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Think Outside the Box: How to Deploy Counterintuitive Content Marketing Tactics

BY: Dan Rubin

Have you ever thought, I know everyone else is doing this, but it doesn’t seem quite right for me? Well, congrats! You’re already familiar with the idea behind counterintuitive content marketing.

What do I mean by counterintuitive marketing?

Sometimes the best strategy is to go against the grain. Your content doesn't need to follow the route of every other business, but it does need to follow the values and ethos of your company.

In other words, develop a content strategy that specifically pertains to your business and marketing objectives, even if it feels counterintuitive to what the masses are saying. If this is done correctly, your road to success may even be more efficient. If everyone is beating a drum you can often break through the noise by playing a different instrument.

Here are a few counterintuitive examples to keep in mind when planning your content strategy:

Long-form video works

Don’t be fooled by Instagram's recent push for reels. People are still interested in long-form content. What’s important is not the length of the video, but the quality of content.

When creating video content, think about your viewer’s questions and their curiosity about the topic. If you develop your content with the goal of creating valuable and engaging videos, then your audience will stick around for any length of time. Focus on quality over preconceived notions of duration.

Infographics can be complicated

Naturally, an infographic is a strong choice for visually-centric content marketing. The format is perfect for telling a complicated story with eye-catching graphics by making complex data easy to digest. However, infographics are not just “simple pictures” — they take time and research.

You need to sell your story with minimal information, so create infographics with a sharp strategy in mind. Also, infographics on their own are not SEO-friendly, so publish them where you can index your page for a wider reach.

Email isn't dead

Emails are still an inexpensive and effective way to target your audience. Plus, they have an impressive ROI — it’s been shown that the return on investment is about $40 for each $1 spent!

Nonetheless, it’s important to maintain smart planning and strategy when it comes to emails. Clean up your subscriber lists so you can target those active consumers and in return you’ll receive more accurate delivery and CTR numbers. Remember, you’ll have to fight for inbox attention (and that pesky spam folder), so focus on A/B subject-line testing and delivery metrics to send only the best quality emails.

Print is even less dead

Did you know that 33% of millennials — the largest current generation by the way  — are currently subscribed to a newspaper or print magazine? Print is far from dead, so don’t shy away from those printed marketing materials.

In fact, a recent Harvard Business Review study found that consumers who received paper catalogs in addition to emails spent 24% more than those who only received emails. It’s certainly worth incorporating both print and digital assets into your marketing strategy to reach your target audience. Counterintuitive content marketing is all about thinking outside the current narrative. However — regardless of that narrative — you always need to remain true to your brand’s values and ideology. Not sure which route to take? Send us a note, we'd love to help!


Dan Rubin is a 25+ year veteran of digital and content marketing, bringing expertise from working with Fortune 500 clients across industry verticals, and is responsible for Foundry 360’s strategic solutions, marketing support for Foundry 360, Targeted Media Health, and Dotdash Meredith Accolades.

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