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3 Ideas to Blow Out Your Content Competitors [The Weekly Wrap]

Three things to learn from this week’s examples: Suspenseful storytelling isn’t limited to Halloween. Consider how social media can help your SEO. And, you can teach your audience how to do what you do – and still stay in business.

Here are those three things we noticed this week.

Volvo makes a suspenseful safety play

WHO: Carmaker Volvo (#ForEveryonesSafety) 

WHAT: This short video appears on Volvo’s YouTube channel and ran as a pre-roll ad on other YouTube videos – where it kept the attention (and subverted the expectations) of submitter Cady Wakitsch from start to surprising finish.

WHERE: YouTube 

WHY IT MATTERS: As Cady writes, “Maybe 1% of the time I do not hit ‘skip ad’ on YouTube. I actually watched all two minutes of this. It’s highly emotional, it set up its argument really well. We talk about how we need to deal with naysayers of our product, and they do that as the very first thing … they know it will be better for them in the long run.”

.@VolvoCars deals with naysayers of product in suspenseful #YouTube video, says #CadyWakitsch of @passagetech via @CMIContent. #WeeklyWrap #Examples Click To Tweet

We think the Volvo video also is a great example of how to create suspense in a story and keep the audience engaged until the “reveal.” (That’s also why we’re not explaining the video here.) 

HOW IT WAS DISCOVERED: Cady Wakitsch, Passage Technologies

Researchers find a potential SEO-social media missing link

WHO: Semetrical and Audiense

WHAT: An SEO survey of 150 respondents shows that almost two-thirds (61%) don’t use social media analytics to inform their SEO strategy.

61% don’t use #SocialMedia data to inform their #SEO strategy, according to a #Survey of 150 by @Semetrical @AudienseCo via @CMIContent @RoryHope. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

WHERE: (survey mention and gated content resources)

WHY IT MATTERS: To attract higher search rankings, your content must be highly useful to your target audience and stand out from your competitors’ content. This small survey reveals a big opportunity many brands overlook. Use your social media analytics and conversations to better identify the content (topics, formats, etc.) your target audience wants. 

HOW IT WAS DISCOVERED: Rory Hope from survey co-creator Semetrical shared the finding with us.

Drybar shows customers how to do it themselves

WHO: Drybar, a national brand of hair salons that began by providing only one service – blowouts

WHAT: When COVID-19 forced the close-contact business to temporarily close its doors (and its customers to forgo salon services everywhere), the national team went bigger in the video content game on how to deal with hair at home.

WHERE: Drybar YouTube channel or Drybar video page

WHY IT MATTERS: “(Video) was the only thing we really could be doing,” founder Alli Webb said at the recent virtual Inc. 5000 conference. But the pandemic bridge to retain its customers with how-to videos wasn’t built from scratch. It was an expansion of what the company had been willing to share for the past few years.

To some, it seems counterintuitive to publish DIY content about how to do your service or create your product. But Drybar demonstrates that this approach works, as it grew to a $100 million business in six years. Drybar understands that its customers buy the salon experience and the expertise of its stylists – and they’ll pay for it even though they could follow the video tutorials and do their hair at home.

.@TheDrybar didn’t worry about losing business when it created video how-to tutorials of what its stylists do in the salon, says @AnnGynn via @CMIContent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

HOW IT WAS DISCOVERED: CMI editorial consultant Ann Gynn saw Alli’s conversation during the Inc. 5000 conference.

Notice something interesting in content marketing? Share it with fellow Content Marketing Institute readers. When you’re intrigued, puzzled, or surprised by an example, news, or something else in content marketing, share it with us by completing this form. Your submission may be featured in an upcoming Weekly Wrap.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute