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4 lessons in content marketing from the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement

Wednesday’s Autumn Statement created a huge buzz among the Chancellor’s target market (i.e. the electorate). As I queued for my latte yesterday morning, everyone around me in the coffee shop was talking about it. And that made me think about the parallels between well-executed political discourse and the way good content marketing works.

Four things the Autumn Statement taught us about content marketing:

1. Implicitly deposition your competitors

One of the most important aspects of a content marketing approach is to position yourself as the expert in your particular sphere, and thus by association, to position your brand or product as the best solution. The aim is to lessen or eliminate the appeal of the competition.

With the surprisingly progressive stamp duty reforms outlined in his Autumn Statement, Osborne has eaten Labour and the Liberal Democrats’ lunch, by unveiling a suggested reform more dramatic and more in line with his opposition’s own policies. In layman’s terms, he’s used their own position against them, leaving them little opportunity to counter-strike.

The Guardian explains: ‘The aim [of the stamp duty reforms] is, yet again, snookering Labour, by contrasting the opposition’s obsession with levying mansions, with a Tory tax-cutting route to reform that can, supposedly, leave virtually everyone better off. ‘

2. Use surprise to generate buzz

Osborne’s speech is a perfect example of how successfully marrying good content with a good strategy can have a powerful effect.

His big stamp-duty reveal was a metaphorical rabbit pulled from a metaphorical hat—a surprise that didn’t entirely fit with the Conservative’s existing reputation or policies. This ‘surprise’ approach generated a buzz that got everyone talking about the speech, which in turn got the Conservatives one step closer to selling their product (which, in this case, is re-election next year).

Content marketers can use similar techniques—think about how a surprising new way of pricing or selling a product could be used to generate buzz, and eventually drive sales.

3. Contrast the threat of ‘no action’ with the promise of a better world

The threat and promise is a proven and widely used content technique. You’ve probably used it yourself on several occasions. It can also be thought of as ‘the sales traffic light’, and in Osborne’s speech it works the following way:

Step 1: This is the current state of the economy, and unless we do something it’s going to get worse.

Step 2: Don’t worry, though, because we have the perfect solution to this problem.

Step 3: BUT, you must vote for us so we can execute it. If not…see Step 1.

Think about how often you’ve used this technique in your own campaigns. You’ll often start a piece of content with an overview of the issue affecting a company or industry. This poses the question, ‘what will happen if we don’t do anything about this problem?’ Then, of course, you introduce the solution that will change everything for the better.

4. Using the right words

In politics, as in marketing, choosing the right words is essential to capturing attention, generating interest, getting people talking, and making sure your argument is understood and acted upon.

Words are some of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal, so you need to use them in the way that will make the greatest possible impact.

In marketing, this means hiring great copywriters. In politics, it usually means having a great speechwriter. In both it can mean the difference between people buying what you do and what you’re selling, seeing right through your patter.

The Chancellor as content marketer

The Chancellor is luckier than most B2B content marketers in that he doesn’t usually have to fight for attention in the same way we do. But just like us, he has to sell himself as a trusted expert, make a clear and persuasive argument, position his party and policies (read: brand and products) as a preferable alternative to the competition, and ultimately convince the electorate to buy what he’s selling. And the Autumn Statement was a masterclass in how to do just that.

For some unpoliticised advice on how to master your content strategy, download our free no BS guide to content marketing today.

Orginial article courtesy of the Tracepoint blog.