We know that coming up with new ideas can be hard. We also know that readers get bored of the same old thing and are likely to switch off after a string of dull posts. So what can you do to keep things fresh and put some sparkle back into your online voice?
Here are 3 simple tips to rejuvenate and refresh your stale marketing campaigns:
1. Brainstorm and plan
This may sound pretty obvious but sitting in front of your screen and staring at nothing isn't going to send your mind into a creative marketing buzz. I truly believe that two minds are better than one, even if it's just to use them as a sounding board. If you're on your own, find someone to give you half an hour of their time. Talk about who your audience is. What do they like? What makes them laugh? Are they cooking enthusiasts or train spotters?
Then you just put yourself in their shoes. What do they like to read, where do they hangout? After this, think about what you would like to read, share, engage with. Think about the time of year. Is there anything coming up in the calendar you can relate to?
Now plan your next 3-4 months of marketing material. Write it down and come up with an idea for each stage. If you plan ahead, you are giving yourself more time to come up with great ideas and if you’re anything like me, you’ll wake-up in the middle of the night with a blinding revelation! Hubspot provides a really nice free blog editorial calendar which is really useful when you're trying to right content for your target audience. Remember though, when you are coming up with great ideas for content, ask yourself "would I talk about this at a dinner party?". If the answer is "no" then don't use it in your marketing!
2. Be image rich
If you haven’t read Tash’s blog on images, read it now and believe her when she says that articles with images get 94% more views. You know yourself that seeing a long chunk of text is mind-numbingly boring and that’s before you've even read what the words say. See an image of a house on fire or a cuddly kitten and you become more interested, right? So, use something that makes the reader want to investigate.
We all too often rely on those free stock images of beautiful ladies with pearly white smiles but they have become a bit bland as they are littered across the internet. So how about you find something you can create yourself? Can your logo be amended to match a certain topic or campaign? Can your products be made into something cool?
Why not find some image inspiration on Pinterest or have a look at some free creative commons websites (Unsplash is particularly good for really nice images)
Oreo did a great visual campaign for Kraft’s 100 year anniversary by running a 100 day long campaign. “Daily Twist” featured an image of an oreo made to look like something relevant to the news of that particular day – Gay Pride, the birth of a baby panda and Elvis week.
3. Be brave
It’s ok to be a bit risky too. Don’t go mad, there have been several cases of going too far which have backfired and given a company a bad reputation. I love the Kmart “Ship My Pants” campaign but it got them a few bad reviews from some ill-amused punters! Pushing the boundaries can have an enormous effect at getting you noticed if you go about it the right way. Remember that Bodyform video?
Moz gives some good tips on how to be humourous without losing sight of your brand but if things do backfire, remember that dealing with it well might just get you the positive publicity you were hoping for.
Of course some products are easier to market than others (like Snickers “You’re not you when you’re hungry”) but apply something creative and even the most boring product can become something great. Check out what GE have done.
Remember who you are, what your brand stands for and what your customers expect from you. Don’t try to steal someone else’s voice, it will come across wrong and you’ll never be able to maintain it.
If you want more, have a look at these great campaigns. My favourite is Telenet “Push this button to add drama”. Tell me yours!