A Solid Content Strategy That Will Be Right Here Waiting for You


What I’m about to say might make you raise your eyebrows. There’s a possibility that you might even laugh in my avatar-face while saying something about an ’80s mullet.’ But you know what? I’m okay with that. It’s a chance I’m willing to take because what I’m about to tell you is also completely true.

Richard Marx is a beast when it comes to content marketing.

Yes, that Richard Marx. The one who had a sick (read: awesome) mullet in the 80s (arguably the best, in my opinion) and advised us to hold on to the nights. One of the kings of the power ballad. The guy who gave us Endless Summer Nights.

And though you might associate Mr. Marx with his late 80s and early 90s fame, the truth is that he’s still around and still making music. He and his team are also doing a pretty sweet job of content marketing, as well.

What tipped me off was his Twitter account, which I followed because I happen to really like Richard Marx. He and his team were always tweeting amusing commentary, both about life and music (his and others’), and I found it really humanizing. Especially the parts where he pokes fun at himself for the mullet and the fact that he’s a favorite “among moms.” This promo spot for his last album was a fantastic and humorous example of that (go ahead and watch. I will be right here waiting for you. [I’m sorry. I had to]):


The more closely I paid attention, the more I noticed that he was creating and sharing an awful lot of content:

  • Music
  • Videos of live performances
  • Video blogs
  • Video blogs in which he performed his own covers of current pop songs
  • An “Ask Richard” Q&A video series
  • Blog posts to keep you updated on all of his news, tour dates, and so forth.

Clearly, he’s a big fan of video, which is awesome, since it’s such a hot item in the content marketing toolbox right now.

So let’s have a look at what he’s got going on here across a few different platforms, shall we?

Web site

What I like about this site is the variety of media that’s there. There’s a latest video – whatever’s gone up on the YouTube page most recently – as well as a promo video. In this case, the promo video takes us on a nice little walk down Richard Marx Memory Lane as we get some clips of his music videos, concerts, and interviews that he’s done, as well as a look at what other artists he’s worked with (N*Sync, Keith Urban, Luther Vandross, and many others). There’s also a song there to listen to.

Something else that’s pretty cool? It’s a bit difficult to see in this picture, but down in the lower lefthand corner, inside the gray bar, it says “Click Here to Listen to Full Tracks.” You can listen to some of his current music while you’re browsing the site.

Given what I already knew about Richard Marx’s video blogging and so forth, I wasn’t surprised to see that media content was such a strong focus. This is a great way to provide some fresh content, too. So much of our focus seems to be on creating more and more text-based content, but don’t overlook video. Remember that the purpose of content marketing is to educate, and some people learn better visually and aurally than they do by reading. Using video helps you appeal to a wider audience.

Additionally, there are also upcoming tour dates, as well as the “Latest News,” which is the blog for this site. On the topic of the blog: normally I’d say that perhaps the content should be varied a bit more since most of it is about… well, Richard Marx. In this instance, though, I think that works. The nature of this kind of site, after all, is for fans, and fans want to know what he’s up to, as well as when to expect new music, tour dates, and so on.

Just know that with businesses, it’s a bit different. Your blog probably shouldn’t be all about you, but instead, an effort to educate your readers about your industry and the issues that affect them.

Twitter & Facebook

In the top corner of Richard Marx’s web site, there are some social icons. I already knew that I was a fan of his Twitter account, so I decided to see how that measured up to his Facebook presence.

It’s clear that Richard probably doesn’t have a hand in managing his Facebook account, especially given that most of the posts say things like “See Richard’s performance at [X Venue].” It’s pretty safe to assume that he’s got the resources to have people on hand to help out with managing these accounts.

I do believe, though, that he’s maintaining his own Twitter account, at least for much of the time. In fact, he addressed that issue at one point, saying that he was going to be doing a large part of it from now on.

Whereas the Facebook account is updated about once a day, Twitter is updated far more regularly. Marx posts throughout the day, and this is where we tend to see his personality (which is often amusingly sardonic) shine through as he comments on pretty much anything and everything.

Twitter is also where he’s interacting with fans. And though he doesn’t interact as much as a smaller-scale artist might, fan engagement is still encouraged. Upon the release of his last album, a social media contest was held across Facebook and Twitter in which fans were encouraged to post pictures of their copies of the album, being as creative as possible. Winners could receive autographed memorabilia.

Some lessons in this realm:

No matter how big of a business you are, if you’re able to personalize the social media experience, do it. Take some of the tweeting and Facebook-ing into your own hands. Don’t just have your social media team manage everything if you don’t have to.

Show some personality! The most memorable content is that which is full of personality because it leaves a lasting impression. Whether you’re blogging, filming a video, or creating social media content, remember that a healthy dose of personality will humanize your brand and make it easier for your customers and prospects to relate to you.

Be a presence. Sure, Richard Marx can afford to hire people to help him out in this area, and maybe you can’t. I get that. But in order to be effective, you need to make consistency a major focus of your content strategy. There are just no two ways about it. When you’re creating content and interacting on social media on a regular basis, you’ll see the traffic and interaction increase. And truthfully, you can make an impact in minutes a day. Spend 10 or 15 minutes a day working on it and let me know if you see a difference. I’m willing to bet that you will. Content marketing isn’t necessarily difficult, but it’s not for the lazy or faint of heart.

YouTube

As you might imagine, there’s a lot going on over at Richard Marx’s YouTube page. In fact, he’s got new content going out several times a month. While some of the newer content is available on his web site, there are plenty more resources on YouTube, and they range from video messages to vlogs, live performances to interviews, and promo videos, as well.

Want to filter that content down a bit? Check out some of his custom playlists, which include:

  • Uploaded videos (the main feed)
  • Favorite videos
  • My sons (videos and music from his sons Lucas and Brandon Marx)
  • Songs I Wrote (songs he’s written for others)

And because consistency is key in content marketing, you can access his other social media pages right from the YouTube site.

The major piece of wisdom to take away from the Richard Marx YouTube Experience (as I like to call it) is that you don’t need a ton of fancy equipment to create videos. Is it nice to have that stuff? Without a doubt. But if you’re in a pinch, your digital camera will probably take pretty decent video (assuming you didn’t purchase it in 1999).

Even Richard Marx doesn’t always use fancy equipment. In fact, most of his vlogs appear to be recorded on a webcam or even his iPhone. You know who else can do that? You.

So hopefully you agree with me that Richard Marx is a content marketing beast. What’s more, I hope you also see that the content strategy that he employs is something that you can easily do, as well. It takes some time, a good deal of patience, some kind of camera, and a commitment to consistency. Those, my friend, are things that any of us could possess.

Next time: Michael Bolton!

(Just kidding.)

Are you using video as part of your content strategy? If not, what’s holding you back? Fluff up your mullet and let us know in the comments!

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Renee is a writer currently living in Central Pennsylvania (whatever you've heard is probably true). In addition to writing for CEM, she serves as the Managing Editor for Business 2 Community and pursues her dream of once again renting her own apartment (preferably in Philadelphia), if only to house her ever-growing collection of books. She received a BA in English from Susquehanna University and an MA in English from George Mason. She's still waiting for someone to write a song about her life so she can just quote the lyrics for her author bios. Catch up with her on Twitter , LinkedIn, or reneedecoskey.com.

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Comments

  1. It shouldn’t be too hard for Marx to gain followers in whatever medium he’s in. However, the methods he’s using indeed works for others as well. I agree with you, though. Social marketing will only work if you’re out there busting your chops.

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