Choosing Your Own Adventure Can Lead to Business Growth

An image of a path leading towards a castle in the distance.

When it comes to marketing content or trying to draw attention to your company or product, many lament that there are no original ideas left. First, that's not true. And, secondly, even if it was, it would be OK.

Because there's nothing that says you can't repurpose old ideas with a new twist for maximum effect.

I stumbled across an article last week that talked about a Twitter version, created by a literary web developer, of the classic Choose Your Own Adventure novels. If you make the right decisions, you're eventually taken to the Twitter feed @rerednaw_eht (the wanderer, backwards) which provides you with a link to a book by Timohty Jarvis. The path starts at @wnd_go and you can read the original article here.

Choose Your Own Adventure is nothing new. I remember loving these books when I was a kid and there's an entire series of novels that still are available to this day. The format was also popular in the digital sphere, with text-based games like The Oregon Trail and a personal favourite of mine The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. And that's what makes this simple Twitter-based version so effective.

It appeals to a certain demographic -- hopefully one for whom the book in question is appropriate. Its familiarity and delivery compel us to click because it hearkens back to our childhood.

Now, too much of a good thing is never good. Relying on the past and trying to pull at the old sentimental heartstrings may work a few times, but it can get overdone really quickly. And this won't work for certain brands and products -- retro kitsch is really a hit-or-miss prospect and you have to get lucky.

But the point here is that, in this case, an old idea was revamped and repurposed to suit the needs of an interested demographic in a way that takes advantage of their present behaviour patterns.

Too often we're focused on reinvention instead of redirection. Getting your customers more invested or aware of your content isn't always about coming up with the next great thing, but rather repositioning your current great thing with a new angle that lets people see it in a new light.

Sometimes you just need to repaint the living room; you don't need to move across the country.

People like to say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. That's not true (check for yourself if you'd like). But that statement works well as the definition of inanity. It's also a product of organizational (and content) inertia. Sometimes we get to a point where the status quo is self-perpetuating.
But if you want to open up new avenues, explore new demographics, or increase awareness and activity, then making changes to your communication efforts can have a huge impact.

For a recent project, we maintained much of the client's original content -- but by repositioning it through better design, navigation structure, more intuitive text, and clear calls to action -- we were able to better define the organization's goals and meet the targetted demographic's needs.

Sometimes you don't need a wholescale revamp of your sales and marketing efforts, you website, and your organizational philosophy. Sometimes it's just about taking what you're good at (and what quality resources you already have) and using them in a slightly different way.

So now we turn it over to you. How have you repositioned old content, ideas, or products to stimulate new interest? Comments are open.

Questions Answered

How can I refresh my site?

Do I need to rewrite all my content?



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