How To Inject Personality Into Content Marketing

LinkedIn’s Marketing Solution’s Senior Content Marketing Manager did something cool today. Actually he does something cool most days. Tech blogger and social media strategist by day, he can be found as a rock ‘n’ roll photographer by night.

His passion for entertainment comes across loud and clear from the title of his book, “Welcome to the Funnel: Proven Tactics to Turn Your Social and Content Marketing up to 11,” ever so slightly influenced by his nightly adventures in rock ‘n’ roll and a Gun’s and Roses album in particular.

Jason believes B2B marketing doesn’t have to be boring. “Adding humor and some of your own passions to your content marketing strategy is a great way to help break through the noise and differentiate your brand from the millions of other companies who are bombarding their social channels with nothing but self-promotion,” he says.

Here he shares five tactics you can apply immediately to “sexy up” (this is now an expression it seems) B2B content and messaging:

1. Ask yourself WWJD? (What Would Jerry Do?): When creating a piece of content or writing the messaging to support, take a cue from master comedian Jerry Seinfeld. His simple formula for comedy is to take everyday situations and ask himself, “What’s funny about this?” A good content marketer can apply this type of thinking to a brand, product, or company.

2. Inject some personality into your content: The best advice Jason ever received in his marketing career came from fellow content marketer Ann Handley a few years back. She told him that if he could figure out a way to inject his personality and love for heavy metal into his content (especially during a time when B2B content was sort of stale and boring) that he might be onto something. It appears she was right.

3. Wittiness is terribly underrated: When creating content at the top of the funnel a little bit of wit can go a long way when it comes to both conversion and sharing. People gravitate toward witty people because they are clever, amusing, and likeable. As a content marketer your job should be to apply those same attributes to the content you create. Done right, your brand will likely be viewed as much more approachable and ultimately human.

4. Take Some Time for Spitballing: Urban Dictionary defines spitballing as tossing ideas around with no expectation of them coming to pass. While that’s a pretty solid definition, Jason swears from experience that some of the most creative and hilarious ideas for marketing campaigns and content ideas are born from embracing this technique. Once a week he pulls his team together for at least 20-30 minutes of spitballing and riffing on content ideas that are captured on a whiteboard. Jason preface’s the meeting with an anything goes, there are no bad ideas type of scenario and lets the brainstorming take on a life of its own. He documents everything because even if an idea sounds terrible at the time it might spark something genius later on. He then takes a photo of the whiteboard activity and shares it with others for even more ideas from outside the immediate team.

5. Take Nostalgia, Please: Using nostalgia as part of your content marketing strategy is a great way to invoke warm and fuzzy feelings of the “good old days”. It also presents a fun opportunity to mashup the old view with the new view to grab attention and ultimately inspire action. Still need convincing? Jason encourages you to take a look at the incredible traction that throw back Thursday has achieved on social media. #TBT. There is a huge opportunity he says to have some fun with your brand by simply looking to the past, thinking retro, and sharing your brands history with a new audience.

Nowadays companies when hiring often ask to see your LinkedIn and Facebook profiles. They want to know the professional you and the fun you. Just because you have a job doesn’t meant the fun you should steer clear of the office.

On the surface B2B marketing, rock “n” roll and humor seem to go together like Gary Vaynerchuk, Led Zeppelin and Eddie Murphy. However in modern times, where you are faced with expressions like “sexy up”, maybe they should. At least in Marketing.

Originally published in Inc. here

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