… Going to the toilet, getting too intimate with your weather app, having a pet – or nutrition supplements!
What is content marketing actually about, and how to choose the best trends and strategies for any given business, brand or team?
To celebrate the last weeks of summer, let’s take a light, sunny attitude towards the topic and explore content marketing trends through metaphors and analogies.
Which one will resonate with you the most?
Getting Your Message Across Through Content Is Like a Parent Going to the Toilet
If you have kids – or maybe a co-dependent pet counts, too? – this probably has happened to you.
You try to get your kid’s attention or cajole them to do what you want. You ask nicely, repeat the request, ask not-so-nicely and maybe even raise your voice every now and then.
Still, no matter how red your face gets and how high your voice rises, there’s no reaction.
But lo and behold, if you leave the room and take refuge in the toilet, within ten seconds, your previously oblivious audience is piling up behind the door, needing – acutely – a snack, help with schoolwork, clean clothes, a ride, or just attention.
To be honest, I haven’t managed to resolve this dilemma at the parenthood level (yet), but there’s certainly a message to be taken away for communication and marketing: The one who shouts the loudest is not the one who gets their message across with the most impact.
If your message isn’t landing the way you wish, take a step back and reflect what could be the “loo factor” that makes your audience seek you out, instead of you running after them.
Social Media Marketing Is Like Having a Pet
If you don’t have a co-dependent pet that would follow you to the loo yet, have you dreamt about getting one? Maybe a furry little dog, a noble Siamese cat or an ever-so-cute guinea pig?
Most of us would advise a friend affronted by such a decision to consider their choices carefully, but how many entrepreneurs and comms and marketing professionals apply the same, careful consideration in their social media channel portfolio?
After all, adding a new social media channel to your marketing mix is much like adding a pet to your family.
Like a pet, a new social media channel requires one dedicated person who is in charge. Otherwise, the dog (or the TikTok account) risks turning into a neglected bone of contention that should always be looked after by someone else in the family (e.g. the team).
That said, some pets (and channels) require more attention and day-to-day care than others, so factor that in when expanding your (social media) family.
Analysing Campaign Performance Is Like Following the Weather Forecast
When I moved to Switzerland over a decade ago, I never used to look at weather forecasts before going out. Still, I rarely was caught by surprise by rain, wind or glaring sunshine.
Later, when my iPhone somehow grew into a fixed extension of my right arm, I started to keep a close eye on the forecast. Surprisingly, this led to me being surprised by a rain shower more often than before!
What happened? When I started looking at the weather details someone allegedly smarter than me had put together, I overlooked my own instincts and observations. All the data my phone delivered, caused me to bypass all that.
The same can happen when we grow an intimate relationship with social media, content and website statistics. They have their place in delivering the big picture, but they shouldn’t be used to overrun feelings and intuition, rather to complement them.
Use the data to unearth new revelations and fine-tune your gut feeling, but also ask questions like “What feels good and authentic?” and “What do our instincts tell us?”
Finding Right Marketing Support Is Like Taking Nutrition Supplements
How about nutrition supplements then? Go to any supermarket, let alone a wellness store or specialised online store and you’ll find out hundreds of ways how a simple pill can make you less tired, less stressed, more motivated or simply a better person all around.
Sounds too good to be true? Yes, and also probably is. While high-quality supplements can contribute to improving well-being and tackling certain ailments, they won’t do a lot without proper diet, suitable physical activity, quality sleep, and good hygiene.
What does any of this have to do with marketing and content?
The way many supplements are marketed makes me think about how certain marketing agencies and professionals in the field work: Promoting one-pill-cures to problems that often require much more complex and personalised solutions. Like chronic illness, business profitability problems are rarely solved by implementing one magic launch formula or following a specific content structure on social media.
On the other side: when the foundation is solid and you know what you are doing, these miracle cures can take your business – and health – up one notch!
Which of These Old Classics Resonated with You?
Unhabitual parallels and absurd juxtapositions are one of my secret gifts, and these four are merely the latest addition to the mix.
If you haven’t enjoyed these old classics from the last couple of years, click the links to find more tongue-in-cheek comparisons between communications, marketing, content and everyday life:
- Entrepreneurship is like aiming at a meringue cake and ending up with a plate of scrambled eggs instead.
- Progress in business is not an elevator, it’s a spiral staircase.
- Content planning is like making guacamole.
- Marketing is like wearing a canary-yellow t-shirt when everyone else is opting for a navy-blue suit.
- Content marketing strategy is like baking a sponge cake: you need flour, sugar and eggs for a juicy treat everyone wants a slice of.
- Turning content into clients is like going to the gym.
What have you learned about communication and content marketing in your business or through your career?