I love a good wedding.
I love the anticipation, the people-watching-potential, and – being a hopeless romantic – the idea that you’re part of someone’s significant chapter in their unfolding story of life.
But the bit that I really look forward to at the celebration of nuptials, is the chorus of speeches from best men and proud Dads.
I’m not sure this is necessary related to my career choice as a wordsmith, but I genuinely look forward to hearing the sentiment of an individual at someone’s special day.
Of course, there are times when I’ve sat in the chair and cringed at the narrative playing out before my eyes.
There was the time the father of the bride used his speech to have a lengthy pop at how disappointing his own marriage to his now ex wife was.
There was the inappropriate best-man nod to the fact he’d previously dated the bride.
And there was the gushing groom’s speech which left us all looking at our watches and hoping after 40 minutes that the fire alarm might get pressed so we could make a welcome exit to relieve us from his saccharine dialogue.
But, whether you like them or not, wedding speeches give us a great indication of how to approach your content marketing.
Here’s five key ways:
You’re a storyteller with a captive audience:
Just as the best man has the attention of every guest at the celebration, you have a potentially captive audience through the delivery of your content.
You have customers, stakeholders, suppliers, network groups, media representatives.
Each of these groups could prove relevant as the recipients of your content.
Consider your audience well and make sure your material is appropriate (ie – no X rated jokes in front of schoolgirl bridesmaids!).
You’re telling the story because you have something to share and because you can provide context and history. Use your platform wisely.
Let’s get visual (and other tactics):
Gone are the days of a wedding speech delivered only through reading from a few hastily penned prompt cards.
My brother’s featured a really quite bizarre photo story, while a colleague created an entire song for the guests to chime together as a memorable story reference about the groom’s favourite football team!
The point is that marketing content isn’t JUST about what you write. Use slide-shares, youtube video, white papers, interviews….a complete mix of delivery to engage and entice your audience.
Make them want to share it with their network too!
Comedy or controversy – what reaction do you want?
Reactions are what you’re after at a wedding. Everyone wants to get to a comedic punchline…but ideally without upsetting anyone or alienating yourself from the happy couple forever more.
What ‘reaction’ you want from your content marketing is a critical feature to consider in advance.
Do you want to drive customers to call your sales team immediately? Are you driving them to your website and hoping to advance your SEO activity? Is it a priority that you capture their contact details?
Make sure you know what you’re looking for as your outcome and reaction from your content marketing.
Only then can you know if you’ve been a success.
Not every speech is delivered in isolation. Some of the best I’ve heard have involved the groom’s friends sharing in the delivery, or the father of the bride calling on resources from a number of guests.
Don’t convince yourself that your brand’s content marketing must be ‘all about you’.
Sharing the platform with another business or brand which has a relevant contribution can mean that you both win, and means that you then both have material to share with a circuit of people you’d not previously been connected to.
Look at whether you incorporate research from someone else (with their approval) or feature an interview with someone who has an outside influence in your organisation.
Leave them wanting more:
This one is pretty inevitable, but it’s so key.
Don’t be the equivalent of the weepy-eyed groom going on for the best part of an hour.
Just as a speaker at a wedding wants to be remembered for the right reasons, so should you.
Keep the timing of your content just right, and create a means of your audience wanting to re-engage with you.
Consider whether you have instalments of video content or offer a future article or insight. Inspire your audience to come back for more.
I’m interested in hearing about new projects for which you or your brand may need support, so please get in touch.