From this point forward, you’re not allowed to blame an industry for preventing you from coming up with compelling content ideas.
That’s an excuse that masks the real cause of boring content: lack of imagination.
Here are 6 adaptable content ideas that have gone viral and driven brand awareness for a wide variety of businesses.
1. A Different Type of Educational
Euro Car Parts posted a video last year that explained how an automotive differential works. Over 50,000,000 people watched it.
Everyone and their mother will sing the benefits of educational content. But the “educational” we usually think about is prescriptive.
The video above is different.
It teaches you something that you don’t really need to know. Yet, after you watch it, you’re satisfied, because you learned something new and complicated… all in 3 minutes and 51 seconds.
And, just like when you read a Snapple Fact, you want to show off by sharing your quirky, newfound knowledge.
For the business, that translates into tons of engagement and views.
2. A Product Demo With a Twist
Blendtec created this video of a blender and it quickly accumulated 12,655,798 views. How did they make a blender so interesting?
They tossed a phone in it.
This idea is easily applicable to other products or service providers.
A pressure washing service provider could demonstrate their high-pressure hoses by using them to cut glass or wood.
Cutco always shows off how their scissors can cut pennies, dimes, and quarters.
Even Tupperware salesman can leverage this technique by challenging a strong man to rip their product…
And when they can’t do it:
This idea taps into people’s natural curiosity. By pitting two familiar things against each other in unexpected ways, you create mystery.
Who will win? The blender, or the phone? The Tupperware, or the strong man?
People want to know what’s going to happen, and they’re willing to click to find out.
3. Be Casually Cool
Anyone who spends extended periods of time doing a certain activity will become desensitized to that activity.
Imagine that the next time you took a flight, you were allowed in the cockpit. The experience would be novel and amazing.
But if you were allowed in the cockpit on every single flight you took, you’d be over it fairly quickly. You might not even bother checking out the cockpit after your fourth or fifth opportunity to do so.
Regular people may be fascinated to see certain parts of your product or service in action, even if you find it boring.
Case in point?
Texas Green Blast, a media blasting service provider uses high-pressure blasters to strip paint, graffiti and rust off buildings and vehicles.
They posted a video of themselves simply doing their job and attracted more than 4,000,000 views.
4. Create a Time Lapse
This is one of my personal favorites, especially for companies that provide any type of physical construction services.
After all, watching a custom home builder construct a house in real time is about as exciting as watching paint dry. But speeding that process up by 50X makes for a really cool video.
And, it’s a great demonstration of that builder’s capabilities.
Even replacing a driveway is cool enough to get a million views when you lapse time…
Something slightly cooler, and more well done, could bring in seven million views:
5. Fails that Are Relevant to Your Business
As mean-spirited as it sounds, we love to take pleasure in other people’s pain. This universal truth about humans is part of what makes slapstick humor funny.
We laugh at the man who slips on a banana or the roadrunner that falls off a cliff.
That’s why fails make such entertaining content.
Just check out the video below. Despite it being about 5 minutes too long and shot on a cell phone, it brought in 1.5 million views.
And it’s about roofing.
6. Make it Exclusive to a Certain Group
In good and bad ways, people like to belong to groups because it helps them make sense of their own identity. And they like being reminded that they are part of that group.
It’s this sort of social tribalism that you can tap to drive engagement
Keep an eye out and you’ll see tons of examples, but here’s an example from Business Insider titled, 25 Jokes that Only Accountants Will Find Funny.”
And another one from AppSee:
This idea is super flexible. You can use it to create content that appeals to all sorts of “tribes,” such as people in a certain industry, location, age group, or occupation.
Another option is to appeal to people with a shared interest such as fans of a given TV show, sports team, book, or movie.
Content Ideas are Everywhere
A media blasting service, an auto parts seller, a roofer, a paving contractor, and a blender salesman have all found a way to get over a million people to look at content relevant to their business.
To be clear, these content ideas won’t directly drive sales. These ideas are meant to work for marketers focused on improving brand awareness.
Also, don’t be put off by the fact that all the examples shown are videos. You could easily convert many of these videos (except for time lapses) into other forms of content and achieve similar effects.
The reason these content ideas work is that they tap into human psychology, which you can do effectively with text and photos.