Several years ago, our Head of Growth, Adam Vazquez, was working in an agency where he had a big creative win. He essentially noticed the client’s audience had a particular interest in horror films and made a horror-themed trailer promoting the product. It was a huge success and Adam was invited to pitch for another company.
At the time, La La Land had just come out, so he pitched that this gym franchise create a musical that explained the story of the brand. The work itself was good, what he and his team came up with was good, and in the right scenario it could have been successful, but it flopped massively.
Here’s the reason why
There are only three types of content you should ever put in front of a customer or create for your brand.
- Entertaining. This is at the top of the funnel, content that builds relationships and excitement. The musical would have fit in this category.
- Educational. This is a mid-funnel piece of content, something where you are refining your prospect, driving trust with them, and offering tidbits of value that show you know what you’re talking about. Educational content allows your client to continue to move down the funnel and potentially work with you in some capacity.
- Problem-solving. This is at the bottom of the funnel and can come with a call to action because you’ve already created some trust and offered value. You’re showing that you understand your clients’ lives and situations so you’re able to solve a problem for them.
If Adam had thought through the different levels of this model, at some point he would have realized the track he was heading down was not meeting the customer’s needs. At that point, he could have come up with a different result. Instead, a two-fold mistake was made.
- Misunderstood customer. Adam thought the client’s customers were causal gym-goers who were more so looking to be entertained and pulled into a community. In reality, this was a harder core customer base.
- Bottom-funnel intention. The client was looking for a piece of content that would pull their consumer from another gym to their own. The musical idea was a very top-of-funnel, creative idea as opposed to beneficial in terms of explaining the product. It didn’t fit what the client was trying to do.
If you’re trying to create a piece of content, remember the only three you will ever make. You will either (1) entertain, (2) educate, or (3) problem solve. If you’re doing anything else, the odds are it’s not going to work. It’s going to be a bad piece of content that’s not going to serve your customer or your specific objective with that piece of content.