Though there is much debate surrounding Die Hard being a Christmas movie, and whether films such as The Nightmare Before Christmas and Gremlins should be deemed more Halloween-esque than festive, no-one at Embryo can deny that The Snowman – the 1982 cartoon classic, based on the 1978 book by Raymond Briggs – is anything but Christmassy. If the scenes of Christmas trees, presents and winter wonderland weren’t anything to go off, the main characters meet Santa and his reindeer toward the end – and you can’t get much more seasonal than that! I’ve watched The Snowman every year for as long as I can remember and never tire of its beautiful animation, clear storytelling and what lessons we can take from it. This year, I realised that there are many lessons that can apply to content marketing too, and in this blog post, I’d like to detail some of them. So if you haven’t yet had your fill of festive content marketing, then this is the piece of content for you!
Content Marketing Efforts & The Content Creation Process
Is there anything more lovely than waking up to snow during winter? Many of us would take advantage of this – going tobogganing, having snowball fights and building snowmen and other wonderful creations that we hope will last. When the little boy wakes up in The Snowman, he can’t wait to go outside and build one for himself – and with the help of his mother, dresses appropriately with a hat, scarf, pair of gloves and coat in tow. Making the best of the provided situation is what content marketing is all about. We see an opportunity to offer clients and customers relevant content that will meet their needs, in the hopes of instilling greater trust in them, and showing them how the brand, product or service can benefit them. Without his protective gear, the little boy could catch a cold, or find his activity hindered. With it though, he’s able to create something quite magical. And though bringing snowmen to life was likely not part of the winter clothing marketing material his mother (or other kind family member) looked at when considering what to buy, it’s likely she/they would have considered the quality of the clothing, its durability and what the boy would have been using them for. These are key considerations for all content marketing campaigns – especially when it comes to content strategy, the consideration stage and aligning this with business goals.
While the boy is building the snowman, he also considers what will make it more life-life, adding a scarf, hat, tangerine nose, and buttons made from coal that he finds in his shed. User-generated content is also a key part of content marketing, as is asking your audience what they’d like to see from your brand. It’s quite possible that another child may have created a very different-looking snowman – in fact, in the sequel, a snowdog is built. By leaning into audience interests, regularly touching base with them – for example, through your social media channels – you can take audience collaboration to the next level, and truly build products and services around their needs. And by doing so, you can boost customer engagement and loyalty no end, ensuring they always come back for more.
Compelling Content & The Customer Journey In Content Marketing
When the snowman comes to life, the child can’t wait to show his new friend around his home. Interacting with the television, the lamp and the oven – both fun and near danger is shown. The snowman clearly prefers the freezer. And therein lies the importance of proper use content, along with demos, instructions and guides. If you consider the dangers of the Tide Pod Challenge, where individuals were ingesting laundry detergent, you can see how creative people can get with seemingly mundane objects. Along with this, staying up to date with industry trends, forum discussions and the FAQs potential customers are searching for in the SERPs can ensure you’re always one step ahead, and can create content marketing strategies that meet their needs, and ensure safe use of your products and services too. Keyword research is fundamental to this, and can help form the basis of said strategies too.
As the child shares more of his life with the snowman – you realise how ingrained a brand, product or service can become within the life of your target audience, and how much happiness can be provided. Even something as simple as laundry detergent can help to make clothes smell fresher, feel cleaner and provide confidence to the wearer. These are all product benefits, and are what we in content marketing are always on the lookout for – along with brand values, unique selling points (USPs) and key messages. I’d argue that in The Snowman – key messages include friendship, community and hospitality. In content creation, you should always be considering what makes your offering different, and better, and why a client or customer would choose you over your competitors.
Perhaps the most iconic part of The Snowman follows, when the snowman takes the child by the hand and they glide through the sky, to the music of ‘Walking In The Air’. Illustrations of snowy fields, land near the pier and the sea provide a gorgeous backdrop only brightened by the child’s amazement at all he sees. And though not every consumer journey can be as beautiful, as content marketers, we should always be thinking about how we can make every touchpoint as useful, user-friendly and enjoyable as the last (if not more so) to encourage conversions. Because each customer journey could lead to something more fantastic. In The Snowman, the child gets to meet other snowmen, and enjoy a lovely party. In real life, this could be likened to networking and meeting like-minded individuals who share your passion. Could networking events expand your reach and create better customer relationships? Could establishing brand communities create further conversions around your brand for better product offering? A conversion – whether that’s a newsletter sign up, filling in a quote form or purchasing a product – never has to be the end point. There’s always greater lifetime value that can be gained for the benefit of both business and its customers.
Many find the cartoon’s ending sad, and this is certainly understandable. The snowman has melted and all of the fantastic adventures that happened the night before seem lost. Should strategy not produce the desired outcome, or we ever feel a change is required, then content efforts can focus on updated keyword research, new avenues and further research into the audience. Sitting around, mourning the loss of a snowman while the credits roll is fine for some, but how you deal with the unexpected is what will determine future success. The little boy could have created a new snowman from the surrounding snow. You can create a new content marketing campaign with the resources available to you – likely the creative talent of your team, and the dedication they each have to your clients and their customers.
The Snowman remains one of the staples of many a festive season, and I’m sure this will continue for years to come. If you’ve been considering a new content marketing strategy for the new year, and would like some assistance, then the team here at Embryo would be happy to help. Simply call us today on 0161 327 2635 to learn more about content marketing, as well as other relevant services such as SEO, Paid Social and Digital PR. Have a fantastic new year everyone!