Biblical stories are making a comeback in Hollywood this year with the release of Noah later this month and Exodus this coming December. These powerful narratives have resonated with audiences since their telling approximately 2500 years ago and, oddly enough, can offer some insight into how businesses can properly connect with their customers and clients in the social age.
Why a Content Marketing Strategy is an Inbound Marketers Ark
750 million. That’s the number of websites that currently call the World Wide Web their home. The result: a virtual flood of information that values quantity over quality, driving user attention scarcity. In the story of Noah, God declares to Noah that he will, “…send rain on the Earth for forty days and forty nights,” and, “will wipe from the face of the Earth every living creature I made.” This virtual flood is going to last a lot longer than 40 days and 40 nights, as 58% of businesses will increase their content marketing budget in 2014 (Content Marketing Institute). The water is only going to continue to rise. Don’t lose hope though! You, like Noah, have been warned of the flood, and now it’s time to build an ark of a content marketing strategy that will keep you afloat (and ahead of the pack) on what will likely be a long and arduous journey that will pay dividends in the future.
Building the Ark
The first step in the journey will be to build your ark. While Noah had cypress wood and pitch as his building materials, your company has the feedback from your clientele. Client feedback can sometimes be difficult to access at first, but I’m sure the cypress wood and pitch did not magically appear at Noah’s doorstep, either. He probably had to go out and find it. He had to cut it down, prepare it, and then fuse the timber together. The feedback from your customers gives you access to information that will help you find the best materials from which you will erect an ark. The best content (or material) is relevant, useful, and gives the customer an in-depth look into your company as well as your product. Your clients’ posts will give you the building requirements for your content marketing strategy, just as God gave Noah the specifications for the ark. “This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks.” While your customers may give you more room for creative interpretation than God, they will likely be just as demanding. Listen to them.
Surviving the Flood
For 40 days and 40 nights Noah, his family, and the rest of the animals survived in the confines of the ark; safe from the floodwaters that destroyed the rest of the world. I sincerely hope that the rest of the people on that boat-of-epic-proportions thanked Noah for his handiwork. I mean, he built a wooden ship roughly 2/3 the size of the Titanic, and he did it basically by himself over 50 years. That takes dedication and probably didn’t leave a lot of time for much else, like map-making, for one. You and your company are going to be surviving on this flood for a lot longer than Noah, and is imperative that you have a map to determine where you’re going (with your content media strategy, that is, in order to avoid potential snafus). Check out this 10 step checklist that will help you navigate the treacherous seas of the internet and keep your content marketing strategy ark afloat.