15 tips for pushing the content marketing boundaries

‘Pushing the envelope’. Ugh. Horrid term. But breaking everyday boundaries is a good thing, especially for content marketing. 

Break those content marketing boundaries

Think about it. 99% of the stuff you come across online is dull, worthy and sensible. Yes, it puts a message across. But it’s dry as dust, without verve or flair.

In an online landscape as competitive as today’s, it helps to stand out from the crowd. Here are a few ideas for creating content with an above average amount of oomph, to give your output a better chance of being shared and talked about.

How to create content with extra impact

  1. Playing devil’s advocate – If you can inspire a reaction, positive or negative, you’ll spark conversations. Having said that, it can be dangerous. The best way to play devil’s advocate is to put forward more than one point of view, comparing and contrasting different angles rather than going hell for leather with something so outrageously contentious it offends half the population
  2. Driving strong emotions – Make someone feel sad, angry, scared or simply getting them to empathise with your message is powerful marketing medicine
  3. Being funny – Funny ha-ha is a tricky one because we laugh at such different things. But wryness is easier to handle, tapping into the Brits’ love of banter and word play. It’s no good if your audience is international, but great for local and national content
  4. Poking fun at yourself – Taking yourself too seriously can squash a great message completely flat. Lighten up!
  5. Daring to express your personality –  Don’t be scared to stamp your personality on your content. If you enjoy uncovering big hearted, warm content you’ll know how potent a personal slant can be
  6. Posing questions – People love it when you ask their opinion. Asking questions within a  piece of content can give it longer legs and a wider reach
  7. Telling stories – support your message with a real-life story or a series of supporting quotes and it’ll spring into marketing action
  8. Fresh directions – Others may have covered the same subject already. But when you take it in a different direction, putting a fresh or novel slant on it, you give it a new lease of life
  9. Bringing back good memories – I wrote a post a while back about 1980s Brighton. It did very well, picking up a load of comments and attention from people with fond memories of the decade that fashion forgot
  10. Creating diversity – You could trolley out a 1000 word piece every week for the foreseeable future, so everyone knows exactly what to expect from you. Or you could cause pleasurable consternation by offering up something different every time. Most of us agree variety is the spice of life – give your readers exactly that
  11. Going the extra mile – When you give people much more than they usually get, you win an edge over the competition
  12. Writing the way you speak – there’s no excuse for using corporate speak. Ever. Even if you sell B2B you’re still selling to people, not corporate bodies
  13. Surprising, delighting, entertaining, inspiring – It’s important to inform. But it’s just as important to add icing on the cake, surprising, delighting, entertaining and inspiring your audience
  14. Adding colour and imagery – Words are fantastic things. But add colour and images and you create something with a much greater appeal
  15. Leaving out overt sales messages – There’s nothing more boring and irritating than being sold to all the time. Lay off the sales messages and let your content speak for itself. If it’s good enough, it’ll do its bit to drive response