4 ways to keep content fresh

BlendTec figured out a way to tell its story via blending household items. You can do the same for your brand.

Do you know the story of how BlendTec used Will It Blend to keep its content about industrial-strength blenders fresh?

While a big fan of their super smart and creative videos, I didn’t know the idea to see what their blenders could blend came about because an executive noticed sawdust on the floor.

As it turns out, employees were putting broom handles in the blenders to see if they would blend, and they would. So was born the “try this at home” and “don’t try this at home” campaigns to show just how the blenders work.

One of my favorite videos is when the first generation iPad came to market and they blended one. Blendtec put a nearly $1,000 piece of technology in a blender and blended it up. This, of course, was part of the “don’t try this at home” series. I don’t think you really want to blend an iPad.

The point is this: BlendTec makes blenders. It has lots of competition. Its blenders are not cheap. The brand’s managers needed a story to help build the brand and make people aware of its incredible strength, but also to set itself apart from the competition that seemingly do the same thing.

I consider myself a pretty good storyteller. I write every single day. Even though I didn’t start out as a great blogger (which I am reminded of every blog anniversary, when I re-publish our very first blog post), I put something on proverbial paper every day.

Now companies hire us to help them tell their stories and guess what? Sometimes even we get stuck.

We work with manufacturing companies. We work with financial services companies. We work with software as a service companies. None of those companies have anything in common, which requires us to be extremely creative—in different ways—multiple times a day.

Download the free white paper, “How to be a brand journalist,” to learn how to tell your organization’s compelling stories.

To help us tell their stories, we do a few things to stay creative and keep content fresh:

  1. Subscribe to SmartBrief. I’m a big, big fan of the SmartBrief newsletters. They aggregate a bunch of content every day (at least 10 articles) around one topic (I subscribe to entrepreneurship, leadership, and social media). It’s pretty likely SmartBrief has a newsletter for your industry.
  2. Subscribe to Talkwalker alerts. I also love Talkwalker alerts. I love them even more now that I can throw them into a newsfeed in Hootsuite instead of having them come into my email. Create an alert for your industry or your specialty and pay attention to the trends. There are a lot of content ideas in there.
  3. Read the comments. Maybe no one is commenting on the content you create. We certainly have clients like that. Readership and subscribers grow significantly every month, but no one comments. So read the comments on other blogs inside the industry. Read the Twitter streams. Read the comments on Facebook updates. This is what we’ll call real-time research. Find out what strikes the fancy of your audience.
  4. Pay attention to current events. Can you provide a perspective on the release of Harper Lee’s latest book? Or test different ways to organically grow your Facebook fans? Sometimes scanning the news is the best way to get past writer’s block.

Now it’s your turn. What do you do to help keep your content fresh? To tell your story in a new and different way? To get past writer’s block?

Gini Dietrich is founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, Inc. and blogs at Spin Sucks, where a version of this article originally appeared.

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