What every small business can learn about content marketing from Tiger King

- July 2, 2020 4 MIN READ

Watched by over 64 million households worldwide since its March 20 debut, Tiger King numbers are impressive but not overly surprising if you’ve ever tuned in to the documentary, with its outrageous and almost too-good-to-be-true plot lines. Tiger King became an instant meme, with tributes and jokes about the show popping up on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, due to its ability to capture the audience’s attention with its easy-to-digest and quote-worthy content.

While the documentary’s two main stars Joe Exotic and his nemesis Carole Baskin fought hard to slay each other’s reputations, they also shared one important similarity – their ability to master the content marketing game to promote their small businesses globally, using very little money.

In particular, Carole Baskin got into the social media game early on and put a small animal rescue centre in Florida on the world map. Today, her now infamous Big Cat Rescue business has amassed nearly three million Facebook fans and 1.2 million YouTube subscribers.

So what can small businesses and startups learn from the stars of Tiger King? Here is how you can be the next ‘cool cats and kittens’ of content creation.

Adding multiple touchpoints across multiple social media channels

For a small business that has a list of priorities to keep themselves afloat, maintaining various social media channels – from Youtube, Facebook, Twitter to Instagram, TikTok and even Snapchat – can seem like an endless chore. However, if done correctly social media can be the saving grace needed to survive in the current climate.

To keep your audiences up to date and in touch with your content, ensure you add multiple touch points or opportunities to interact with your customers across each platform so they can properly engage and follow your business journey. An example of this is providing hyperlinks to streamline product purchases in Instagram posts, or simply asking for feedback in a Facebook story.

Also remember that each platform has its own unique set of rules and regulations, especially when it comes to video creation. It’s essential to check this prior to creating content to ensure it’s suitable for the audience you’re trying to reach. Joe Exotic for example, posts more short-form videos on his Instagram, compared to his Facebook account, where he uploads longer-form videos and clips.

Defining your brand voice

When commencing your content creation journey, the first thing to consider is your brand voice. A brand voice encompasses everything from the words and language you use, to the personality and image your marketing assets aim to invoke. It should be consistent across all platforms and used as an easily identified and authoritative source of your area of expertise. Nail it, and your message will cut through the noise and make a lasting impression on potential customers, mess it up and your content will seem out of place and disjointed.

Looking at Tiger King, both Carole Baskin and Joe Exotic knew what their personal brand was and used it to achieve their overall marketing purposes. Carole played the sweet and innocent mother earth figure with flowers in her hair, while Joe was more loud-mouthed and outrageous wearing cowboy hats and sequented shirts.

Sourcing the right tools to get the job done

In this day and age, most small business owners already have the tools they require to create content at their fingertips. With just a smartphone you can consistently churn out content with ease and simplicity.

For those that want to enhance the production value of their content, try investing in a good quality camera, tripod and a lighting kit.

When it comes to editing your masterpiece, software platforms such as Clipchamp are completely user-friendly with ready-to-go templates and guides that allow the entire process to be streamlined.

Nailing the background and lighting

One consideration that many budding content creators forget about is the background and lighting of the space they aim to shoot their footage in. If your space is dull with nothing but a blank white wall and artificial lighting, the content captured can seem lacklustre and even a bit unauthentic.

When observing how other professional Youtubers or Instagram influencers frame their shots you notice that many have a dedicated location that they film their videos in. This could be their bedrooms, or even a proper studio space with professional lighting.

In Tiger King, Carole would often film herself surrounded by her Big Cats park, while Joe would set up a dedicated greenscreen so he could edit himself into different settings to suit the topic of each of his videos.

Considering your strategy and SEO

A lot of businesses that start their own social media channels expect that once they post a video or two, that their views and followers will just automatically grow and expand. In reality, this isn’t exactly true.

Those that succeed on social platforms are the content creators who develop well-thought out strategies that pinpoint the outcomes they want and include steps to achieve them, such as how frequently they post, topics per video, length of videos, and even props.

Another crucial factor when developing your strategy is SEO and tagging. SEO allows your content to be indexed and ranked on the search engine results pages for relevant keyword searches.

To increase your SEO make sure you are developing accurate and interesting tags and centre them around one or a few keywords. Both Carole and Joe fought hard to capture the SEO light for their big cats and tigers content by flooding the scene with exciting titles of their videos and topical key words.

Finally – being fun and entertaining!

At the end of the day, Carole and Joe both achieved their goals through the amount of exposure and traction they gained by simply having fun with the content they were creating. Between music videos and tours of the zoo grounds, audiences regularly tuned in to get a slice of the action.

When creating content, remember to have fun with it. If you’re enjoying yourself, your audience will connect with that.

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