What can one of the most enduring and endearing characters in modern cinema teach us about content marketing? Is it ok to be shaken but not stirred? Always serve your audience like Queen and country? Make the most of your license to thrill? That a snappy line can be just as deadly as a Walther PPK? Perhaps, but in his most recent film, Skyfall, everyone?s favorite spy hit his stride like never before, and exposed some of the most classified secrets to success in any?theater?of operation. If you’re looking to make your content as lethally sleek and sexy as a ?fully loaded? Aston Martin DB5, here’s a tip – be like? Bond, James Bond? And here’s how: (Don?t worry, a good spy keeps the right things covered up – no spoilers here)!
Enjoy Death: In an early scene, Bond answers where he?s been saying, ?Enjoying death. As morbid as it sounds, this concept has a very useful application to content marketing. Let?s face it, not all pieces of content make it. Some ideas inevitably flop, but instead of just forgetting the failure, embrace it, learn from it and enjoy it so good content can live and let die what isn’t working.
Make a Hobby of Resurrection: As a character, Bond seems to escape death time and time again, as a franchise; Bond movies have found new life generation after generation – apparently, resurrection really can be a hobby. When it comes to good content, just waiting for it to die another day after it’s served its purpose isn’t exactly a bullet proof strategy. You really can?t keep good content down, so whenever possible, repurpose, repackage, reinvent or just resurrect your best materials.
Agent / Provocateur: In a cheeky word association scene, Bond connects agent with provocateur, and for anyone considering themselves agents of content marketing, this distinction is important. Content isn’t merely meant to be shelled out like bullets. It’s produced to provoke thought or emotion as much as (if not more than) it’s meant to spread brand awareness. It doesn’t take a doctor to know that good content pushes buttons, pulls triggers, and can have a rather explosive effect on those who experience it.
Less Random, More Personal Statements: In Skyfall, Bond?s newest toy from Q branch is a handprint secured Walther PPK pistol which only fires for 007. Q describes it as ?less of a random killing machine, more of a personal statement. For Bond, this innovation has its benefits, but for content, the power of a personal touch goes even further. When content is tailored to specific audiences, or open to interactivity with specific people as if it were for their eyes only, the content can make the audience feel involved and connected beyond just viewing a page or spending time on site.
No Exploding Pens: Diamonds are forever, but gimmicks aren?t. Although there’s always a cool factor, the flashy gadgets never get the job done for Bond on their own. It always takes a little 007 ingenuity to get a useful impact out of his high tech toys. The same proves true for content — for all the high tech toys available to content marketers, there’s often a temptation to rely on the tools instead of the training. In the end, this tends to explode in one?s face. Content is driven by creativity; the tools are only enhancements.
Be Resourceful: Sometimes, the right gadget is hard to find or even unavailable, but you?d never hear Bond complain ?well, it would?ve worked if I had?? Why? Because Bond, being the elite agent he is, always makes the most of what he has. You may not have a gold finger for developing technology, but as long as you have something like a strong message or a unique perspective that may, in fact, be all you need. Some of the most effective content can come from sparse budgets and limited resources, and simply finding a way to make the content work is what makes it resonate in the end.
Sometimes, the Old Ways Are the Best: ?Bond is never afraid to be a simple, blunt instrument as long as it gets the job done. Why be a man with a golden gun when all one needs is a knife? For content marketers as well, some of the simplest and oldest ways to get the job done are still the best. Storytelling, for example, is the oldest marketing tactic in the book (well, even before the book), but the profound effect of sharing a dynamic narrative wrapped in calls to emotion makes it endure as one of the most powerful and compelling ?weapons in a marketer?s arsenal.