Blog | 12 January 2016

A month for contemplation

We trust you are refreshed after your festive break and full of resolve that 2016 will be an even better year for you and yours than 2015. On the other hand, maybe you are just full of remorse and loathing from the drunken shenanigans you unusually, but predictably, partook in.

Either way January has always been a month for contemplation. Named after Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and transitions, it signified being able to look backwards and forwards at the same time. The Anglo-Saxons called it ‘Wolf-Month’ because wolves would come into the villages in search of food – leading to contemplation on whether it was actually safe to leave the hut.

The first day of January was a highly significant day for medieval superstitions regarding prosperity. A flat cake was put on one of the horns of a cow in every farmyard. The farmer and his workers would then sing a song and dance around the cow until the cake was thrown to the ground. If it fell in front of the cow that signified good luck; to fall behind indicated the opposite. Idiots.

So welcome to a superstition-free 2016 and this resolution-laden edition of Contentology.

hny

Opinion

I will eat more healthily. I will drink less. I will take up a new hobby. I will stop shouting abuse at strangers in the street. We all make resolutions at this time of year but less than half of us stick to them for more than six months. Personal resolutions are always trickier because there are so many variables at work. But unresolved childhood trauma doesn’t affect the machinations of business in the same way so here are Contentology’s three easy-to-follow resolutions for your content marketing activities.

 

  1. I will invest more in my content. Producing content is easy. Producing effective quality content is harder, and more expensive. Whether you outsource your content production or keep it in-house, you’re going to pay for it – one way or another. Either you accept the time investment required to produce consistently effective, quality content, or you’ll have to front up and pay someone to do it for you.
  2. I will not get paranoid about frequency. With everyone, and by that we mean the competition, producing content at a frenzied rate, the temptation to increase the frequency of your publishing is palpable and fear-inducing. You can deal with this by… a) Reading resolution no.1. Or b) Calming down and focusing on producing something of high quality at a reasonable price that will cut through the noise, rather than slinging mud at a wall to get it covered.
  3. I will try new content types. One of the problems with modern marketing is that few people are prepared to take risks. After all, if it’s not broke why fix it? Well this is why so much of the content we are exposed to is drivel. It’s designed to meet a metric, which meets an objective. And where’s the harm in that, we hear you sob. Well, none, if you want your business to gradually sink into a mire of mediocrity. But if you want to stand out, make a change, cut through, grow like a teenager again, then you need to mix it up and try new stuff. Do it alongside the tried and tested for a bit of safety but DO IT.

Content we like

No trip to the beginning of the year would be complete without a fitness promotion. But rather than the usual ‘Get Ripped’, ‘Make Gains’, ‘Be the Best’ nonsense, Planet Fitness took a new approach promising ‘No gymtimidation’ (see what they did). This authentic and helpful approach was coupled with a spin-off website ‘Planet of Triumphs’ featuring videos and stories from real members as well as video tips from professionals. The high number of shares and comments suggests that Planet Fitness has really captured hearts and minds.

planet fitness pic C10

The New Year is also a time for planning adventures and by way of that tenuous link, Contentology felt obliged to put this great bit of adventure-related content in front of you.

Gore-Tex has recently launched an exciting digital magazine, ‘Experience More’.

Each month, the brand that pioneered the category of performance outdoor apparel delivers eight original stories featuring everyday adventurers doing extraordinary things. The magazine highlights Gore-Tex’s brand and technology while also being a highly engaging read and watch.

Stats 

  1. One of the most severe winters in history began in January 1205, when the River Thames froze over, and frozen ale and wine were sold by weight.
  2. 1 January 1931 saw traffic policemen introduced to the UK.
  3. A.A. Milne, author of Winnie the Pooh, was born on 18 January 1882.
  4. Mozart, one of the world’s greatest composers, was born on 27 January 1756.
  5. The first recorded reference to a ‘January sale’ was in 1865.
  6. More couples separate or divorce in January than any other month.
  7. 16 January is National Nothing Day in the US. A day to celebrate absolutely nothing.
  8. 11 January 1935 saw Amelia Earhart begin her solo flight across the Pacific.
  9. Blue Suede Shoes was recorded by Elvis Presley on 30 January 1956. Uh-huh.
  10. One of the biggest days for music was 30 January 1969. It was the day The Beatles gave their last live performance.
Alex Marks
Alex Marks
Strategy Consultant

Alex supports the strategic development of River's business and acts as an experienced marketing partner for our client teams. He is a regular commentator, writer and conference speaker on a wide variety of digital,  marketing,  and content strategy issues.