I love Tim Peake. He’s the best thing to happen to space since Buzz Lightyear. In fact, I had originally planned to write this blog about why Tim Peake was the coolest person in the history of people but then I realised that whilst it was obviously true, that title might not wash with everyone.
So after a quick rethink I decided to go down a different route: Tim Peake – Master of content.
Here at 72Point we’re all about content. In our latest white paper, ‘The Content Umbrella’ we look at the way PR and digital disciplines have come together in order to boost the creation of better quality more engaging content. Tim Peake is a shining example of someone that is nailing content and here’s why.
- He knows his audience
Obviously being in space means he has quite a diverse audience; everyone on the planet beneath him in fact. He’s got something they want. Pictures of their planet from the skies above. But sometimes the success of your content goes beyond being desirable to the widest possible audience. In other words, it’s not always about ‘going viral’. For example being a B2B business, everything we do is aimed at a narrower, more targeted audience.
His photographs of individual countries give their citizens their own little bit of Space. Plus there’s the fact he’s British. He is the first British man to complete the Mission. And you know us, whenever we can find a reason to be patriotic and roll out the British pride we like to do so. Tim’s content echoes that patriotism. Whether it’s a caption on his pictures of the UK or the Flag of St George adorning his space pod Tim knows the Brits are watching.
And of course, when it comes to niche audiences, he’s also got the Space nerds. All those who identify, say ‘I’.
2. He’s topical
Being responsible for our social media accounts and our blog schedule I know how beneficial it can be to know what’s happening when, especially when it comes to content creation. Peak, despite being millions of miles away from the hustle and bustle manages to keep himself perfectly in tune with the rest of the world by joining in with major events. Whether it’s watching England during the Rugby World Cup or presenting an award to Adele at the 2016 Brit Awards. Or remember that time he ran the London Marathon from Space? Yep. He ran the London Marathon. In space. On a treadmill. (That guy!). Tim also uses his content to congratulate and celebrate achievements of people back home including:
- a photo for the Queens’s 90th of him holding a sign with #happybirthdayyourmajesty written on it;
- a congratulations to the Scouts on their 100th birthday;
- a call to Eddie Izzard to congratulate him on his marathons
- wishing good luck to those taking part in the Invictus Games;
- even a well done to everyone nominated in the Hospital Radio Awards!
Not much gets past him. His events calendar is, as they say, on point!
- His content is original
As we all know, due to regular commentary in both the industry press and our own blog, there is so much content available to the world now that in order to set yourself apart your content has to be original and engaging.
Ok, so he has a slight advantage that he’s in space and has access to views that we mere mortals can only dream of seeing. Tim’s photos are not only unique, they are stunningly beautiful. People want to look at them, regardless of whether they’re interested or not. Hands up who’s got Instagram envy?
But it’s not just photography. Take his marathon run for example. Have you ever seen anyone run a marathon in space before?! No, you haven’t. Of course, you haven’t. No-one has. Content doesn’t get more original than that.
- He’s entertaining
Now obviously Tim’s on the I.S.S to do a job. He’s not just there to have fun. You wouldn’t know it though. Whether it’s playing virtual reality Space Invaders, zero gravity somersaults or being chased by your colleague who’s jumped out of a box dressed as a gorilla, Tim’s always happy to embrace the lighter side of life to help keep audiences interested.
That’s what people want. Everyone knows he’s got the technical stuff nailed down. You can’t go to space for months on end without knowing your shit. But if you don’t keep them entertained and only talk shop, who’s going to care? Make people laugh and the boring stuff (sorry Tim!) becomes a lot more interesting and accessible.
People from all walks of life have developed an interest in space technology because it’s been made both accessible and entertaining. That’s a lesson that can be transferred to most campaigns. Obviously, it depends on the subject matter but there’s no harm in embracing your inner child every now and then.
5. He engages with his audience
Tim regularly gets involved with his audience directly, whether it’s his live video calls to school kids or GOSH or his space rocks competition. A couple of times a week Tim tweets some lyrics from one of his favourite songs and whoever guesses correctly wins a very special space rocks patch. Competitions or games are a great way of engaging with your audience, particularly on social media but not exclusively. People love the chance to win something, feel clever or have their say so give them the opportunity to do so and you’re on to a winner. At 72Point we’re regularly producing quizzes or puzzles for our clients to satisfy publishers’ calls for engaging content; take our ‘Where’s the Gherkin Lurkin’ puzzle for Deliveroo. This simple Where’s Wally style puzzle was such a simple idea but it featured on the MailOnline, the Independent, The Metro, the Sun and many more sites.
6. He’s multi-platform
Everyone knows that in this day and age if you want your content to be successful it has to span all mediums. To put it another way, it has to be multi-platform. This is something we’re passionate about at 72Point. We’re in a fairly unique position in that we have in-house specialist teams that cover all options, whether it’s surveys and news copy, design and animations, video or even photography. That means that we can offer the full comprehensive content package to really boost your campaign.
Tim doesn’t have this but he still manages to span all platforms. He blogs, he takes photos, he creates videos. He’s a one man fully integrated media campaign. And he is reaping the rewards. He’s just been featured on the Queen’s birthday honours list for crying out loud! It doesn’t matter what your platform of choice is, whether you love a newspaper, TV, surfing the interwebs or browsing social media, the chances are you’ve seen something that he’s done.
So with Tim shortly to be back on terra firma we’re sadly going to have to say goodbye to the world’s most beautiful Instagram account. But I think all PRs and marketeers have learnt a valuable lesson. Tim’s promotion of a niche subject to a wider, previously disassociated audience has been phenomenal. Know your audience; make your content engaging and original; don’t limit yourself to one platform or medium or discipline and your content will do nothing but stand out. And if there is a problem, Houston, let us do it for you.