Are you more of a map or ladder person?
What does that even mean, Ashley?
It’s a thing I discovered recently that just CLICKS.
In your life / career, do you imagine yourself climbing a ladder?
Next salary increase
Or do you picture yourself exploring different locations on a map?
Experience in exotic location
(Mountain top, ocean floor, city, country, etc.)
The ladder has merit.
But it can feel very prescribed, right?
And if you’ve trained your brain to think of the ladder as safe, switching to a map mindset is daunting.
It can be especially difficult for someone who knows nothing but ladders to engage with a maps person.
They want very badly to see your story as linear.
To make connections that make sense.
To find clear endpoints.
And a specific goal.
But what if the goal is to experience different things?
To be unapologetically multi-passionate?
Confession: it is with absolute delight that, whenever I encounter someone trying to understand what my very mappy life is and has been, I introduce additional destinations (places I’ve not only been, but still currently reside). Because, y’all, you can be many things at once.
It’s kind of like when you study physical dimensions and challenge yourself to imagine the 5th and 6th dimensions (Superstring Theory). You either like the fuzzy concept of additional planes of existence, or they disturb you.
As my dad—and Allan Watts—would say, “Are you prickly or gooey?”
Structure versus… blobs?
Reality is we’re all a little both / and.
But I’m going to raise my gooey flag a little higher this issue and remind you that having a maps mindset is freeing.
Especially for those of us who are storytellers.
There’s always an unexpected turn we can deliver.
A plot twist.
A way of taking the story where the audience didn’t expect it to go.
Let’s embrace the idea of being enigmatic.
Of not fitting into the narrative others want to wedge us into.
As creators, it makes for a much richer story to NOT tell people what they expect to hear.
As content marketers, it helps us build brand stories that stand out.
As life livers, it frees us from the confines of looking to the next rung on a ladder and allows us to think, “I wonder what adventure I’d like to take next?”
Go ahead, confuse people a little.
It’s more fun.
And it keeps them coming back (see You Gonna Finish That? below).
Publishing X Times A Month Isn’t A Marketing Goal
Are you doing busy work, or are you creating content that could lead to tangible growth? In this TikTok, Emily Kramer shares why simply “creating content” should not be your marketing goal and offers examples of what your goals should be instead.
Is Your Content Decaying?
Content decay is a term that describes an ongoing decline in organic traffic and rankings for one or more blog posts.
Nate Turner unpacks what you need to know about content decay here.
Create A Conversion-Based Content Strategy
Want to create a conversion-based content strategy but not sure where to start? Here are some helpful tips from Jacalyn Beales:
- Look at what your customers AREN’T doing
- Make your audience the center of your community
- Reverse-engineer how you bring people to your content
- Approach content with a full-funnel mindset
- Stop pushing for demos
- Try different CTAs for different stages of the funnel
Perform A Keyword Gap Analysis
Do you know what your keyword gaps are? Robbie Richards identifies 5 advanced tactics to help you uncover them that take under 10 minutes (I found the screenshots to be particularly helpful).
Discovered via Growth Marketer Weekly.
Stop Hiding Behind Your Brand
A recent study by Stackla revealed 13% of consumers preferred brand content compared to 70% who preferred authentic user-generated content. As a result, Arik Hanson is offering tips to help brands make the change. In this article, he includes:
- Search a little harder for user-generated content
- Show more true behind-the-scenes footage
- Experiment with more live and unscripted video
What are you doing to give your audience what they’re asking for?
Discovered via Smart Brief on Social Business.
Can You Skimp On Your Content Marketing Budget?
Tijana Radivojevic asks: “Does cheap content impact bottom-line?” Her answer:
“Content done for the sake of content has a negative ROI in a long run and can set you back for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and result in stagnant, inconsistent, negative growth.”
Check out this article for her breakdown of cost discrepancies, in-house vs. freelancers, market shares, and more.
Reach Your Full Storytelling Potential
Want to be a better storyteller? Gianni Cara lists 7 storytelling resources to help you tap into this “superpower.”
- Lessons from the Screenplay
- Pixar’s The Art of Storytelling
- The Emotion Thesaurus
- and others
Discovered via Marketer Crew.
Have You Tried PAS?
Bradley Stevens knows how frustrating it can be to create great content only to have no one read it. He created the PAS formula (Problem, Agitation, Solution) to help you make sure your readers stick around. Here’s the key:
“If readers aren’t sticking around to read your content, it’s because they haven’t immediately identified a reason to stay. They need to see value immediately.”
Discovered via Growth Marketer Weekly.
Go Beyond Content Curation Basics
Let’s celebrate! This curation article by Stevie Snow goes beyond your typical “what is content curation” SEO article. (Seriously, you don’t know how many of that ilk we review every week. Very popular topic to attempt to rank for these days.)
Instead, Snow makes a strong case for content curation, offers examples of “curation in the wild,” and provides a recommended mix of curation vs creation readers might want to follow. She also gives a refreshing perspective on curation’s role in creating credibility for a brand:
“Sharing content from other sources helps shed any sense of a self-centered brand, showing that the company respects varying perspectives, stays up to date on current trends and values providing useful content to its audience.”
Don’t miss the newsletters referenced in the article as they’re particularly helpful and worth your consideration.
Why Product Marketers Make More Than Content Marketers
The gang at Superpath compared the Superpath 2022 Content Marketing Salary Report with the Product Marketing Alliance (PMA) 2021 Product Marketing Salary Report to explore this pay gap. The results? Product marketers get paid more than content marketers across the board.
Why? The closer to the product you are, the higher your perceived value.
Does this mean content peeps should aspire to become product marketers? Not necessarily. Cierra Loflin explains the discrepancy and what content marketers can do to increase their value here.
Are You Making These 7 Creator Mistakes?
In this article, Ben Schoeffler shares 7 mistakes he’s made and what you can do to avoid them. #2—don’t undercharge—is a biggie.
“Your price communicates the quality of your product.”
Discovered via Ghost Newsletter.
Opt In Challenge
Are you bartering? This week your Opt In Challenge is to check out this Digiday article by Seb Joseph and come up with a strategy for bartering with influencers who could help promote your brand.
Discovered via Social Media Today.