When you say water cooler at work, pretty much anybody employed in the office space can tell what it means. It’s that age-old business word that classifies the sort of small talk and small stuff workers do even while on duty. It’s that one category for topics that have nothing to do with your line of work or that of your company’s.
Although, have you ever wondered what would happen if you took all that and applied it to your marketing content? Try taking a quote just like the one here and putting it next your own company blog. You’ll get the idea.
“When life gives you lemons, don’t make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don’t want your damn lemons, what the hell am I supposed to do with these? I demand to see life’s manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons! Do you know who I am? I’m the man who’s gonna burn your house down! With the lemons! I’m gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that burns your house down!”
―Cave Johnson of Portal 2
Crazy? Maybe. Unnecessary? Not so fast. That would mean the water cooler phenomenon is an evil that ought to be wiped out from the face of the corporate world. Has it? Can there really be a life at work without it? Given the trend of trippy offices started by Google, Apple, and other Silicon Valley giants, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
It’d be just like getting rid of the literal water cooler (and maybe even the coffee while you’re at it). Whether it’s warm, cold or whatever’s in between, everyone needs that water. Why get rid of it? It’s the same with content.
It’s more or less an icebreaker. You can’t always be going on and on about data warehousing or network infrastructure. Almost everywhere you go, school, work, forums, blogs, or even at home, you have a place to relax and let in whatever the wind blows. It’s not unusual for websites to consider this happening on their online turf integrate it as part of their operations. Your content is no exception.
People will always demand a time for some R&R. Their brains constantly go into full gear and dish out everything they needed to get things done. Who wouldn’t want something to slow down the pace every once and a while? Most of the time, this happens whenever they hit a wall on something or when they are practically done with their work. Content that eases their minds make it easier for them to get inspired and right back up again.
As for topics, the very nature of the water cooler gives you free reign. You can talk a bit about how you’re paid. A little scandal or two could be interesting. Heck, you can even talk about movie blockbusters and tie them to your line of work!
Anything that can lift up a reader’s mood is fair game. Comedy. Storytelling. A piece of funky trivia. These can all have a place in the lighthearted side of your marketing content.
And if you want some stats to back it up, this one article should give you the numbers on water cooler talk and workplace productivity. There’s a lot more you can talk about than just their IT specifications. What color do they like? What books do they read? How did their business come about?
Obviously you shouldn’t get carried away. Think of it as giving your readers the occasional rest stop when it comes to the topics you’re blogging or speaking about. You’ll need something to keep their minds cool so that they’ll be open to reading more about your business.