Content marketing is more than tactics
Content marketers often think about blog posts, videos, images, Tweets and the like. But, content marketing is so much more than tactical execution. Strong content marketing is an extension of the business idea. It’s a strategy that cultivates the kind of audiences you need to sell to in order to be successful.
I caught up with Chris Bergman, CEO of ChoreMonster, a software company that allows parents to gamify the household chores for their children, turning family work into family fun. We talked about how content marketing has more benefit to bear on a business than just fodder for web search engines and social networks.
ChoreMontster has two primary audiences: parents and their children. So their content walks a fine balanced line, and every piece of it screams “brand.”
Bergman worked in several startups and as a photographer before venturing out with the ChoreMonster idea, he can be found on Twitter.
Jason: Welcome to Thismoment in Content Marketing from our friends at thismoment.com. We are here to talk to the movers and shakers, the cookers and bakers in the content marketing world, who’s creating compelling content, how, why and what are the outcomes.
I’m your host, Jason Falls. This week, we have another great guest. Chris Bergman is the C.E.O. of ChoreMonster. If you haven’t heard of ChoreMonster, surely to goodness you certainly will start hearing more about them soon, because they are almost literally blowing up. They’re not literally blowing up, because that would require Fire and E.M.S. people. But they are doing a fantastic job of captivating an audience out there. We’re going to talk a little bit more about that. We’re going to talk to Chris about content marketing from a couple of different perspectives.
Chris, thank you for joining us, and welcome to Thismoment in Content Marketing.
Chris: Hey, thanks for having me, man. This is good.
Jason: Glad to do it. You can immediately see Chris’ company leads with content, because he has ChoreMonsters on the wall behind him. Great product placement.
Chris: Thank you. It just happened to be in our conference room. That’s all.
Jason: That’s great. I’ve been there. I’ve actually physically been there. The atmosphere is cool and the whole company sort of eats, sleeps, and breathes this type of content. To catch people up who don’t know what ChoreMonster is, tell us what ChoreMonster is and what it does.
Chris: ChoreMonster is actually the most ridiculously fun and motivating framework for families where every home becomes a joyful place. Kids gain points, turn them in for real-life rewards, and then they also get to collect monsters for completing chores. For every chore they complete, they get a ticket to the Monster Carnival and have a chance to win one of a hundred different interactive monsters.
Jason: You’ve gamified the household chore experience.
Chris: Yeah, absolutely, definitely. I think one of the things that we do really well is this dual layer gamification where we have extrinsic motivation from the parents and then intrinsic motivation through the app with our content specifically.
Jason: We were talking offline before we started recording. When I think of ChoreMonster… Obviously I’ve just been an observer from afar. I haven’t really been deeply involved with what you guys do. But when I look at your content in terms of your blog, which I think is magnificent and is a great magnet for parents, and your Facebook and your tweets and all that good stuff, I see something that I think a lot of people forget about in the content marketing world. I see an absolute pure extension of the brand of the DNA of the company.
In my mind, I’m guessing, and I want to ask you this question, content marketing for you is not necessarily this outward stuff that we promote. It’s not a tactic. It’s actually a strategy from top down on who you are. Is that accurate?
Chris: Yeah, absolutely. We have a unique challenge in that we’re serving two different audiences. We’re serving parents and kids separately. So we have to think about how we communicate to those audiences very differently for a multitude of reasons. One, personality types, and two, we have CAPA regulations that we have to adhere to as well.
When we think about connecting with our user base, we take a couple of different approaches. For parents, they’re kind of used to blogs and Facebook and things like that. We definitely have a strategy to connect with them through that sort of content. But with kids in particular, we need to connect to them on their level. For us, that level tends to be dumb eight-year-old humor and it works really well.
Jason: My kind of humor. Actually I’m probably more into the 12 and 13-year-old kind of humor, but I get it. I get it.
Chris: Ours is a little clean but also probably a little more smelly than yours would be my guess.
Jason: Okay, yeah. I remember the fifth grade lunchroom table. Yeah, that was a magnificent place. I had a guy named Matt Justice who still lives here in Louisville. I see him every now and then. I haven’t yet told his kids, when I see him at Chick-fil-A or whatever, your father used to be able to drink an entire little pint thing of milk and belch for 120 seconds straight.
There you go. That could be a good idea for one of your monsters. They can be the burping monster.
Chris: Oh, yeah, absolutely. We’ve got a couple of those already I’m pretty sure.
Jason: That’s good, that’s good. Is it safe to say then from a C.E.O.’s perspective – because you’re not the content marketing director, you’re running the damn company – content is more about giving people something to feast on, engage with, and do while they’re interacting on site or in-app versus something that is just, “Hey, come see us”?
Chris: For us, content’s more about retention and engagement than it is growth. We grow organically in general just through word of mouth and the actual function of our app being that kids beg to do chores, and moms tell other moms that all the time. They’re like there’s no way that’s true. Try it. We dare you. Then sure enough it works to our own surprise.
Jason: That’s a good marketing strategy. I dare you to use my app. That’s fascinating.
Chris: For us, it’s about how do we continue to create a behavior loop inside the app, and how do we make sure that we can engage with our audience regularly and create consistency across the platform. It’s very much centered towards retention, towards engagement, towards coming in and seeing what’s going on on a regular basis.
Jason: Do you have a staple of writers to go along with your engineers? How is your team made up that drives all this content?
Chris: For us, we focus primarily on animation. We have the 30-second cartoons that we create on a regular basis. We have some writers in-house that do writing for that. For us, the bulk of our company is creative – animators, illustrators, designers, people like that. Obviously we need the engineers as well. Yeah, the real challenge is how do you tell a joke in 30 seconds and make it funny to a 9-year-old. We kind of fall back on farts. That’s the easy way to answer that question.
Jason: Well, yes, burp and fart jokes work every time. In fact, I have a nine-year-old son and a six-year-old daughter, so I’m kind of right in the middle of where you’re focusing. If I want to make them laugh at dinner, I typically just say the word poop and it does the trick every time.
Chris: That kind of works, yeah.
Jason: It does. Tell people why they should use ChoreMonster.
Chris: A couple of different reasons. One, your house becomes much cleaner. We’ve had 10 million chores completed on the platform so far, which is pretty incredible. That’s a lot of clean bedrooms.
Without getting too psychological and clinical, we talk a lot about executive function skills for kids specifically about independent motivation and them starting to understand prioritization of things they have to complete. We focus primarily on that inside the app. If you really want to give your kids a head start on how to be an adult, this is a great way to do it, a great way for them to understand and learn how to manage their own adult life when they’re nine years old. It gives them independence and empowerment in a way that you’d be really, really surprised to see.
Jason: Wow, sounds like you’ve invented the coolest thing ever on the whole planet. I assume you get that a lot, right?
Chris: Thanks. Only from our users.
Jason: Only from what? That’s who you need it from.
Jason: Very good. Chris, where can people find you and the app on the interwebs?
Chris: Yeah, choremonster.com. You can register on the web. We’re available on iOS, Android, Kindle, Windows 8, and we’ll be available on the Nintendo 3DS in March as well.
Jason: Fantastic. All of this from a guy who… When I met you, you were hacking away at a photo startup. You’re a photographer, right?
Chris: Yeah, yeah. I have a lot of different things that I’m interested in. Right now, the primary one is making sure that homes are joyful places.
Jason: Wow, that’s a hell of a mission. Hats off, man.
Jason: That’s good stuff. He’s Chris Bergman with ChoreMonster. Go to choremonster.com and sign up and get your kids cleaning your house for you and all that other psychological benefit stuff, too, which is cool. Thank you, Chris, and thank all of you for tuning in for another episode of Thismoment in Content Marketing. Check out other interviews and a pretty nifty content marketing platform over at thismoment.com. That’s it for now. See you next time.