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Why You Need a Content Mindset – Here’s Why #225

Mark Traphagen and Eric Enge on Why You Need A Content Mindset

As marketers, we are supposed to have certain qualities in order to be successful in our careers. What about mindset?

In this episode of the award-winning Here’s Why digital marketing video series, we welcome Mark Traphagen back for the episode as he explains why marketers need a content mindset.

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Eric: Shock of all shocks. Look what we have here. Our special guest star, Mr. Mark Traphagen. Mark, how are you today?

Mark: Eric, it’s good to see you again. And good to be back, at least virtually, in this studio where I spent so many hours in the past.

Eric: It’s awesome to have you back here too. I’ve been so looking forward to doing this again with you. Are we ready to have at it?

Mark: Let’s do it.

Eric: All right, awesome. Question number one, Mark. What is a content mindset?

Mark: Content mindset is a concept I’ve been mulling over for a while now, but we first need to understand what a mindset is. As marketers, we tend to get caught up in tactics or even strategies. Both are essential. Both are good. But at the heart of true, effective marketing has to be what I call a mindset. A mindset is simply a way of seeing the world. We all have the schemas, whatever you want to call them, in our minds, on how we perceive things. Marketers need to have them too. I have come to believe that the way we approach content effectively is actually a good framework for understanding and having a proper mindset for all of marketing.

When I say a mindset, I’m not talking about a rigid set of rules. It’s more a lens that gives us perspective on everything else. Let me go now to a definition of the content mindset. To me, content mindset is seeing all of marketing essentially as content no matter the channel, medium or target. I don’t mean content is everything, but that content fills and flows and makes all of marketing work. When you understand how content works, you’re going to have a good framework for your marketing. That’s the basic approach I’m taking here.

Eric: That’s great. So now we know what a content mindset is, but what’s the upside? Why should marketers adopt the content mindset?

Mark: I can answer that by starting with the five things I think content does and then we’ll relate those to marketing. First of all, content is meant to attract attention. You put content out there, whether it’s a blog post, a video like this, something on social media, a billboard, a placard in the subway. Whatever content you’re putting out there, the first thing you want it to do is get attention, get somebody’s eyes, ears, and mind focused on what you have to say.

Next, your content should work to frame your brand. Without being too in your face, it should tell the brand story. People should be able to quickly identify what your brand is about, what you do, what you bring to the marketplace that’s unique.

You also want your content to create an audience. It should bring people back, make them want to see your content again. You want them to actually look for you when they need information on what you do, or when they take the next steps, which hopefully is purchasing whatever it is that you do.

Next, you want to connect to the mind and heart. Nothing does that better than content. As a marketer, you’ve got to not only speak to the mind, answer the intellectual questions, fulfill that need, but also appeal to the emotions that are at the center of all human decisions. And finally, my apologies to Jay Baer, I’m going to steal from him…

Eric: I was going to say something about that.

Mark: Content needs to convince and convert. It needs to lead to the stage where you say, “Okay, I’m convinced. I need what you have, I want to buy it.” Content does all those things but, if you think about it, so does effective marketing. That’s why I talk about a content mindset. If you understand how content works in humans to create marketing situations and decisions, then you’ve got a great framework for all of your marketing. Marketing is really constructing the right content in the right context, in the right place, at the right time to the right audience.

Eric: Got It. So how does that work out in the end in everyday marketing? I mean, how does it roll out?

Mark: Let’s take that into the marketing world now. We talked about it in context of content. As a marketer, your first job is to attract attention. You open the doors, you start a business, you get a business plan down, you have a goal you want to achieve, but you can’t be shouting into a void. You’ve got to find a way to get people to see what you’re doing, to get them to understand the uniqueness of it, why it might connect with their own needs or desires. These “Here’s Why” videos we’ve done for years together are great examples of that. They attract attention, they inform, they’re interesting, and they connect people with your brand and what you do.

Next, you need to frame your brand. In everything you do, you need to help your audience understand what you’re all about. You do that with content, but all of your marketing needs to do that. It needs to connect to what you stand for, what you’re about, what makes you unique in the marketplace.

You also want to create an audience. Your market needs to go beyond just getting attention. You need to begin to get retention. You need to get loyalty. You need to get recognition. You need to get to that point where people not only look for your content or welcome it when it comes into whatever medium they’re on at the moment, but actually begin to actively search for you in the marketplace. Whether that’s through a Google search, looking for you in a brick and mortar store, wherever it is, that’s your goal.

Next is connecting the mind and heart. Think about that in all of your marketing. If you’re not involving the whole human being, the whole aspect, their intellect, the things they think about, the things they express and say that they want and need, but also moving them through the human emotions of humor, passion, want or desire, whatever it is, then you’re not marketing effectively.

And finally, you need to convert. You need to have steps in your marketing that make it as easy as possible, as frictionless as possible, and as enjoyable as possible for someone to take advantage of what you’re offering. That’s what I mean by moving a content mindset into all of our marketing. I hope your audience will think about that, reflect on that, and see how it might improve their overall marketing campaigns.

Eric: I couldn’t agree more, Mark. I mean, so many people miss this bit about creating the connection. And really, it starts with understanding what’s going on and what the motivations and desires of the people you’re trying to reach are. If you’re not managing all your communications to help drive that, you’re inherently missing a ton of opportunity. Mark, such great content as always. You know you’re my dear friend, and it’s a privilege to be able to do this again with you. Thanks so much for joining us again on “Here’s Why.”

Mark: “Here’s Why.”

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Thoughts on “Why You Need a Content Mindset – Here’s Why #225”

  1. I want to create a content strategy with sense but sometimes I see short content with non sense ranking based on pbn and free forum post with non sense also. Do you have any recomendation in this case? Today Google updated the algoritm and I see spammy websites on top 3

  2. Sadly, this still happens some. Nonetheless, your still best off sticking with producing authoritative content. Typically, those spammy sites don’t last for very long.

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Eric Enge

Eric Enge is part of the Digital Marketing practice at Perficient. He designs studies and produces industry-related research to help prove, debunk, or evolve assumptions about digital marketing practices and their value. Eric is a writer, blogger, researcher, teacher, and keynote speaker and panelist at major industry conferences. Partnering with several other experts, Eric served as the lead author of The Art of SEO.

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