5 Lessons Content Marketers Can Learn from Groundhog Day

February 05, 2013 | Marit Fratelli
5 Lessons Content Marketers Can Learn from Groundhog Day

five-lessons-content-marketers-can-learn-from-groundhog-dayIt’s been 20 years since Bill Murray played Phil Connors in Groundhog Day, a film in which he inexplicably wakes up on February 2nd over and over and over...

When tasked with creating marketing content, it can often feel like you’re living in Phil’s version of Groundhog Day. That is, it’s easy to get caught in a content rut and feel like you are creating the same things over and over again.

Here are 5 lessons we can learn from Phil Connors to help break the pattern, develop fresh ideas and create winning content for all eternity.

#1 Attitude is everything. When Phil realizes that he’s reliving the same day over and over, he goes down a dark path of self-destructive behavior that includes obscene amounts of drinking, stealing money, and even finding numerous ways to kill himself in hopes of breaking the time loop (to no avail).

Rita, his colleague and object of his affection, suggests that Phil use his abundance of time to better himself. Phil takes her advice and changes his attitude. When we first meet Phil, he is a stuck-up curmudgeon who has better things to do than report on whether Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow. By the end of the movie, he stands out as a beacon of small town society because of the positive attitude he’s developed toward his fate.

If your content had an attitude, what would it be? Is it engaged, passionate and interested? Or is it lackluster and tired, filled with business jargon? To stand out in this day and age, your content’s attitude has to dazzle. You can do this by simply adding more visuals to text-heavy content or even repurposing old ideas into infographics (like this) or online video presentations. And while you’re at it, it never hurts to inject a little humor into your messaging as well.

#2 Practice makes perfect. Faced with living the same day endlessly, Phil finally takes the time to master skills such as ice sculpting and playing the piano. Similarly, content marketers can try doing a deep dive into the programs they use repeatedly.  

For instance, PowerPoint is widely used in content marketing for sales presentations, speaking engagements and webinars, but have you brushed up on your skills recently? There are plenty of conferences, webinars, and resource guides that can help make your PowerPoint presentations more engaging.  After all, the difference between a good PowerPoint and a great PowerPoint could be closing a deal.

#3 Be multitalented. With so much time on his hands, Phil was also able to learn French, study poetry, and even master the art of throwing playing cards into a hat.

Content marketers can take a page out of Phil’s playbook and add more skills/tools to their content arsenal, such as online videos, eBooks, testimonials, whitepapers, PowerPoint presentations, webinars, infographics, and even memes. It’s all about getting the attention of your clients and prospects. The kind of content that resonates with one faction might not connect with another group, so it’s important to cast a wide content creation net.

#4 Increase your reach. By the end of the movie, Phil spends his days helping as many people as he can. He changes a flat tire for a group of older ladies, saves the mayor from choking, and catches an (ungrateful) kid who falls from a tree.

Similarly, content marketers need to increase their reach in order to make a greater impact. A great way to do this is to share your content on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogs (you too, B2B companies!). Don’t forget about Pinterest, which has also shown promise in its ability to increase brand awareness for companies. Also, make sure your content, especially video, is mobile-friendly so people can view it on their smartphones and tablets while say, sitting in their car waiting for their tire to be changed.

#5 Make the best of what you have. A big part of Phil’s transformation involves realizing that to thrive in his altered reality, he needs to make the best of it. You can do the same by making better use of the content you already have and your colleagues’ expertise.

First, review your content and think of ways to repackage it. For instance, as alluded to above, why not turn a webinar into a whitepaper and infographic? Also, tap into your colleagues’ inner marketer.  If you have an analytics group, get some numbers from them that you can include in an industry trends article. Find out if there are any amateur photographers in your office who could take pictures of an upcoming event that you can use on your social media sites.  Does someone you work with have a great sense of humor and good people skills? Ask them to help with your humorous content or maybe a man on the street interview video.  Lastly, don’t overlook your interns’ potential to create great content. To churn out the multitude of compelling content that will get attention, every marketer could use a little help, so have others pitch in.

While we may not have six more weeks of winter, take the rest of the year by storm with your marketing content. You may not be living the same day over and over, but your content will still be around for a very long time. So take a lesson from Phil, and turn your next content rut into an opportunity!

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Image credit: Screened.com

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