Law of Conservation of Details
Best Content Marketing Practices
Anton Chekhov was well known for his short stories. He was also intent about paying attention to the details of a story.
“If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it is not going to be fired, it shouldn’t be hanging there.” (from S. Shchukin, Memoirs, 1911)
We see this all the time. We want to lead the reader along a path. We place clues along the way. If Indiana Jones tells us he has an intense fear of snakes, then we can view this as a clue and it works well within the story when he falls into the pit of vipers later.
Content marketing is, at its essence, storytelling. Which means as a content marketer you are a story teller.
You have to make your stories interesting and you must provide clues along the way that ultimately satisfy the reader. If you want to make a sale, then you need to lead them ahead with a “clue” or two that satisfaction may end with them acquiring something that will benefit them. These clues need to be built into the story. If you want them to subscribe to your e-mail list, then your story telling must support the concept that subscribing to your e-mail list is valuable for them.
Before the author reveals the gun in chapter one, the use for the gun in chapter three must already be defined. The author needs to have a plan for the details (clues) which are revealed just as your content marketing stories must be well planned.
Every item of content marketing that you create should have a well-defined purpose.
Here are some ideas for your purpose:
- Grow your e-mail list
- Sell a product or service
- Improve your position in search
- Become a thought leader and authority on your topic
- Grow a Pinterest following
- Provide content for other social media channels
- Provide assets for your affiliate programs
- Deepen a relationship with key collaborators
If you think about these goals you may conclude that there can be different approaches to achieving them. You may also conclude that the approach for each of these goals can, and perhaps should, be different.
You need to know what you want to accomplish. You need to plan.
Here are five elements of a proper content marketing strategy:
- Why – Set the goal
- Who – Define your ideal audience
- What – Define the key message of your story
- Where – Establish where it will be published and where it will be promoted. Include sharing capabilities with the post.
- When – Choose the best time to post – build it into an editorial calendar
For each content piece you create, define the answers to these five elements. This helps you to achieve your objectives with the content piece.
To be successful you will reach your ideal reader with an important message that resonates with them. Moreover, success may also mean that your ideal reader finds your content so compelling that the reader shares it with others.
Keep in mind that your ideal readers will not all be in the same place. Some will have just heard about you and other may have been consuming your content for years.
No matter where your ideal reader is on their path with you show them something new. Find something that delights them. Educate and entertain them.
Content marketing can easily be integrated into your approach to generate sales. Lead people along the path to the sale with compelling stories. Provide stories with key insights.
I coach people about content marketing and have a passion for this. If you want to engage with a question or comment then please use the comment form below. Moreover if you want to learn about my content marketing coaching program give me a call at 802-457-9799.
Here is another viewpoint and additional information from Joe Pulizzi. Joe is a content marketing expert and is excellent at providing special insights on content marketing. The 1-hour video is about Content Marketing Strategy.