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The Geography Class Approach To Content Marketing (Part 1)


The secret to effective content marketing is similar to the geography class at school where we all learnt about meandering rivers.

Whilst the majority of us can go high-brow and talk about ‘ox-bow’ lakes, putting it into a principal of a constant flow of content and a growth of material(s) that can stand the course of time, becomes a clear analogy to work with.

The constant flow of the river represents continual movement towards the mouth of the river basin. In terms of content, the frequent flow of tweets, LinkedIn entries, and Facebook posts represents the continual stream of activity all aimed at your audience. The flow of information is always intended to your target audience (or the river basin if we go back to school mode).

As you can see from the diagram the flow of the river also produces layers of sediment deposits on the side of the channel. Moving this to a content analogy, the deposits represent the more substantial information that is produced. Rather than the frequent ‘flow’ of information, this represents the ability for content to ‘grow’ and to stand the test of time (and recognised as more substantial than a train of thought).

The sediment deposits represents the high quality content from blog articles, the ‘best practice guides,’ video content, in-house newspapers/magazines that are predominantly aimed at helping turn your customers into industry experts. This is the more considerable material that constitutes a greater investment of time and carries more substance than the continual flow of information.

Both the concept of continuous ‘flow’ of information and ‘growth’ of more considered content cannot work in isolation. The river diagram from the school textbook, the flow of information over time helps contribute to the distribution of sediment throughout the river channel. Taking this to our content metaphor, the regular short bursts of information can help contribute to a greater cause intended to stand the test of time by being aimed at helping others and primarily used at positioning you and your customers as the authority. The sediment represents the knowledge and resources used to help grow your positioning within your marketplace.

The entire river can represent our aim as businesses to be perceived as the thought leader. The route to become recognised as the ‘go to’ business is never in a straight line, it takes investment in time and energy. What the ‘flow’ and ‘grow’ concept represents is a commitment to consistent quality.

Sometimes going ‘back to school’ does open up an Aladdin’s cave of metaphors and content marketing concepts that we can apply throughout our businesses!

N.B. Click here for part two and how this textbook diagram can be converted into a content marketing approach for you to use.

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About Mark Masters

My whole focus is to position companies as the 'go to' people in their industry, by creating better experiences for their audiences. This is by helping businesses create content and information to build leads, visitors and sales. Check out my Google + profile: Mark Masters