‘It’s good to talk’, chimed the late Bob Hoskins in the near-legendary BT adverts of old, now used as marketing case studies in Business Studies classes everywhere. The BT message - simple, memorable and perfectly delivered - has endured because of those very facets but also because it still has something to say about how we communicate with our clients through our marketing.
When Bob intoned those immortal lines, he wasn’t just talking about picking up the phone and giving BT a few pence in exchange for a chat with Gran. Instead, BT were pushing the fact that talking with everyone - anyone - is a good thing. A conversation can lead anywhere. The lack of a conversation is certain to lead nowhere.
The ‘it’s good to talk’ message has a lot to say about Content Marketing. Even though planning content campaigns should be done well in advance and to the finest detail, it’s not always 100% obvious who the content is going to appeal to and what effect it is going to have on the audience. Whisper it quietly in Content Marketing circles but, sometimes, there is an element of pushing your content out into the world and deciding on its effect, reach and likely success after the fact.
It is, however, absolutely certain that it is good to talk, rather than the alternative. To labour a point: not pushing a piece of content out into the world will only have one result. Say yes to content more often and good things will happen.
A case in point: just before the Winter months, we encouraged and then helped a client to complete their Ice Bucket Challenge. For those unfamiliar with the concept (or those who have tried to banish the experience from their memory) the Ice Bucket Challenge sees you tip a bucket of cold water over your head and then nominate others to do the same. The challenge originates from raising awareness of, and donations towards, causes that help treat and research ALS (or Lou Gehrig's Disease), a neurodegenerative disease that affects the brain and spinal cord.
Once the client had agreed and settled on a donation and who to nominate, we filmed their team completing the challenge. We uploaded the video to Facebook, tagged each team member and the businesses they had nominated and shared the link on Twitter, LinkedIn and in email campaigns, encouraging the client’s team to do likewise on their personal pages.
The result? The video reached over 2,000 people on Facebook organically, spreading by appearing in the feed of people we had tagged and therefore in their friends’ feeds and friends of friends. An album of still pictures from ‘Ice Bucket Challenge Day’ reached 1,000 people and a pre-video tease reached just short of that figure.
The outcome? Obviously that’s a lot of positive awareness for ALS, a great donation from the firm and more donations from the other people they challenged, but it is also a lot of positive awareness for the firm… so much positive awareness in fact that a friend of a friend of a friend saw the Facebook video and remembered how much they needed to sort out an element of their financial affairs. So, they got in touch with the firm and did just that.
And that is why, after all this time, it is still good to talk; no matter what you are saying, no matter whether the message may seem frivolous or ill-targeted, no matter if you are not 100% certain what effect sending your content out into the world will have. A well-researched guide to the inner workings of pensions may get you no new clients. A humorous video of your team doing something for charity may get you several. Send it and see. BT did, all those years ago, and we are still talking about it now.