This week, the UK celebrated Bonfire night (also known as Guy Fawkes). It's an excuse to party and set off fireworks in remembrance of a foiled plot to blow up parliament in 1605. Who knew that such a rebellious act, could result in a reason to celebrate? Maybe there were switched on content marketing folks even in ye olden days...
Consumers today still love a good story. If you can make your audience care about your product, you're half way to the sale. Trouble is, we need to forge that emotional connection faster than most corporates can get their content through management, accounting and legal.
Guy Fawkes was a real person and the gunpowder plot an actual plan, but what if you don't have an event to write about? Could you make one up? Inventing an authentic piece of content is all the rage.
In each case above, the creators have manufactured a situation, to raise the visibility of their product or cause. Their next task is to ensure the public engage, by showing them how to get involved while imprinting their message into the mindset at the same time. Think of it like a mass call to action.
As Kickstarter has shown time and again, involving your customers in content creation is the best form of engagement a company can hope for. That sense of personal responsibility drives word of mouth and builds a loyal following. Rallying behind an event gives us a purpose, makes us part of the crowd and now through the wonder of social media, lets us share our efforts with the wider world, for extra credit. Win, win.
Be warned though, invented content will only work if it's true to your company values and brand.
By all means, capture imagination, but to be believed, your idea has to match the expectations your customers already have about your company. It should reinforce what they assume to be true, rewarding their decision to spend their hard earned money with you, rather than the competition.
Stories in keeping with your company values and your customers understanding of why you do what you do, have a way of ingraining themselves on public perception for generations to come.
Now, stop reading and go create!