Ellen DeGeneres ordered everyone pizza at the Oscars. Was it an odd choice to feed a bunch of well-dressed celebrities greasy pizza? Maybe. Was it ingenious social media bait? Most certainly. I’m not sure how the Oscars worked back in 1929, but now it’s absolutely vital that the audience is entertained. This isn’t just the audience at the show, nor is it just the audience watching at home, but it’s also the audience on social media. Any marketing content writer will tell you that.
And the Award Goes To…
Demian Farnworth wrote an article on Copyblogger that went through 10 ways for a marketing content writer to write good copy. He said that writing an effective copy is both “an art and a science.” The art comes from being creative with your content. The science comes from Bill Nye – just kidding. According to Farnworth, copy exists in a world of “tests, trial and failure, improvement, breakthroughs, education and predictability.” In order to make good content, both art and science must work together.
This is where the Oscars come in.
In Farnworth’s article, there is a section that explains what Ellen did during the show: the Conversational Copy. “You write as if there is a conversation between two people: the copywriter and the prospect.” In the case of the Oscars we had the marketing content writer (Ellen) and the prospect (the audience at the show, the viewers at home, and those taking to social media). Willa Paskin of Slate.com wrote, “She started slowly – opening with literally a joke about the weather – and then, from a certain perspective, proceeded to affably spend the night changing costumes and ordering famous people – who are just like us! – pizza, while never taking a clear shot at anyone other than Liza Minnelli.” However, Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter had a different opinion. “Who would have predicted that it would have been so boring, so long, so self-involved and driven sideways into a ditch by, of all people, the beloved Ellen DeGeneres as host?”
This brings me back to Farmworth’s article and his thoughts on creativity and science – particularly the science side. It’s a constant experiment to see who the Oscar crowd will enjoy. The results, every year, vary, but even with Ellen’s negative reviews there seems to be an overall consensus about it: the Academy was playing it safe because of last year’s show. “Perhaps Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron felt they were playing it safe after the controversy their 2013 host Seth MacFarlane generated,” said Goodman. Lisa De Moraes of Deadline agreed with the safe choice. “She hosted the first Academy Awards since MacFarlane opened the Oscars with ‘We Saw Your Boobs’ and followed it up with a crack about John Wilkes Booth (rather than nominee Daniel Day-Lewis) being the actor who best got into President Lincoln’s head.” Ouch.
But is this really a victory if only half the votes are positive?
If you listen to what social media has to say, the answer is a resounding yes.
Best Supporting Thespian: Social Media
There’s no spelling “content writing” without “social media.” Amanda Clark of Business 2 Community explains it best in her article
about the Four Pillars of Content Marketing. “Social media, in a content marketing sense, is when a business builds up a presence on platforms and uses them to engage with mob audiences, share content and promote themselves. The trick is to practice two-way communication – a ludicrous, impossible task with billboards.” As far as the Oscars goes the audience doesn’t just watch the show, they tweet about it, post about it on Facebook, share pictures and gifs on Tumblr, an entire dialogue is created online before the show even ends.
This is where Ellen shined. Mixed performance reviews or not all of Sunday night was filled with pictures of celebrities eating pizza and a certain A-list selfie that broke the world record of most retweeted picture. If that doesn’t showcase the importance of social media, I’m not sure what does. Paskin says it best in her article in regards to the mixed reviews Ellen received. “By the time the show rolls around again, the montages, the terrible patter, and the sheer length have faded from our memories, and we are just left with the memorable moments.” What is it that we take from the Oscars? Those moments that stand out for years to come. MacFarlane’s performance, which is now a year old, is remembered as being and, to some, an unnecessarily offensive disaster. How will Ellen’s be remembered? That one time she ordered pizza and tweeted the most retweeted picture in history.
The Curtain Call
Ellen’s performance is exactly the impression you want from your content writing. While someone may not remember your entire piece, you want them remember something important, something positive. Frankly, you want them to remember the pizza and the selfies.
The ultimate goal of content marketing is offering your target audience information and materials that will engage them and motivate them to choose your business.
Seems easy, right?
Often, companies will simply share general content to please everyone. But let’s be honest: you can’t win them all. And that’s okay!
Rather than throwing a line and hoping the fish will bite, create Thought Leadership content strategically catered to your target market. Consider the people who would genuinely need or care about what your business offers, rather than wasting time, effort, and resources on creating general, unfocused content. Successful content marketing involves promoting your products and services to the people interested in the subject matter, who will read the content, click on your company website, and take action.
As an executive of an organization, you are a valuable piece of the brand. Consumers want to know about the human presence leading companies, in order to understand more about the company’s values and goals.
Take advantage of your position as an industry expert and share extra content to attract more attention to yourself as an industry leader and your company. Your quality content will build your reputation as a reliable voice to earn your consumer’s trust. However, if it’s not focused on your target audience, you won’t earn many conversions from your content.
Consider these techniques to guide your Thought Leadership content so it can expand and strengthen your loyal consumer following:
- Identify your target audience by reviewing your current consumer data and identifying who is investing in your business or reacting to your thought leadership materials so far. Look for trends to find why these people are interested and if others like them haven’t been reached yet.
- Conduct customer research to learn how they will respond to your thought leadership content. Request participation in surveys, polls, social media comments, and more to learn about your existing impression on your audience and how you can improve your platform.
- Create target audience character profiles. Identify their interests, demographics, pain points, needs, and desires, and write to them.
- Find where your current and potential audience is active online. Catch their attention by being active and sharing your content marketing materials on these platforms.
- Pull inspiration from other Thought Leader examples. Research other executives within your field who implement successful content marketing through their personal platforms. Learn what qualities make their content attractive and why readers respond to it positively. These examples can offer a base for you to visualize what you want to achieve.
- Recognize your strengths as a Thought Leader. Often, leaders aren’t necessarily aware of the unique talents that give them an advantage in their industry until asked. Reflect on what topics you know best and how to input your insights to humanize your materials, make them original and more engaging for your audience.
Case Study: How Strategic Content Marketing Can Broaden Your Audience
In our client strategy calls, our team will interview our expert clients to learn about their industry expertise and find out what’s meaningful to them, their business, and then identify who we believe to be their target audience. We use these insights to inspire our content subject matter and tone to create impactful content for their current and potential consumers.
For example, our client, Dr. Nitin Desai, approached our strategy team to create content to promote his COVID Pre-Check app. His innovative software is intended to help employers ensure their employees who enter the office are COVID-free, providing a safe environment by eliminating the chance of spread.
Our team of strategists recognized that with Dr. Desai’s thorough professional knowledge around the COVID-19 virus, he had the potential to become a reliable voice in a culture of people seeking answers. We created content for Dr. Desai that focused on sharing COVID-related insights to reach a wider audience, which has been a successful mission. Our thoroughly planned content reflected his industry expertise, which brought him attention from various media outlets and publications, including Forbes.
By reaching out to our professional content marketing team, Dr. Desai achieved his goal of promoting his groundbreaking app, while also positioning himself as an authoritative voice in his field. Our team learned about his voice, discovered what was meaningful to him and his target audience, and optimized this to create focused, engaging content that broadened his consumer scope.
Ready to Invest In Your Article-Writing.co Thought Leadership Package?
At Article-Writing.co, we understand that you have a lot on your plate. Let us share your voice on your behalf, so you don’t need to add more time to your busy schedule to write your own content marketing. Our strategists and creators will develop a plan to create engaging materials to represent your Thought Leader brand through your own specialized Thought Leadership Package.
Let us help you strengthen and broaden your consumer base for continued professional success. Book a call today.