If you were to run a quick Google search on Chris Trew, in the first five pages of results you would come across everything from information about the comedy theaters he owns, to a handful of personal web sites like terp2it.com and studio8.net; personal profiles on Google Plus, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Myspace; IMDB and Wikipedia entries; YouTube, Vimeo, and Flickr accounts; blogs hosted via Tumblr and Blogger; podcasts and radio interviews; featured content on comedy festival web sites like funfunfunfest.com and hellyesfest.com, as well as on other people’s blogs; mentions in a variety of news articles; and reviews on Yelp. So who is Chris Trew and how did he come to dominate the web?
Chris Trew is a nationally touring comedian, rapper, actor, and improv teacher who has performed at almost every comedy festival in the country and is a founding member of comedy training centers in Austin, New Orleans, and Houston. The Austin, Texas-based New Movement Theater, which he co-owns and operates with fellow comedienne Tami Nelson, is a critically acclaimed comedy performance venue/improv and sketch comedy training center that has received rave reviews on Yelp. According to the Austin-American Statesman, they’ve “built their own language of improv.”
Notorious, colorful, unedited, forward-charging, and ever-entertaining, I first met Chris in 1999 while attending Louisiana State University when his sketch comedy group, Studio 8, was furiously generating ideas from the inside of a cramped dorm room accented with pizza boxes, which today, according to their website has become a small group of comedians who produce original web programming as well as a variety of promotional series and videos for brands, products, and clients. Recent clients that they’ve produced HD-quality commercials and series for include Intel, AT&T, ComedyCentral, Mozy, MusicShake, Bikini Zone, American Eagle, Cracked.com, SuperDeluxe, and Break.
At the same time that Chris was building his Studio 8 empire, he was working to produce a weekly satirical newspaper on the LSU campus called “The Campus Dirt.” Known for ruffling feathers, stirring up a little bit of controversy, and for the uncanny ability of being able to create a media spotlight on certain issues – Chris has always had a flair for knowing how to draw attention to a cause while at the same time providing entertainment. So what can we learn from him?
The Content Marketing Revolution
According to Joe Puluzzi who hosts one of the leading blogs about content marketing and who also wrote the book Get Content, Get Customers, Chris would be engaging in a content marketing strategy to build awareness about his products (CDs, live performances) and services (comedy training). Content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. Below is a short video providing an overview of this topic:
In the video, Puluzzi states that content marketing will be the dominant form of media that the average person intakes within a decade. He notes that this is a revolution, not just an evolution taking place in communication and there is an opportunity here to be taken advantage of that will create immeasurable results for your business should you choose to engage in such a strategy. You can already see the payoff it has had here for Chris, who was not always at the top of Google search results.
By building a content marketing strategy focused on the consistent sharing of content that is relevant to your brand, while at the same time focusing on creating, building, and maintaining relationships both in person and through social media, brands can uncover a level of success that may otherwise not be possible (if relying on traditional tactics alone) in today’s dynamic and ever-changing business environment.