I watch/listen to a lot of talk shows. Sports talk shows that is. And when you watch any genre of talk show over and over again, you start noticing patterns. Well what I noticed with sports talk shows is how they make their show fun. Its hard enough sitting in a lecture or a seminar for an hour, yet how the hell do we sit through an hour long show or radio program. What I found is that it revolves not around the content itself, but around the delivery. They make the delivery fun. They even incorporate games.
How Does this Apply for my Business?
Whether the show is local, an internet podcast or a national Emmy winning series, each show has their unique rituals and games they play. It sounds so corny because games remind us of high school ice breakers. But hey, if national tv shows are using it, they must be onto something.
As a business, we all are trying to deliver content. We are fighting for attention. This fight puts us up against everybody else in the world who wants that attention. Thus, the interest and engagement of you content is everything. Well what better way to understand how to engage and interest then to look at people who do it well.
To give you some real examples of what I’m talking about, here are some of my favorites:
The Starters – Is this News
This one is fairly simple. In the sporting world, rumors fly around like a high school love triangle. What the cast of the Starters does is take different rumors or announcements and discuss whether it really should warrant national media attention. The reason being as viewers who are not talking with athletes or teams on a daily basis, it can get hard for us to evaluate whether something is true or not.
The discussions are lively and you get to see differing opinions between the cast on why things should be even talked about. Its relevant, yet it adds a fun spin because you just feel like you are able to hear and discuss things and determine if their news before it jumps everywhere.
ESPN 710 with John Ireland and Steve Mason – Fast Track
This show is a radio program so you’ll notice the lack of TV production. John Ireland and Steve Mason have probably my favorite sports radio show. What I especially love is the game they play at 2pm on weekdays. Its called Fast Track.
Its simple. The two go back and forth asking each other question and playing games. For example, a typical question would be, “Who are the top 10 scoring teams in the NBA right now”. The other host will have to try and answer them. It simple, but its always fun to play along and just to see your favorite radio casters in a tough, fun situation.
Inside the NBA – Who He Play For?
Who He Play For is a famous game show that most NBA fans will know. It involves a cast of retired NBA players and the famed, Ernie Johnson, engaged in a game of exactly what it sounds like. All the question are posed to Charles Barkley who will have to try and guess which team the player plays for. He famously has a losing record, going 0,1, or 2 out of 5 most of the time.
It add some hilarity to the show and it helps the viewer at home assess how hardcore of a NBA fan they are as well. Often each year the game is played, Charles will come out with a losing record screaming, “All those teams stink! I don’t watch bad teams!”
What Does This Mean for My Content Marketing?
The point I’m trying to make is that when it comes to your content, try to have some fun with it. At the end of the day your trying to catch the attention of our viewers, you want them entertained. Little fun games like the ones above can set you apart.
If your thinking that for sports its easier because its all fun and games, you need to stop that kind of thinking right now. We all know sports is serious business for a lot of people. Many careers and livelihoods revolve around the world of sports.
For your business there is definitely an avenue. Think about it, these guys are trying to make a living and signing multi million dollar deals to have shows like this on the air. Yet they have instilled games into their shows because they know it adds character and entertainment value. If your worrying about professionalism, think about these guys. They are airing to thousands and sometimes even millions of people. If they do it, there must be something to it.
What If It Looks Unprofessional?
This is actually a valid point. At the end of the day you need to be aligning your content with your brand. If your business is all about prestige and have a strict slant towards being serious, then you have to find something creative that doesn’t take away from your brand. So what I’m saying is maybe less of a game, but a recurring theme. These are easy. For example, you can do a “Top 5 Finds on Friday”.
The point is to be good at holding your audience’s attention. You don’t have to be talking about the same topic day in and day out. You can change it up, be creative with it. Don’t be afraid to show character and personality.