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From the Trenches

10 Content Marketing Lessons From Preschool

Yvonne Lyons | October 10, 2013

I remember preschool being an awesome place: lots of toys, an ultra-cool teacher, snacks, little rugs for naps during the day. Sounds like nirvana to me right about now. Preschool is about getting the hang of some really basic things, and when you’re learning (or “working,” because that made you sound more grown up when you were four), you don’t realize you’re doing it, which is almost the best part. When I take a look back at preschool, I realize that what they teach there is applicable in just about every facet of life, including what I do every day as a content marketer.

So put a little primary-colored cheer into your day by applying these preschool lessons to your content marketing practice. And see if you can institute snack time and those little nap rugs in the office.

Always do your best — Your mom tells you this and so does the preschool teacher. To create remarkable content and cut through the clutter, you always have to do your best work in content creation and marketing, as well. You can’t take a break on quality.

Be creative — Sometimes it’s just fine to color outside the lines if it’s in the name of creativity. Be bold and think outside the box with your content. Take a risk, try a new content format—a mini eBook, a series, an infographic—whatever that might be for you. And don’t forget to actually be creative with what you produce. Make sure design and content work together to create a product that your audience will find engaging.

Take turns — Have more than one writer you can use for content? Great. Switch it up to vary the voice. If it’s just you, that’s ok, but then make sure your subject matter changes. Map out your editorial calendar strategically so that you keep the audience engaged in a variety of topics.

Listen to others — Sometimes we have to put on our listening ears, right? While the majority of your content should be original, listen to what others in your industry are saying and curate content as part of your regular plan. Sharing quality content provides value to your readers, and others will, in turn, share your content with their audiences.

Remember the schedule — Show and tell happens on Fridays, and Fridays only. Your audience expects your show and tell on Friday, so don’t leave them hanging because you went out on Thursday night and didn’t finish your post. Post regularly — once a week, twice a week, whatever is in your plan — but be consistent so people know when to expect your fantastic content.

Choose wisely at story time — If you get to pick the story, think about what your classmates like. This is tough because we’re all just a little selfish (especially in preschool), but that’s part of learning. You have to consider your audience, not yourself. Create content based on what THEY want to consume, not what interests you.

If it’s your turn to bring snack, bring something good (and enough for everyone) — I think the rule really is only to bring enough for everyone, but if you’re the kid who brings carrots for snack, that will come back to haunt you almost as much as not having enough for the whole group — that’s just a fact. Bring something really yummy, and everyone loves you. Create really yummy, interesting content, and everyone loves you.

Sharing is caringDistribute to your network. If you have remarkable, yummy content, it makes people happy because it offers them something worthwhile during the day. And you might make new friends (also see below) when they distribute to THEIR friends.

Make friends — Preschool is about learning to socialize. Social media is about socializing, too. Ask people to guest blog for you. You’ll make new friends and expand your audience. But make sure they are bloggers, not just friends. They have to be excellent writers so you can maintain the high quality of your content.

Not everyone is going to like you — It’s tough to realize that not everyone is going to like you, hard as you may try. That’s ok. It’s the same in content marketing. Not everyone will like what you have to say. That’s also ok. It’s important to have an opinion — to be a thought leader in your area. The people who like you will come back to hear what you have to say, and if you say it well, they will come back over and over again.

Dr. Suess said, “With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.” Sometimes the simplest lessons are the most important. Use what you learned in preschool to keep the basics on track with your content marketing.  Think I missed any important lessons? Let me know in the comments below. For content marketing tips that might not be preschool related but are still important, download our eBook, “How to Grow Your Business with Content Marketing.”

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About Yvonne Lyons:

Yvonne Lyons is Right Source’s vice president of creative services, overseeing content and design for all of our clients. She ensures that all creative produced at Right Source is of the highest quality and is aligned with our clients’ business strategy and goals. Yvonne received a bachelor’s degree from the Johns Hopkins University in writing and literature and has more than 20 years of experience in marketing, branding, and communications.