September 2, 2014
Magic and Content Marketing
Magic is one of those occupations that has a mix of lovers and haters. Some dislike feeling tricked, or not being “in the know” about how something is performed. Regardless I think there are some similarities between performing magic and the art of successful content marketing. Yes, magic is an art and so is content marketing. Here are four questions you should ask about your content marketing.
Where are your users looking?
One of the first things magicians and sleight-of-hand artists learn is the skill of misdirection. Causing your audience to watch one hand while the other hand performs the trick. Hmm, deception, how does that relate to content marketing.
Well of course we don’t want to encourage deception in our writing, but there’s another principle that must first be learned that is far more important than deception. The magician must know exactly where their audience is looking. They must command their audience and draw their eyes to exactly what they want them to see. As a content marketing expert you want to be so in touch with your audience that you know exactly where they are looking and what will keep them looking. You want to draw their eyes to what you want them to see.
Are you entertaining?
There’s no doubt that sleight-of-hand artists are entertaining. You can’t help but watch them somewhat mesmerized when they are performing a trick. You want to see every move, every split-second action. You’re highly engaged and entertained. Just the same, you as a content marketing artist must make people feel entertained while they are reading what you write. It’s no longer just a manual or a blog article about a new feature for a piece of software. It’s an opportunity to entertain.
This means because you know where your audience is looking and because you are in touch with what interests them you can now craft a story, an intrigue, a heartbreak, or a comedy which captures their hearts and engages them in what you are sharing. You must be entertaining. You must be engaging. Your content is your stage from which you can mesmerize the world.
Are you exciting?
Magic is exciting because the user knows what to expect and yet is still fooled. They are drawn into the illusion and the magic of the moment. When you craft content marketing you have an opportunity to excite. Yes, of course the user may know what to expect and yet you can still surprise and delight them through your delivery methods. Be exciting in the sentences you construct and the words you use to deliver your message.
Content marketing is not just business. Yes, it has many real-life applications and uses. But we should never forget that our content is a way to communicate, excite others, and stir within them a passion for the thing which drives and motivates us. Your words can empower people. You can excite your audience to do more.
Are you encouraging questions?
If you’ve ever watched a magic show you’ve seen audience members shocked, amazed, entertained, and excited. Then the questions start to come out. They want to know how the trick was done. They want to know more. They want it to be performed for them again. A good artist will be at home with their audience, will encourage interaction, and will welcome the opportunity to establish a more personal interaction.
As a content marketer you want to do the same. Content marketing is about engaging with your audience; sharing relevant information and encouraging questions. Good marketers leave their audience wanting to know more and asking questions. Great content marketers not only cause their audience to ask questions but they provide answers as well. Suddenly the content has come alive and become a channel by which the writer and the audience share a bond.
Are you practicing?
One thing every magician or sleigh-of-hand artist will tell you is the importance practice plays in their success. I’ve heard stories of magicians practicing a single trick for thousands of hours before ever showing it to the world. They want the illusion to be perfect. They want the mystery to be captivating and the trick to be flawless.
Content writing is also a skill which must be practiced. Your words must be chosen carefully and thoughtfully and the more you practice writing beautiful sentences the better you will become. You should want your writing to be flawless. There is not a day which goes by when I don’t see an imperfection a flaw, or a mistake which I could have done better in my writing. I see each day as an opportunity to practice more.
My wife laughs at me because I constantly go back, read and re-read my posts and then chagrin over how they could have been improved.
Magical Content Marketing
You can be a content marketer. You can be great at writing a thousand words a day without blinking an eye. Perhaps you are quite good at creating captivating posts. There is always room for improvements. We can all become better, hopefully these four questions playfully comparing content writing to magicians and other artists help to look lightheartedly at ways in which we can continue to improve our craft.
We are artists. We must be flawless in our execution, engaging in our delivery, exciting in our content and magical in the experience we create. Let’s practice a bit more magic when performing content marketing.
Remember, we’re all in this together!