One of the greatest storytellers and communicators that have ever lived is probably Jesus Christ. What can we, as communicators in the 21st century, learn from what Jesus has done for his organization – Christianity? I have pinpointed ten ways of applying Jesus’ ways of communicating to your current content marketing efforts.’
Jesus was first and foremost a great storyteller. The Bible is full of exciting stories that people love to hear about and to share. By telling great stories, Jesus was able to get his audience attention and engagement and use them to get his points across.
Every company and brand should have its own set of stories that can be told in different ways. Generally speaking, the stories do not have to be created or forced; they already exist and are being told by employees. It’s up to the communication and marketing team to take care of these stories or give the employees the necessary communication tools to tell them.
Christianity has an extensive use of imagery to support the messages, such as stars, doves, anchors, icons, crosses, angels, candles, gold and people holding hands. A consistent use of imagery increasingly important when companies use more and more different channels to communicate.
3. Tailored messages
Jesus knew how to tailor his messages to different target groups. He could tell long intriguing stories about burning bushes and the creation of the world, but also short (140 characters or less) one-liners such as “Love thy next” and “Trust in God; trust also in me”.
True effective content marketing needs to be shared in many different communication channels and therefore it’s important to tailor your messages to make the most out of every channel. Pictures create most engagement on Facebook, Twitter messages need to be short and crisp, while a magazine article is text heavy but in need of a good symbiosis between text and photos.
4. Consistent language
Jesus was a great public speaker and his tone of voice can is consistent with the language used in The Bible. He is well-articulated, bombastic and uses a lot of metaphors. A company’s general tone of voice needs to be stated in the communication plan and used consistently in all channels.
However, it’s important to understand that it’s recommended to use a different tone of voice in different channels and to be aware of that all content providers, whether they like it or not, will add their own flavours to the content.
5. User generated content
The words of Jesus have been told all over the world for more than 2,000 years and part of the reason is the way his predecessor and followers have packaged his messages. Psalms, Lord’s Prayer, Christian rock bands, words of wisdoms, the Ten Commandments and all the great stories told in The Bible are all very shareable friendly types of content. Also, Jesus actively encouraged people to spread his word.
6. Thought leadership
One of the great possible wins of using content marketing is the possibility to become a thought leader within certain subjects related to your brand or company. Jesus and Christianity is by many considered as thought leaders in areas such as family, morale and values. Every brand or company needs to think of what subject or field they can take a thought leading role in.
7. Communication themes
Arguably, Jesus built his communication around ten clear themes called the Ten Commandments. By doing this, he was able to maintain a common thread and also have a framework to base his communication efforts on. In companies, these themes is mostly found in the communication plan and should be developed to strengthen the connection to sales. It’s important for all communicators in an organization to be fully aware of these themes, regardless if the communication channel is Facebook or an annual report.
8. Brand ambassadors
All brands want ambassadors that tell their messages with a higher credibility than the brand itself has. Jesus’ stories are being told by ambassadors all over the world such as celebrities, priests, evangelists, world leaders and, of course, his own twelve disciples.
Brand ambassadors can be either paid or voluntary and while paid ambassadors such as celebrity endorsement can be effective, great content marketing will create loyal brand ambassadors that can help spreading the content.
9. Editorial hub
Spreading the word in many different channel is essential for content marketing, but it’s equally important to have one primary place, a hub, where most content is aggregated and reachable. Jesus’ followers knows that The Bible is his primary channel for communication, while the corporate website is most companies’ editorial hub.
10. Call to actions
Jesus knew what he wanted his content to achieve and often guided his audience towards this. He said “follow me and you will get/become/achieve this”. Content marketing without call to actions is just content, it’s vital for a communicator to always know how the content is supposed to affect the audience and what they should do after consuming it. Examples of call to actions is subscribing to a newsletter or newsfeed, downloading a whitepaper, watching a video or applying to a job
So there they are, Jesus’ Ten Commandments for content marketing. Follow all of them and you will be on your way to creating great engaging content that will form thought leadership, brand awareness and an engaged audience.