The other week, I was reading this great post by Mark Schaefer called Stop boring me with your blogs. One of his (several useful) suggestions is to "Do some reading outside of your field. Look for differing styles and subjects you can incorporate into your themes."
Well, as readers of this blog know, I have a two-year-old daughter, and the one place we visit together on the web is Sesame Street. This site is about as far as you can get from B2B, but it has such great applications for content marketers.
Realize you have more than one audience
While the primary audience of Sesame Street is young children, of course, parents are the primary "influencer." They realize this and have a section dedicated just for parents.
Offer different formats
The type of content Sesame Street provides is targeted directly at its core audience: videos, games, music and lots of colorful pictures. While this isn't likely 't the right content combination for your audience, think about the way that your users like to recieve info, and offer more than one choice.
Have multiple ways to search
One of the things I think Sesame Street does particularly well is that it gives users multiple ways to search for info. You can search by format (games, videos, playlists) or categories (subject, theme character). I love that I can browse or find exactly what I want.
Design for mobile
I'll admit that I have shown my daughter Sesame Street videos on my phone when in a pinch (oh how thankful I was for Elmo when we had a longer-than-expected wait at the car dealer). Sesame Street has a different, simplified version of the website for mobile, which is something all B2B organizations should consider. (My favorite go-to blogger for B2B mobile is Christina "CK" Kerley. Check out this section on her website dedicated to B2B mobile marketing if you're looking for ideas on how to get started.)
I'm amazed at how many well-known guests have visited Sesame Street. It really says something about your brand if you can get participation from people who are important in your field. Ask influencers to participate in things like guest blog posts, interviews, webcasts, etc.
Create a customized site
Have you ever gone to a website where there is so much good info and you wish you could keep it in one place? Sesame Street has a section of the website called My Street where you can easily store your favorite items from the site. Handy, huh?
Keep it short
Of course kids have short attention spans, but so do adults. Most videos are under 3 minutes, and they never belabor a point. Think of how much your readers would appreciate that!
Focus your content
Each video or piece of content is very focused on something particular: the letter A or the word "surprise." Again, having a single point just isn't a good idea for kids; your audience can only remember so much, so keep things simple.
Offer related content
Each video has a sidebar where they offer related videos that focus on the same theme or character. My daughter typically gets to watch 2 videos as a treat, and we often choose the second one from the related content.
None of the videos on Sesame Street's site are directly selling their products, but by having educational, relevant content, they are (of course) building their brand. I admit to caving when my daughter asked for an Elmo toothbrush. The power of great content works!
If you (or, more likely, your kids) are a fan of Sesame Street, what other lessons can you share? Or, what other non-B2B website inspire you?
- A Lesson in Brand Longevity brought to you by the letter J
- People Aren't Reading Your Web Copy? It's Not Them, It's YOU
- How to Make Your B2B Website More Buyer-Centric
About the author: Michele is the Executive Editor of the Content Marketing Institute where where she works with a fabulous group of contributors who know a lot about content marketing. She's also a B2B content marketing consultant who has a passion for helping companies use content to connect with their ideal buyers. You can follow her on Twitter or read more of her posts on Savvy B2B.