Imagine my surprise when the following subject line appeared in my inbox over the weekend:
“The Real Reason Men Can’t Have Multiple Orgasms”
No, it wasn’t an email from Cialis or Viagra that fought its way through the spam filters. (You don’t know how tempted I was to make that sentence far less bearable than it was, but I digress.) It was actually a brilliant content marketing case study as it was the headline for an email newsletter I subscribe to.
Any guesses as to who might have that as an email subject line? If you said Dollar Shave Club, you’re probably a customer, too. I doubt anyone could have guessed that otherwise.
Most known for its amazing launch video, Dollar Shave Club has disrupted a decades-old product category by making razors a cheap, subscription service. I’ve been a subscriber for almost two years and even bought my dad a subscription for Father’s Day last year.
And I get their email newsletter. And it’s an awesome content marketing case study.
Here’s the headlines from this week’s, in addition to the interesting, if not amusing piece about male orgasms:
- Does using a toilet seat protector really protect you from anything?
- What happens if you just stop trimming your finger and toe nails?
- How to look good while wearing a hat
- A fitness guide for people with no free time (And who want to lose the dad bod)
- Everything you need to know about doing your girlfriend’s laundry
- The BS science behind 10 common health myths
- How did dinosaurs have sex? (Technically a podcast episode)
- How does every product in your bathroom actually work?
- How your credit rating came to define your life — and your ability to buy almost anything
Now, these are all blog/website posts from the previous few weeks. So the newsletter is just a link list to the content they’ve already published. But look at all those headlines. Which one(s) are about shaving? That’s right. None of them.
A Great Content Marketing Case Study Is About The Audience
The instinct you will have as a small business owner or marketer is to sell and promote your product or service. And you should follow that instinct in the appropriate communications channel for sales and promotions. Advertising is that channel. Public relations is not. Community relations is not. Content marketing is not.
Content marketing — which fuels the social media and much of the digital marketing channel — is best done with the content is focused on what the audience wants or needs, not on the one thing you sell that they might. Dollar Shave Club is trying to reach a male demographic, probably one that skews young adult. So their content is focused on quirky, humorous, edgy lifestyle pieces that a 20- or 30-something dude would enjoy.
Us 44-year-old dudes enjoy it, too.
That’s why this is an excellent content marketing case study.
By serving its audience with content focused on what we are interested in, Dollar Shave Club fortifies itself as a resource in our lives. Sure, I buy their razors, but I also read their articles, pass good ones on to others and visit their website periodically despite the fact I don’t need to in order to continue to receive my razors.
What Dollar Shave Club has done with me is solidified itself as a brand I trust and depend on. No amount of coupons or advertising is going to convince me to try Harry’s (DSC’s main competitor) or go back to buying expensive razors at Target. This is a brand I will maintain loyalty to, even after it sold to Unilever and is thus no longer a challenger brand.
Your Content Marketing Case Study Assignment
You can learn from this content marketing case study by looking at your audience not as a group of people you’re obligated to inundate with “news” about your product. But as a group of people you can serve with articles, ideas and advice they need in their everyday lives. Do you sell insurance? Then your audience will likely be people who are interested in safety, money management, etc. Do you sell high-end air compressors for diesel engines? Your audience is probably really interested in advanced mechanics, motor engineering or perhaps the construction industry.
You can’t name an audience that can’t be defined by some broad level of interest for you to focus your content upon. So do that! Define your broad focus, then break that down into categories. (Dollar Shave Club’s categories include grooming, health, style, work, features and time wasters.)
Then, break each category down into content ideas and get to writing. Or finding. Remember, especially for your social channels, you can curate content rather than create it yourself. See my recent Facebook Live post on how to do so in just minutes each day for a primer.
So what broad category did you come up with? Share it, along with your business, industry or product in the comments so we can all learn!