Relatability and relevance are key qualities in effective content. But, both can cause headaches for companies, too.
The answer to all of the above is simple...
Don’t. Over. Think. It.
People are actually not all that different from each other (Even though our brains try to convince us that we're the only person on the planet who has ever known such heartache, joy or embarrassment.)
The similarities between humans has served as the basis for comedy routines since the beginning of time. For example, have you ever had the following happen to you?
No, you're not the only one.
From how we fall in love, to our approach to day-to-day activities, to the way we build our careers -- humans are awfully predictable. That makes for good material not just for comedians, but communications pros, too.
However, when companies try to translate these similarities to their communications content, they usually miss the boat.
Either they try to reach everyone in the universe by appealing to the lowest common denominator,* like this…
Or, they make their content so industry-specific, so uniquely relevant that they leave the fun (which is the relatable part) out of the equation entirely, like this…
Instead, they should shoot for the middle ground, like this…
While this sentiment is still generic, it moves beyond like-bait pandering. It is relatable to people who watch a lot of YouTube video, but not so specific that it isolates people who may not be watching videos about your industry, in particular.
To find topics that fit this middle ground, poll your customers/clients or your employees. Also, stop yourself the next time you're thinking, “Man, I hate it when [blank] happens...” and investigate that behavior.
Next, marry those ideas with great imagery (this is a "must-do," and is not optional) to create some sort of graphic or video that can attract attention and quickly set the scene for your audience. Then, release that content into the wild.
Love it or hate it, this content will at least give you something to talk about with your social communities.
For example, if a person said, in response to the image above, “Actually, I rather like to sit through those five second videos,” then, you could...
No matter what course of action you take, just be sure not to offend or alienate -- both of which can be tempting when you're trying to establish any sort of "people are all alike" theme.
We may be similarly human, but we're still unique individuals too, worthy of respect. That's the most relatable and relevant message of all.
*To see really great examples of companies shooting for the lowest common denominator, check out Condescending Corporate Brand Page.
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I’m a consultant, strategist, author, educator & speaker with more than 20 years of experience in marketing and communications. I’m passionately curious, fairly sassy, kinda dorky and seriously good at what I do.