According to Conde Naste Traveler, Walt Disney World receives 51 million visitors a year. Can you imagine if your website or blog received that many hits? With five resorts, 11 theme parks, endless cruise ship vacations, a private island (Castaway Cay, in the Bahamas), movies, merchandise, toys, collectibles, and the marketing promo tchotchkes that every kid remembers pulling from the bottom of a McDonald’s Happy Meal, Disney is the most visible brand in the world. The skeptics, however, trash the entertainment megalopolis for being crass, over-the-top and vulgar, a homogenized, prepackaged experience in the guise of a childhood fairytale.
In 2004, Fred Lee wrote a book entitled “If Disney Ran Your Hospital: 9 1/2 Things You Would Do Differently.” Lee challenges popular conceptions about the healthcare industry, focusing on how hospitals need to provide patients with an experience, like Disney, and not just a service; an experience, Lee claims, is the competitive advantage that leads to greater patient trust and loyalty. An on-site barber for long-term patients, accommodation for loved ones, and better food are the types of amenities Lee cites as being more about experience and less about basic service.
If Disney, healthcare and content marketing seem like an unlikely trio, well, they are. Still, following the Fred Lee model, here are 5 1/2 things Disney would do differently if it ran your content marketing blog.
1. Artwork and animation. If you’re going to turn your blog into a theme park, then we think you’re going to need some visual spectacle. It has long been said that pictures are better than words, and we agree. Videos, infographics, hashtag images-throw them all into the mix. Just don’t over do it. You don’t want the viewer to feel as if he’s navigating the blog on a Tron Light Cycle.
2. Whatever we might say, it’s NOT a small world after all. According to the Nielsen Company, there were 156 million public blogs in 2011.
3. From young kids to adults, we aim to make everyone happy. You should do the same. Forget all that talk about finding your niche. Of the 51 million visitors tourists that visit us each year, 50 million go home happy.
4. Sadly, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, an attraction based on the children’s classic The Wind in the Willows, was shut down at the Magic Kingdom in 1998 and replaced with The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Many of us at Disney protested. The man who played Goofy on Saturday morning even lit himself on fire like a Buddhist monk; don’t worry, he’s ok, albeit no longer playing Goofy on Saturday morning. What’s the point of this anecdote? There’s no blog topic or marketing idea that’s too wild.
5. Don’t forget the links. Measuring roughly 40 square miles and 25,000 acres, Walt Disney World is a big place. We realized early on we’d have to link, say, Fantasyland to Tomorowland. Hence the monorail system.
1/2 If you want success, you need the equivalent of a Happy Meal toy. Run a social media contest and give away some freebies. We know you still have that Happy Meal set of Disney Millennium Glasses in your cupboard.
Damon H is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.
Tags: content marketing