Everybody hears about the importance of content marketing. But not everyone knows how to come up with content that will “work” for their marketing. Content that your audience will find helpful, valuable and relevant. Content that engages and entertains. That is not a pitch. That builds trust and credibility. That boosts SEO. And that converts prospects into customers.
There’s another line of work that requires creating content…comedy. Many famous comedians use observational comedy to get laughs — and fans.
“Observational comedy is a form of humor based on the commonplace aspects of everyday life. It is one of the main types of humor in stand-up comedy. In an observational comedy act the comedian “makes an observation about something from the backwaters of life, an everyday phenomenon that is rarely noticed or discussed.” (Source: Wikipedia)
Think Jerry Seinfeld and his riffs on dining out:
“I don’t want to hear the specials. If they’re so special, put ’em on the menu.”
or: “When you’re hungry, you don’t care how much the various dishes you order cost, but after you’ve eaten, you tend to be shocked by the bill.”
How about Steven Wright? “It doesn’t matter what temperature a room is, it’s always room temperature.”
Or Billy Connelly: “When people say, ‘It’s always the last place you look.’ Of course it is! Why would you keep looking after you’ve found it?”
And the comedian often credited with creating the genre, George Carlin: “Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?”
In fact, here’s a great article on George Carlin’s technique for finding, and recording material:
Comedian Eddie Izzard noted that a comedian’s observations “need to be something that people can relate to, for the audience to pick up on it” in order to be considered a successful observational comedy act.
Comedians specializing in observational humor look around and see what’s funny. And it’s funny because the audience can relate.
An observational comedy bit often starts with “Have you ever noticed?”
You can use a similar approach to discover content for your content marketing strategy.
With a few slight changes, here’s (my) definition of Observational Content: “Observational content is a form of content based on the commonplace aspects of everyday work. It is one of the main types of content in content marketing. In an observational content style, the creator ‘makes an observation about something from the backwaters of work, an everyday phenomenon that is rarely noticed or discussed.’”
But these observations should be noticed and discussed. Why? Because they make great content.
Here’s what you do: Look around. What challenges, questions, problems, situations arise every day in your business? These are the perfect situations to address in your content. Your reader/potential client will appreciate your knowledge and generosity; you’ll build credibility and “go-to expert” status. In other words, you’re getting fans.
Collecting content is a mindset. You may do similar tasks or face the same challenges each day. To you they are old hat. To your audience they are new hat. Something they are dealing with and need help understanding or solving.
Take a tip from some famous comedians — look around and see what’s happening around you. And then talk about it.
Want more fans for your business? Contact Martha. Martha Spelman is a Los Angeles-based branding, marketing and strategy expert. Using traditional and online marketing to start and grow businesses, she works with startups, entrepreneurs and small- to medium-size companies. Martha is the author of the content marketing book: The Cure for Blogophobia: How to Easily Create, Publish & Promote Your Business Blog