2nd August 2018

Surprise and delight – why content should be like a lovely cup of tea

Scrolling through LinkedIn this week, I stopped for a few minutes and sat and watched a video to the end (something I very rarely do these days), and smiled.

What was this completely engaging piece of content? Something particularly relevant to me, my interests or my job? No… it was Yorkshire Tea’s 5,000 biscuit domino rally a beautiful filmed and composed piece of content consisting of 5,000 biscuits falling over domino style.

So what was it about this video that made me stop, watch and smile? Sure I like tea and biscuits, but was it just that? For one thing, it made me smile. Secondly it was surprising content that was visually pleasing to watch, and it had a real feel good factor too.

The idea of surprise and delight style content is nothing new, and in the era of social media has grown more than ever. However it does still have an important place in the marketing mix, for both B2C and B2B brands.

We’re all busy people, so we know that content much stand out to have a chance of cutting through. This can be done in a number of ways – from aesthetically and emotionally pleasing content like Yorkshire teas, to making content completely contextual to the individual user. How can we as marketers learn from the content that makes us stop and smile? Remember that people buy people, no matter what they are buying. You must treat your audience as individuals and talk to them on a personal level, in terms of both message and timing.

Another piece of marketing that made me stop and smile this week was at the end of the spectrum. I have received a number of highly personalised emails from HubSpot which have directed me to particular pieces of content in its learning centre that have been completely relevant and appropriate to me at that moment. Beyond this I also received an invitation to a one-to-one training session which I have signed up to – perfectly timed content, delivered in an accessible way that made my life and my job easier. Really surprising and completely delightful content – a bit like a lovely surprise cup of tea and biscuit.