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Imagine if an art museum contained every single painting created over a hundred-year period. It wouldn’t be much fun to visit, right? Hundreds of thousands of images, of wildly varying quality, without organization or context? It would be like a Google image search crossed with a garage sale. Content curation is what turns a warehouse full of art and artifacts into a museum.
And now, a brief message from Captain Obvious and his sidekick, Sidekick Boy: The goal of marketing is to generate leads that convert to sales, thereby generating revenue. What a thunderously, crashingly obvious statement! Captain Obvious saves the day again. But seriously, it’s useful for marketers to occasionally contemplate this most fundamental truth about our profession.
How many of your current marketing tactics are over five years old? Marketing is a fast-paced profession; even if you’re still using the same channels, odds are your strategy has changed. How about ten years old? Twenty? Thirty? It’s surprising, then, that a marketing channel nearly forty years old is still one of the most relevant for digital marketing.
For some marketers, going viral is the holy grail of content marketing. It’s easy to see why. You put out content, people organically start sharing it, and it takes off until you’ve racked up millions of views. Millions of brand impressions without a penny in paid promotion. You can’t blame marketers for chasing that particular dragon.
Never skip leg day. That is, when you’re working out, it’s important to change it up. Vary your routine and work different sets of muscles. It’s the difference between looking incredible, and looking like Mr. Incredible. Your healthcare marketing needs just as much variety as your fitness routine does.
For over a decade now, the fundamental unit of content marketing has been the blog post. Your post may be a block of text, an infographic, or a listicle about memes, but the underlying structure is the same. A regular cadence of posts to the company blog is the foundation of most content marketing strategies.
Your brain can identify and retain details of an image in 13 milliseconds. That’s less than a 20th of the time it takes to blink your eyes. So it’s no surprise that visual content is on the rise as attention spans shrink. If you could choose between a consumer spending 20 seconds with a wall of text or 20 seconds with an image, it makes sense to go with the latter.
B2B content marketers: It’s time to get over our inferiority complex. Yes, the B2C folks are over there marketing cool stuff like basketball shoes and energy drinks, while we’re stuck with cloud software solutions and medical imaging machinery. Yes, we’re marketing to business professionals on a buying committee that has to commit to million-dollar deals.
If I had to sum up marketing’s relationship with social media in a single nerdy meme, it’d be this: Yes, much as Obi-Wan Kenobi was dismayed to find that Anakin had turned to the dark side, many marketers feel betrayed by social media. Each platform offered the potential to build an audience and deliver content straight to their feeds.
My mother was the chief cook in our household. It was a thankless job. Her customers were three kids with radically different ideas about what was edible and what was, like, totally grody. When we asked what was for dinner—one of her least favorite questions—she would frequently answer, “Well, we could make peanut butter sandwiches, if we had any bread. Or any peanut butter.
Blank space: Great when it’s a song by Taylor Swift, not so great in content marketing. No, wait. I already used that analogy. Now I need a clever new intro to this post about overcoming writer’s block and resetting your content brain. I’m staring at a white screen, trying to put words together, intimidated by all that blank space. Hey, that’s like the Taylor Swift song… no, wait.
Marketing is a challenging profession, full stop. But some flavors of marketing are trickier than others. Healthcare marketers have the same obstacles and issues other marketers do, and they have to contend with strict brand guidelines and stricter federal regulations. It’s like the old saying: “Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, only backwards and in high heels.
Every good gardener knows there are two types of flowering plants: Annuals and perennials. Annuals bloom once and have to be replanted the next growing season. Perennials stick around; they continue to flower year after year. Most blog posts are annuals. You publish them, they generate views and shares for a while, and then they basically go dormant.
Blank space: Great when it’s a Taylor Swift song (or a nifty 20’s-style cover of same), not awesome when it’s on your editorial calendar. You want to publish with a steady cadence to keep your audience satisfied. But you know that filler won’t do—it’s got to be quality and quantity. Great content is no accident. It requires careful planning to provide the value and variety your audience craves.
Journalists make excellent content marketers. It’s not just because they’re used to writing clean, compelling copy. Or that, given the state of the modern news industry, there’s a wide talent pool for marketing departments to choose from. No, journalists make great marketers because they have finely-developed instincts for chasing down a story.
We marketers love to chase shiny objects. It’s part of the constant drive to experiment, optimize, and improve. Any new tactic that looks promising is going to attract our attention. During his presentation last week at Social Media Marketing World, Lee Odden offered proof of just how shiny influencer marketing is: It can potentially return $9.60 for every dollar invested.
“Social media evolution is inevitable. All you can do is evolve along with it.” - @carlosgil83 Click To Tweet Snapchat is a platform seemingly designed to confuse people of a certain age. Let’s say those of us who were high school age or older when Bill Clinton was president. If you’re in that demographic, you probably didn’t immediately “get” Snapchat’s minimalist UI and se ...
If you want to write amazing content like Ann Handley, don’t be a Dumbo. Dumbo was convinced he could only fly while holding a “magic feather.” When he lost the feather mid-flight, he plummeted toward the ground. It wasn’t until he believed he could fly without the feather that he was able to take off again.
In a past life, I was a minor internet celebrity. One big perk to that dubious career was being a vendor at San Diego Comic Con for seven straight years. Our little indie booth saw visits from superheroes and celebrities alike. Doctor Who, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, DC & Marvel Comics: It’s truly a nerdy paradise.
“’Cause whether you’re high or low, you gotta tip on the tightrope.” –Janelle Monae Content marketing can sometimes feel like walking a tightrope through treacherous crosswinds. On one side, you have the need for brand recognition: Followers, likes, shares, all the metrics that make marketers feel good.