The Clever Friend Approach to Content Marketing

Businesses large and small struggle with the constant need to produce content that stands out. We long to stand out as signal from the noise and, in our rubberneck society, we often believe that means the next post has to be more sensational than the last.

But when you fall into the trap of one-up content marketing, you eventually have to escape the confines of the brand voice and message to become louder, funnier, faster or better. Then, you lose your audience.

Fortunately, there is another approach to content marketing that serves the need to produce stand-out content but steers you clear of the dangers of one-upmanship. It’s what I call the Clever Friend Approach.

Everyone has a Clever Friend who always has a funny joke to tell or an inspirational quote to share. Sometimes, they allude to music or movies with regularity. Other times they connect the topic of conversation to a shared memory or event. Whatever their quirk may be, they always add value to your conversation and make you glad they were there to chime in.

For me, two work colleagues – one a former boss, the other an older gentlemen I looked up to – stand out. Both always had some catchy quote to tie the conversation together. When we would talk about a mistake that was made, my former boss would say, “If it happens once, shame on it. If it happens twice, shame on you.” The wise, old sage, when talking about marketing decisions for our clients would remind me, “The closer to the bone you are, the better your decision will be.”

Perhaps instead of trying to constantly one-up your last content splash, you should focus on just having something poignant and relevant to add to the customer’s experience with your brand. A good quote, a funny passage, and uplifting anecdote … all can make your customers and online fans think, “I like them. They’re like a Clever Friend, filling out the conversation well.”

There can’t be bad in being thought of that way.

We’d love to talk to you more about being a Clever Friend for your brand. Drop us a line if you’re interested.

Creative, Culture, Data, Development, Media, News, PR, Social, Strategy | 11.12.2019
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