To create real business growth, sometimes you must look at things a little differently. Join me on an epic adventure as I explain how Carl and Ellie’s timeless love story in Up can help your content marketing strategy take off this year.
At face value, Disney Pixar’s Up is a tale of human loss, discovery and adventure.
But when you delve a little deeper into the storyline and the eternal love between Carl and Ellie, there are big lessons which can help transform your content marketing strategy to generate more sales and enhance brand awareness.
Valuable content marketing tips courtesy of Up’s Carl and Ellie
The boring stuff isn’t always boring
With Carl and Ellie’s beautiful love story running through, it’s easy to forget the role of the charismatic and persistent 8-year-old Junior Wilderness Explorer, Russell.
In fact, he delivers one of the most poignant lines in the whole film:
“This might sound boring, but I think the boring stuff is the stuff I remember the most”.
For the entire film, Carl is obsessed with the idea of adventure being a location. When in actual fact, the real adventure is already happening.
Carl and Ellie may not have ever made it to Paradise Falls together, but the small (sometimes seemingly insignificant) memories were the very things that made the journey and relationship so special.
In business, it’s surprising how many founders think what they know, where they’ve been, or what they do on a day-to-day basis aren’t valuable to others.
Yet, the things that may seem “boring” to you, often end up being very interesting to your target audience. It’s the reason why “Day in the life” posts are popular on social media and the most successful thought leaders constantly share free value-based tips, as opposed to forcing a sales agenda down someone’s throat.
Think of your knowledge and your story as breadcrumbs. When you leave one behind, you’re carefully influencing others and building trust, which eventually leads to a sale.
Casing point: In a study based on the modern consumer journey, Google found that the average consumer journey now involves anywhere between 20 and 500+ touchpoints.
So, if you think adding a story about your day or filming a rough and ready tip-based video for social media won’t make a difference, remember the importance of touchpoints and this moment in Up.
Watch out for those “Squirrel” moments
Whether it’s a new clothing capsule, fancy gadget or marketing channel, most of us get attracted by the latest flashy things.
In the marketing world, we call this Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS).
Many businesses can get caught up in trying to do everything instead of doing the right things well.
But these Dug-esc “Squirrel” moments can prove detrimental to your business’ growth if you don’t know how to control them, as you can end up spreading your time and budget too thinly.
The key to staying focused on the right things is to:
- Prioritise data-driven decisions – Google Analytics is your friend. Analyse the data to find trends and give priority to the metrics that align with your brand and objectives.
- Research your audience – Just because your favourite brands are jumping on a trend doesn’t mean you need to do it. Target people; not platforms. Does your target audience use the channel? Can you use a new tool to uncover new insights, which will help you generate a ROI?
However, it’s also worth noting the positive power of “squirrel” moments.
Think of Carl’s outlook on life following Ellie’s death. He’s stuck in an unhealthy routine with no room for change.
But the combination of Russell’s love of adventure and Dug’s “squirrel” moments remind Carl that it’s ok to look around and stay curious when the time is right. If you don’t, you may miss out on the things that actually bring you more shiny rewards.
So, if the data aligns and/or you think your audience may like the latest channel or tool, adopt a “try before you buy” approach. Utilise 7-day trials and allocate a small portion of your time every week to test the potential of new channels. Who knows, it might lead to your next exciting adventure.
A promise is a promise
Carl and Ellie’s “Cross my heart” pact is a running theme throughout the film. And when Carl eventually softens up and promises to protect Kevin (the bird), it’s a significant moment which transforms his relationship with the other characters.
The same principle applies to your content marketing strategy. When you state your values and how you do something, you’re making a promise. Not just to your customers, but to your people too.
These “Cross my heart” moments are the things that give you purpose. Which in turn, empowers those around you to believe in what you do, work harder and choose your brand over others.
So, take a moment to define these promises and always remember to reiterate them to the people around you.
Adventure is out there
“Adventure is out there.”
When you’re experiencing the rollercoaster of business, it’s easy to forget the importance of doing the very thing that started this journey in the first place – being adventurous.
Carl and Ellie never stopped seeking adventure from the moment they met to the very end. If you take just one lesson away from the film to implement into your content marketing strategy, it should be to always be willing to turn the page.
Some blogs work. Some don’t.
Some social posts land. Some get lost in the ether.
Some newsletters generate leads. Some generate unsubscribes.
But you know what? It’s ok.
The scene where Carl turns the page and reads “Thanks for the adventure. Now go have a new one! Love, Ellie”, is a reminder that when one chapter closes, there’s another one waiting.
It’s a simple matter of reflecting on what’s come before and being brave enough and adventurous enough to turn the page.
Take what you’ve learned from the previous chapter. Cherish it. Learn from it. Do whatever you need to help you make bigger, bolder and braver decisions next time around.
In practical content marketing terms, this curious and adventurous approach could consist of:
- Knowing when to quit – Being brave enough to ditch people or channels that aren’t working.
- Allocating more budget – If you’re seeing success, put more time and money into it. You’ll only regret the “what ifs”.
- Celebrating the past and embracing the future – Whether someone amazing has left your company or you experienced a record-breaking year, take the opportunity to drink in this moment. Then when the dust settles, consider how you can build a strategy to replicate or eclipse this phase. And if you come up short, don’t beat yourself up reminiscing about the “good old days”. Keep moving forward. Better (but different) days are ahead if you stay consistently adventurous.
Create your own voice
They always say don’t meet your heroes. Well, Charles Muntz is a perfect example of this. Carl and Ellie idolise the man, but all is not what it seems.
When developing a content marketing strategy, herd mentality is very commonplace.
“Apple did this, so we must do it.”
“I love what this big brand created. I’m going to do the same.”
In some ways, it’s similar to Shiny Object Syndrome. However, herd mentality can impact your core identity as a brand and its ability to successfully penetrate the market.
Admiration is acceptable in the same way learning from others is valuable. But don’t forget the art of creativity.
If you want to be regenerative, get in bed with ChatGPT and follow the crowd. There’s no shame in being a cog. But remember this – when you find a voice that’s true to you and your vision, it can make a huge difference to your business.
To find your tone of voice:
- Describe what you want your brand to sound like and be perceived as in three words.
- Use the three words to develop a brand voice chart – use one column to describe what the word means to you and two columns for dos and don’ts in the way you want these characteristics to be defined.
- Create a communications document outlining words people can and cannot use and how they should use the language in regular comms.
Up your content marketing strategy this year
Sometimes adventure is made for sharing. If you’re struggling to find the time or don’t have the resources to implement these valuable content marketing tips, you may want to speak to an expert.
At Content Chef, we adopt a phased approach to make things manageable from a financial and output perspective. Our team will work with you to create a content strategy which has your best interests at heart. That’s our promise to you. “Cross our hearts.”
In the meantime, if this article tickled your pickle, don't forget to subscribe to my LinkedIn newsletter.
Written by Daryl Charman