Every three months, I take a big swing with my content marketing.
And I don’t mean publishing a spicy social post.
A big swing is when I make a completely new move — something I’ve never tried or something my audience has never seen.
This approach is intentional and aligns with my marketing goals at Gong and for The Reeder.
And the great thing about big swings is that they have the potential for a BIG pay off.
I usually know I’m close to one when I catch myself thinking, “I don’t know if it’ll work, but if it does, it’ll be huge.”
Huge like a million views on a video.
Huge like getting featured in a mainstream publication.
Huge like hundreds of inbound demo requests in a single day.
I live for these opportunities because when they land, I’ve reshaped what’s possible.
Here’s how I kick it all off:
1. Forget about metrics
When you start brainstorming within the confines of the metrics mindset, you limit yourself. You’re not yet ready to answer, “How will we measure that it worked?” Instead you need to ask, “How will we make sure our audience loves it?”
Spark big ideas, don’t stunt them with metrics.
Focus on your reader first. What will move them? What will grab their attention?
2. Make it ARAP (as relevant as possible)
Relevant content delivers information that is useful to your audience right now.
As more and more content (read, noise) hits the internet, the need for targeted and relevant content increases.
Relevance is best served as a layered cake.
What do I mean?
The best offerings are relevant on more than one level.
Here’s a concrete example:
I launched a new (albeit fake) product on April Fool’s Day. Holidays are great springboards for content because people are generally in good moods and open to creative content.
This campaign was relevant on three levels:
- The timing: A fake product prank makes sense on April Fool’s Day. It wouldn’t have landed as well on any other day.
- The delivery: People are expecting humor on April 1, so I took the classic infomercial format and exaggerated it.
- The value: The fake product touched on a very real problem for salespeople — buyers don’t always give them accurate information. So it’s relatable on an emotional level.
There’s no magic number for how many layers of relevance you need, but in my experience, more is simply better.
3. Know the risks
I go into every big swing acknowledging that it could be a big miss.
In case that happens, I always have an explanation ready for my CMO.
I have no issue taking a big swing as long as I can clarify: (1) my intended outcome, (2) why I thought it would work, and (3) why I think it didn’t work (post-mortem).
If you can’t rally those answers after spending thousands of dollars… then you’re in for it (and deservedly so).
But if you nail it, no explanation is needed.
4. Stress test it
I always — yes, always — get solid input before I commit to a big idea.
I want people I respect to tell me if it’s stupid good or stupid bad.
I also want to know why they see brilliance or idiocy.
That usually means tapping 4-5 people. Half of them are usually people in my target audience (for me, those are sales professionals) and the other half are marketers I respect.
These conversations will surface two important things: weak spots to solve and strengths to double down on. Stress test it, and your final version will be even better than you envisioned.
One last thing.
You know it’s a big swing if you’re nervous to click Publish.
If you have that feeling, follow it.
Because big swings lead to big wins that are good for business (and your career).
Holler at you next Saturday,
PS: If you want to check it out, here’s my recent big swing. It’s a fun take on something all professionals desperately need: entertaining and personalized out-of-office emails.