spark creativity, it’s rare for brilliant ideas to arise from sitting behind a desk

Do you require support with content marketing? Our specialist team would be more than happy to help: learn more about Clicky’s content marketing service. Don’t hesitate to get in touch using our enquiry form – we’d love to hear from you!

Written by Sascha Richards

Marketing and Research Assistant