Spicing up your content with 10 tips inspired by Jamie Oliver
Does your business sell a product or service that’s, well, a bit dull? After all, not everyone can do brand marketing for Red Bull or close million-dollar deals for breakfast. The world will always need concrete and cans of soup. But even if your industry or your products don’t immediately get your blood pumping that doesn’t mean your content marketing has to be boring.
You just need some inspiration and who better to provide a bit spice than the naked chef himself, Jamie Oliver.
Jamie has been in the cooking game for over 20 years now and has had considerable success in his career. He first became a household name hosting his own cooking show, The Naked Chef, and has since written multiple cookbooks, hosted a number of different TV shows and has toured around the world giving talks on food and nutrition, particularly in regards to children’s dietary needs. His most notable recent campaign is Jamie’s Food Revolution which aims to educate children and their parents about healthy eating habits.
Throughout his career he has marketed himself incredibly well, maintaining regular streams of content on his website and his social platforms. He engages regularly with his audience, asking for feedback and opinions. Jamie has a flair for entertaining, which is evident from his TV programmes and his live shows, but also translates well onto his social media activity. He has 5.3 million Twitter followers, 6 million Facebook fans, a 4.8 million strong Instagram following, as well as impressive numbers for and even Google+.
So, if you’re looking to put some spice back into your content production, maybe you can learn a thing or two (or ten) from Jamie and his team…
1. Great images lead to more clicks
Research has shown that articles with images get 94% more total views and social posts that include images produce a 650% higher engagement rate. So even if you don’t beautiful photos of your own food to share it’s worth trying to work visually-rich content into your strategy.
Think about your USPs or the actions you want to drive your audience towards. In Jamie’s case, his posts are there to encourage people to use his recipes or buy his cookbooks. But high-quality, creative photography or clever infographics can bring colour to even the most grey of industries.
2. Write like you talk
If you’ve ever watched any of Jamie’s cooking shows you’ll know that he stays true to his Essex roots and keeps his language natural and informal, his delivery peppered with Jamie-isms like “delish”, “bosh” and “pukka”.
There’s a lesson here for all content marketers: write your content as if you’re holding a conversation with a friend. Cut out any technical jargon that might confuse your reader and remember that the point of your content is to be helpful. Writing like you speak will also help to give your content a more authentic feel.
3. Be a storyteller
If you can weave your information into a story-like format you will have a higher chance of keeping your readers interested in your content. Being passionate and enthusiastic about your product is infectious and makes readers want to know more about your story.
The way Jamie Oliver communicates about food and health makes it very hard not to get on board with him. He’s enthusiastic and goes into great detail to explain not only the method behind his recipes, but where the ideas come from, who he learnt the recipe from and when he likes to make the dish.
In this recipe, Jamie describes two different methods for making bacon sandwiches. Pretty simple, right? Read on.
If that doesn’t make you want a bacon sandwich right now then nothing will.
4. Use down to earth examples
The best way to get your audience to picture themselves with your product is to give them something to relate to. If the examples you provide in your content marketing are too far fetched or unrealistic, it’s likely their interest in your product will diminish.
Because Jamie’s focus is on healthy eating for children he’ll often talk about which dishes are favourites with his own little ones and what foods he struggles to get them to eat, which is something all parents will understand. In this video, he makes pizza from scratch with his kids and shows his cool dad side, which makes this particular piece of content marketing ideal for what is a valuable segment of his audience.
Even if the concepts you’re trying to explain are really in depth or aren’t very exciting, using a more interesting theme to explain them could make all the difference.
5. Get a little emotional every now and again
Jamie’s family plays a big role in his shows and his cooking projects. He often ends many of his episodes by serving the meals he has prepared to his family so they can all eat together. He shares a lot of his personal life on his social platforms, which invites his audience in and helps them connect with him on a more emotional level. This is a photo of his newborn son he shared with his Facebook followers.
While it’s not necessary to get this personal with your audience, people become more attached to brands if they feel a connection with them. You can achieve this by invoking a bit of emotion with the content you create, whether it’s surprise, shock or joy. Picking a topic that brings on some sort of emotional reaction from your readers will encourage them to consume more of your content and build a relationship with your brand.
6. Get creative and take some risks
To really spice up your content, try thinking outside of the box. Your content marketing strategy doesn’t need to consist entirely of keyword driven blog posts – try to get a bit creative and be prepared to take some risks.
To further communicate his message about healthy eating and understanding what’s in processed foods, Jamie will take school kids on excursions to farms and factories to show them where different foods come from. He uses visual examples and eye-catching stunts to make an impact, like this video about chicken nuggets.
Getting creative doesn’t have to involve this sort of shock value, although that’s certainly worked for Jamie on more than one occasion. It’s about coming up with different ways to make your content stand out from the crowd. Sometimes just a unique angle or an innovative layout can be enough to give you the edge.
7. Impact matters more than size
One of Jamie’s recipes doesn’t need to be spilling over the sides of the plate to wow your taste buds and the same applies to crafting great headlines. Your content marketing strategy can live or die based on your headline-writing skills as even the most useful, compelling, beautifully crafted article won’t get seen if your headline doesn’t (cue Jamie-ism) “pop”.
You can see this tactic at work in Jamie’s content as well as his food. Take, for example, this recent blog post published on his website: This was our PM’s big moment and she failed our children. This particular headline is quite powerful, as it relates to a trending topic and seeks to create an emotional response from the audience. When posted to Facebook, the article attracted 18,000 reactions, 2,011 shares and 686 comments.
8. Give people something to talk about
Shareable content can earn you some valuable, free promotion. This is where pushing the boundaries a little or getting your creative juices really flowing can pay off.
As evidenced by the chicken nuggets video, Jamie isn’t above using gimmicks to get his point across. This clip shows him asking the same group of children to name various vegetables, with some surprising results.
To apply this to your business and your products think about the common misconceptions or myths you can debunk with all your specialist knowledge. Then you just need to find a suitable format to deliver your message.
9. Ask your audience questions and encourage them to participate
User-generated content is a great way to boost your engagement levels and get some real feedback to incorporate into your content marketing strategy. While Jamie Oliver is obviously not lacking in audience engagement or growth, he still regularly asks his followers for their opinions and advice.
If you can make your audience a part of your journey they will form a more active relationship with your brand, making them more likely to become customers and more likely to share your content.
10. Recognise the appeal of data
Data is something that not many people get excited over, but it does have great potential for improving the quality of content. Collecting facts and statistics about your topic and condensing them into charts, tables or infographics can make that information much easier for your audience to digest. As part of Jamie’s Food Revolution campaign he collected a range data to support his stance on healthy eating.
Presenting data in this kind of format provides a welcome break from blocks of text. Making numbers beautiful will help you take otherwise bland topics and make them much, much more interesting.
At the end of the day, regardless of whether your product lacks the wow factor or is specific to a small target market, someone somewhere wants to buy it and it’s up to you to present it to them in the best way possible.