Mike Hanbery December 5, 2013

Content Marketing Strategies & Ping Pong

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If there is one thing I’ve noticed within the length of my career working in advertising and marketing, it’s that an office isn’t complete without a ping pong table. Ping pong in the office is believed to aid in individual’s health, is gentle on the body, makes you mentally sharp, and is a game you can play anytime, anywhere.

How does this relate to content marketing strategies, you ask? It all has to do with the strategy of how you play the game. Look at it this way, the table per say, could be similar to your content platform that you are writing for, whether it’s content for a website, a story for a blog or an outline for a social media content strategy. Once you have your table setup, you could then customize it with your company logo. See where I’m going with this…

Next, you need a couple of paddles and a ping pong ball to be able to play the game. Think of the ping pong ball as the content. This is what you are serving to your audience, what you are sending across the table to the other side of the “net”. You must think about how you want your audience to receive your message, and how you would like them to react to it. Now, think of the paddles as your audience. A game would be boring if no one returned the ball, which is why building your audience is so important. Without an audience, every time you serve the ball and it would bounce on the floor you would get a point. You may have achieved your goal, but no one wants to watch the game.

So, how do you start an effective, exciting game? What’s your strategy? One thing you have to think about when you are getting ready to serve; do you consider how or where you are going to hit the ball? Do you start off with a smash or a lob shot? A fun game to watch would be when two players have a rally going. Think of this as a two-way conversation between you and your audience. This is the healthy type of engaging strategy you would want to watch.

There are a few different types of strategy. When playing ping pong, it involves two different types of strokes – offensive strokes and defensive strokes. This is the same with your content marketing strategy and how you would like to portray your message. Is your message one that is uplifting, letting your audience know that your product or service will improve their lives for the better? Or is your message defensive, letting your audience know that your product or service is something that they need, that they can’t live without and would be worse off?

Another type of offensive strategy would be when you are playing nicely with your competitors; you study them and their style so that you can strategically go up against them in a peaceful manner. The defensive strategy would be when you are more aggressive towards them, trying to beat them by showcasing your skillsets, products or abilities as more valuable. You have to think about who you are playing the game with, your audience or your competitors, and what type of message you are putting out to the public.

Let me give you a few examples of strategy, related to a couple of people in my office’s “ping pong strategies”. Names are not changed to protect the innocent/guilty…

Pat for example, is one of our stronger ping pong players. When I first started working at Webolutions, he would (and still does) talk a tough game. Many times I have had a ping pong ball fly by my desk from a smash hit, in an attempt to defeat his opponent. This is an example of a defensive strategy. This is something you will want to be careful of. This strategy is not always successful.

I’ll pick on myself next. I’m the newbie in the office, so I approach the game a little more cautiously. I’m able to keep up with the competition, but still need a little more practice before I become more of an aggressive player. I may be, “playing it safe,” which is never a bad idea and good for beginners. This is where you can test out what has worked, and what hasn’t and use the time as a learning opportunity. When developing content for social media, you will want to be doing this every month as your audience grows to see what resonates with them or not, and each month you will want to go back and reevaluate your strategy.

So, now what? Who won? You will want to develop a way to keep score, or in another sense, setting goals for yourself and what “winning” really means to you. Your style is your own; make sure not to forget to keep that in mind when developing your strategy. The more people that want to play, the more engaging your content may be, allowing you to achieve successful content marketing strategies. Or err… ping pong skills!

How to use this Information

Remember when developing your content marketing strategy, that you are not just playing a game with yourself. Keep your audience in mind, the goals you want to achieve, a personal writing style that fits who your audience is, and a content strategy and outline to keep your organized. Here at Webolutions, we take this into consideration with every client and develop a unique content marketing strategy that is custom tailored to each client’s needs. To learn more about content marketing and how it can work with your internal marketing plan, call Webolutions at 303-300-2640.

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