Content riskWould you consider yourself someone who relishes taking the odd risk in life? Or do you prefer to take the safe, tried and tested route?

Chances are that even if you’ve been known to dabble at the blackjack table during your leisure time, when it comes to taking a risk with the business you’ve built on blood, sweat and hard-earned money, you might have a very different outlook on just how risky you like to play it.

Recently, I came across a short article on The Authentic Storytelling Project‘s site where the author put forward a particularly strong opinion on the subject of taking risks with your content marketing strategy. He felt, in fact, that the reason some fail is that they play it far too safe, choosing only to share content that is unlikely to inspire a strong reaction from readers or is so ‘watered down’ that it ultimately has nothing of value to offer.

When it comes to perfecting your content marketing strategy, sometimes you might not know whether something is going to work until you try it. However, by making sure you understand your target audience inside out, you can put you and your company in the best possible position to take a calculated risk – one where the odds are stacked mostly in your favour.

But why should you take a risk when you could stick to the safe road?

There are a few key reasons. The first is that it can help you to stand out from the competition, give you a boost in a saturated marketplace and help gain recognition from the people who matter to your business.

The second is that it can break through a plateau – after all, if you stick to the same routine, you’re likely to keep seeing the same results.

And thirdly, taking a risk can actually increase loyalty to your brand. Many businesses avoid taking a risk with their content marketing due to the fear of alienating some of their readers. But when you look at it from the other side, it could make those that ‘get’ your message, stick with you closer, enhancing their loyalty.

One example of a big name brand that took a marketing risk which paid off is Domino’s. After giving their product line a revamp and upgrade, the pizza brand released content that apologised for and criticised everything about their pizza, referring to the crusts as ‘tasting like cardboard’ and the sauce resembling ketchup. A risky strategy indeed, but this self-deprecatingly honest approach helped the new product range take off and turned the company’s dwindling sales around.

However, Domino’s risk was carefully calculated – they used criticism that had come from real-life consumers and conducted research into what they really thought of the product and what they might need to do to switch it up in the future.

Dog pizza

Considering taking a risk with your content? Here are a few places to start:

1. Take a stand

I’m not telling you to start spouting off with some controversial and divisive new opinion, but taking a stance on a debatable issue in a piece of content can help those who are aligned with your brand to feel increasingly connected. It can generate engagement and debate too, raising the profile of your brand. Steer clear of topics like politics and religion though, eh? The best bet is to focus on hot topics within your industry.

Trump

2. Experiment with new platforms

It makes perfect sense to focus your efforts on one or two platforms relevant to your business, particularly if you are an SME with limited resources. But if this isn’t getting the results you want, it might be better to mix it up. Find out which platforms are popular with your target market and give it a try. You might win round a whole new crowd.

3. Don’t be afraid to fail

If a calculated risk doesn’t quite pay off like you hoped, look at why it didn’t work out and use that to inform your future strategy. Uncertainty can be daunting but if you strike gold, your business will reap the benefits in the future.

Need some inspiration to spice up your content marketing efforts? Contact M2 Bespoke on 01225 720099 to find out what we can do for you.

Ben Hollom

September 8, 2016