No matter what platform the message is delivered on, whether it be the wall of a building or the side of your Facebook page, the difference between good and bad marketing has always been the content. Over the years, content marketing has transitioned from buildings to magazines to blogs, but the strategy is still the same. However, digital marketing has drastically changed how you write to your audience. Since social media makes your brand transparent, consumers can see right through content that isn’t genuine and is simply written for the sake of being written. The job of digital content marketing is to communicate with your audience without selling. As Rebecca Lieb from Advertising Age says, “Content marketing is a pull, rather than a push, strategy. Content doesn’t interrupt, it attracts.”
Now, instead of telling you that your content needs to be engaging and original like every other content marketing post out there does, we’re going to show you. As Command Partners’ resident farm girl, I’m going to explain content in terms of something I have a lifetime of knowledge about, dairy farming.
1. Raising Calves = Generating Content Ideas and Identity
Did you know that every single holstein calf is born with markings that are completely unique to them? They don’t copy any other cow’s spots. Each calf is original with their individual look and character. While some are sweet, others are stubborn, and they definitely have their own voice.
Now, I bet you’re wondering what calves have to do with content. Well, just like calves, your blog needs to have its own spots and character. Since each calf has a unique personality, I have to tailor how I approach them based on that. This is similar to how you have to write to attract your consumer. While business writing needs to be clear and simple, writing for a pop culture blog can include colorful language and sarcasm. You have to understand your audience’s voice, and build from there. To differentiate your content, you can’t just follow what everyone else is writing (or mooing about if you will), you have to put your own spin and viewpoint on it. Personally, my favorite cows are always the ones that stand out from the herd.
2. Cultivating Fields = Cultivating Content
Farmers spend hours upon hours in the fields. From preparing the field to planting to chopping, and everything in between, it is a very long tedious process. The first step in field work is always cultivating. For those of you who didn’t grow up on a farm, cultivating means preparing the land to plant crops. Cultivating provides the foundation for raising crops, if a farmer skips this step, it would have a major impact on the crop’s growth.
Cultivating a field is very similar to cultivating ideas for content. Without a solid foundation for your post, the content will have no direction and never have the chance to grow. When I need inspiration for content ideas, I looking at topics from every perspective (age, culture, education, generation, occupation…etc), relate concepts to my own experiences, do research into what my audience is interested in, find out what has already been written on a topic and make it better, search Pinterest for quotes on the subject, and more. One of my key ideation tips is to write down every concept that pops in my mind without a filter or analyzing. This helps clear my focus of whatever it is on and open up to new possibilities. Remember, you can always go back and edit later. All in all, to make your blog one of the best, you have to start with a foundation of original and interesting content. Copying someone else is not an option, so take the time to be the color in a barn of black and white.
3. Human Touch = Personally Writing Content
My dad, the owner of one of the top 10% most successful dairy farms in New York, strongly believes in acclimating cows to human interaction. From the time they are calves, Phalen Farms cows get used to having humans around. Instead of using a robotic milking system, Phalen Farms employees are a key part of the milking process. This makes the cows more civilized and calmer overall, which leads to less injuries caused by skittish animals and actually results in higher milk productivity.
Even though using robotic milking machines and scheduling posts is easier and more time efficient, the results are not the same. For those that write content, adding a human touch by personally writing content can have a major impact on the post’s success. Instead of using automated blog writing tools that produce generic and stale content, by taking the time to personally adding emotion and character to your content, you’ll offer a different spin and ultimately make your content more interesting. Both cows and your audience respond better to a human touch, and if you take the time to humanize the process of writing content, your hard work will pay off in the end.
“Even though we use technology more and more, we still need human interaction with the cows. There is no substitute for that.” -Kevin Phalen
In my experience I’ve found that generating content is a lot like life on the farm. The process of creating content that is relevant and interesting, then making it your own, is an occurrence that you have to repeat on a daily basis. It’s hard work that never ends, but it’s necessary to make your content the best out there.
If you or your company would needs assistance in creating content, hiring an agency on, such as the experts at Command Partners (milking it for all it’s worth), is a great option. Feel free to contact us to see the content services and solutions Command Partners provides for you!
P.S. Be looking out for the next Farming Great Content blog post about SEO and content promotion!