The Carnival as a Metaphor for Alluring Content
Just like a carnival, variety brings visitors.
By Kelsey Jones
Traveling carnivals are the highlight of many kidsí summers,
allowing them to check out rides that they never would have ridden otherwise.
There are several popular rides at carnivals that perfectly describe the different
types of content that associations should be incorporating into our own content
The Ferris Wheel Explains What You Offer
The Ferris wheel is a ride that lifts you up out of the
excitement, giving you a birdís eye view of what is happening below. It doesnít
rush you or drive up your adrenaline; instead, it gives you a good overall
perspective as to what the carnival has to offer.
Your association can create its own Ferris wheel of content
on your website by having an easy-to-understand services or library page. If
your association offers a lot of services or content pieces (or both), it is
easy for visitors to get overwhelmed (experiencing choice paralysis, which
isbad) and end up not exploring more pieces of the website, even though
they hadnít yet found what they were looking for.
The Roller Coaster is Your Big Rock Content
The roller coaster is the capstone of any carnival. As an
adult (or a slightly nerdy kid), you think about all the time and effort it
took to construct such a huge ride, and its presence towers over the rest of
the rides. Itís usually near the back, so you have to go past all the other
just-as-cool-but-slightly-smaller rides to reach it.
Just like the carnival gives us the roller coaster, associations
should produce 1-5 pieces of big content a year. Of course, this is largely
dependent on resources, but large pieces of content not only provide
credibility and act as a lead generator to attract visitors to the
associationís other "ridesĒ, but also it can be broken up into smaller pieces
The Carousel is Your Linkbait Content
No matter how old you are, riding the carousel is something
you never really outgrow. You get to choose the specific, unique horse or
animal that appeals to you and while on the ride, you can check out the other
choices available. Maybe on the next turn, you choose to ride a rabbit or a
giant bear. The bright lights and fun music make it hard to get off.
Like the carousel, organizations have really stepped up
their game when it comes to content offerings. Because of this, there is so
much great content to consume. Using pop culture to create tie-ins to the
points you want to make, or using analogies to get your point across, you can
create fun content that people want to share.
While there is a fine line between being too hokey and
continuously being engaging, itís important to actually provide value behind
the snazzy title or fancy, colorful graphics. Link to related content at the
end of posts and provide easy-to-see social sharing buttons to make sure your
content gets shared.
The Bumper Cars Give You Competitive Insight
The bumper cars are always a favorite of the kids who are
constantly trying to keep their competitive nature under wraps. It allows you
to ram into the kid youíve always found annoying in class and also gives you an
equal playing field between the big timers (the adults) and your fellow
classmates because everyone has the same size car.
When it comes to content, it helps to scope out your
competition to see what they are doing on the content front. However, this
doesnít mean you should be copying their style. After all, one kidís bumper car
strategy can be totally ineffective against at adult who is braver and makes
faster turns. Being aware of what others are doing gives you perspective on
your own content, and can also lead to bigger and better ideas by identifying
See something they arenít doing in their content marketing
strategy, like podcasts or white papers? Take your chance to fill in the gaps.
The Octopus is Your Good Old Standby
Much like the Ferris wheel, the Octopus ride is one that
everyone seems to like. Itís a mainstay at almost every carnival, and itís
usually positioned at the forefront. Itís continuously popular, not too
intrusive, and always fun.
Your octopus content is that predictable, engaging content
that readers expect from your blog or website. Not every piece of content you
produce has to be completely exciting; the majority of readers want practical,
interesting information that they can directly apply to their work. If you are
trying to make every piece of content a viral success, it could backfire
because you look like you are trying too hard.
What is your favorite ride on the carnival? Do you like to
sample a little bit of everything, or do you find yourself going to the same
ride over and over, missing out on the joy of a good carousel ride or the serenity
of the Ferris wheel pausing with your car at the top? Mix up your content
strategy and your audience will appreciate the variety.
Jones is a search and social consultant at
MoxieDot. Published with permission from READZ.com.