TL;DR

Do you want more people to consume your marketing content? Make it as appetizing and easy-to-digest as delicious pizza.

One of our clients, who runs an internal communications site for a national insurance company, once told me about their most popular post ever. Now keep in mind this is healthcare. They post stories about cancer survivors, corporate charity work, and a load of general healthcare-feel-good stuff.

Their most popular post of all time blew everything else out of the water — by multiples.

What do you think it was?

A piece about a miraculous recovery made possible by the insurance company?

A video about the staff volunteering at a children’s hospital?

Wrong and wrong.

The most popular post of all time was a <100 word blurb announcing that cafeterias across the organization would now serve pizza every day.

Pizza.

How did an article about pizza blow away other inspiring, uplifting pieces about the company making a difference in patients’ lives?

It’s simple. Because it’s pizza.

Ok stay with me. This does apply to marketing. Let’s unpack this more…

Make better marketing content by thinking about pizza

Why the best marketing is like pizza

Everyone loves pizza. It’s hot, crispy and delicious.

That’s it. The article exploded because it was something the audience naturally cared about. Not what they should care about (the making-a-difference stuff).

The pizza theory can apply to all your marketing efforts, not just company announcements. Before you make your next marketing video or sponsor your next post, take a step back and ask yourself, “Is this pizza to my audience?”

Meaning: does this piece of content serve my audience? Would they care about this as much as they would someone telling them pizza is in the conference room? If not, reframe your message because it’s not going to cut through.

So many marketers make the mistake of thinking their audience wants to watch an ad or read a whitepaper. The sad news is: they don’t. They want to watch their YouTube video, read their LinkedIn feed or check the baseball scores.

But put pizza in front of these folks and no matter what they’re doing, they’ll check it out.

Pizza is:

      • Simple and easy to understand. You don’t need a primer or any kind of introduction to the concept. “Pizza” is a schema you already understand. How can your marketing message leverage things your audience already knows?
      • Easily illustrated with imagery, text and spoken word — quickly and efficiently. It’s not called “Baked dough smothered in tomato sauce and melted cheese.” It’s “pizza.” It’s a picture of pizza. How can you illustrate your message in the fewest amount of words/images?

One other thing: even mediocre pizza is still good. In other words, your pizza-level content doesn’t need to be perfect. Because it’s in the realm of something someone would naturally like to interact with, they’ll engage anyway.

Personas, challenge statements, market research, and key differentiators are all important ingredients to making successful marketing. But you need to concentrate on assembling those ingredients into something people actually want to consume. Because the same ingredients used for a successful pizza could also be used to make something completely inedible.

Author’s note: By “pizza” I don’t mean the deep dish stuff served in my city (Chicago), I mean triangle-cut NYC pizza. Eight slices of pure heaven. 😋🍕

Editor’s note: Chicagoans who don’t have Lou Malnati’s in their regular pizza rotation are wrong.

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