I wasn’t going to be the one to write a blog post this week. But I am the one who writes “cute” posts at Right Source, and when the idea of a post centered around conversation hearts and content marketing got tossed out at an informal gathering (ok, maybe it was at a bar), I heard myself volunteer. Do you think I asked myself how I was going to execute on this super-cute, potentially heart-shaped Valentine’s Day post when I woke up the next day? Possibly. But if I made Batman and content marketing make sense, this had to be possible, right?
Conversation hearts are iconic, invented in 1866 by Necco and called “Sweethearts,” they originally said things like “Be Mine” and “Say Yes.” They’ve been updated with the times, however, to also include sayings like “Text Me” and “You Rock.” I can’t find evidence that anyone has created a set of conversation hearts that only include content marketing terms (maybe Joe Pulizzi of CMI will do this and they’ll all be orange), but I found some phrases from actual conversation hearts that are perfect for the romantic content marketer.
Here is the list of conversation hearts to collect if you are lucky enough to have a sweetie who is into content marketing, and the reasons they will spice up your romance with content marketing overall.
You and your sweetheart are quite the dream team, I’m sure. To hang onto your catch, you need to also assemble a content marketing dream team, because a content marketing effort rarely succeeds without the right combination of people supporting the cause. (And if you become a big fail, do you think he or she is going to hang onto you?) You might choose a hybrid team model that features some contingent of outsourced professionals and some in-house staff, but the key is to assemble the right players.
It’s a classic conversation heart phrase, but it would also be the hallmark of the “lead generator” content marketer. How do you know if this is you? Before you do any kind of content marketing planning, you need to decide what flavor content marketer you are. Lead generation is important, of course, but remember not to assume that your content marketing efforts can be a stand-alone lead gen program.
Email is a great way to flirt with your sweetheart. It’s also a fantastic way to flirt with your leads, once you have them. Key to your content marketing initiative, email can be instrumental in nurturing those leads at the top of your marketing funnel. Are you putting your marketing automation platform to good use? According to SiriusDecisions, 85 percent of marketers using a marketing automation platform in 2014 were not utilizing it to its potential. You don’t have to be part of that statistic. Use your marketing automation platform to stay in touch with your leads with well-thought-out lead nurture campaigns and let the platform do the flirting for you.
It used to be people wrote love letters to each other — on paper. At some point, it shifted to text, enter the conversation heart, “Text me.”
To me, “Write me” is the best conversation heart for the content marketing romance. While not everything in content marketing is written, lots of it is. This is definitely my favorite of the pack. But the back should say, “quality only, please.” Creating a ton of mediocre content will not make you stand out, engage your audience, or impress your sweetheart.
I’d also suggest the creation of a heart that says, “Proof me” because this is every bit as important as “Write me,” in my opinion. You can create lots of remarkable content, but if it’s riddled with errors, your list of suitors, and your audience, will dwindle fast. Try these checklists for more “Write me” tips:
- The 7-Step Editing Checklist
- 17 Mistakes That Can Doom Your Blog Posts
- Use Research to Take Content From Flimsy to Fabulous
This relates to my suggestion of the “Proof me” heart above. If you aren’t going to do content marketing the right way, putting quality before quantity, and planning before execution, then you can’t have the “Class act” heart. Be a class act for your sweetie on Valentine’s Day, but be a class act every day as a content marketer, or give your conversation heart back and get out of the game. For more about planning before executing so you can truly be a class-act marketer, read “Build Your Content Marketing Plan: A 10-Step Guide.”
You’ve heard this here before: you can create the greatest content in the universe, but if you don’t do anything to market it, you shouldn’t have bothered. You should show the world how special you think your sweetie is. Do the same thing with your content.
Share it on your “owned” social media properties like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. Then encourage your employees to share it, too. Your reach just got exponentially larger. But don’t forget to look outside your corporate sphere for distribution to a wider audience. Get your content in front of new audiences by syndicating it. Find sites or publications that make sense for your industry and find out what their submission rules are. Many are happy to pick it up. This checklist, “Content Distribution in Eight Easy Steps,” will help get you moving in the right direction.
Have that special someone who shares your love of content marketing? Make that effort to dig these conversation hearts out for him or her on Valentine’s Day (or any day… I’m pretty sure conversation hearts never go stale). Just collecting hearts because you’re feeling the love for content marketing all on your own? Well, maybe don’t advertise that too much.
Let me know if you have any other content marketing conversation hearts that should be added. Maybe there’s a market for them.