The following article contains Fun, Informative, Relevant and Extensive content.
Consume at your own risk.
Ladies and gentlemen, your attention please.
Clear your calendars, pour your favorite ice-cold beverage and stop scrolling for 4 minutes because we are about to open your eyes to a concept that is going to change everything you do content-wise.
**Psst. This post is based on a B2B Growth episode with Timmy Bauer, Kelsie Montgomery, Dan Sanchez, and James Carbary. You can listen to this episode in the player above ☝ or subscribe to B2B Growth on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Changing content forever
The Sweet Fish Media Evangelists have come together to outline the approach that has taken them from guppies to great whites.
Here at Sweet Fish, we consume, create, examine and launch a ton of content, and frankly, what we are seeing out there in Contentland (aka: LinkedIn mainly) is pretty boring.
It’s perfunctory. It’s uninspiring. It’s vanilla.
The takeaways, if there are any, are very often surface level, and in some cases, insultingly obvious. Here is one of Dan’s examples:
Ex: “Top 10 Things to Do When Training For a Marathon”
1. Drink water!!!!
Ummm, yes, water.
But, if I’m training for a marathon, I’m pretty sure I am in tune with the fact that I need to remain hydrated. How about sharing some actual useful information.
Like, how much water? Electrolytes? At intervals? Before I train? Only during? Give me something, man! There are just so many hours in the day and anything that I stop scrolling for had better be worth my while.
“Get into the specifics, go deeper than the first obvious answer.”
Indeed, Dan. Indeed.
The 4-part framework for FIRE content
We were in search of something that could help us scrutinize our product before we put it out into the world. Something that would help hold ourselves accountable for what we create and share.
So, we created an acronym to help us measure the quality of our content.
Fun. Informative. Relevant. Extensive
This is not your momma’s content (unless your mom is mad cool).
Loosen up, tightwad!
Just because you are talking about data security or manufacturing or some other topic that not many people outside of that industry’s target market gives a crap about (not even your mom), that doesn’t mean it can’t be punchy and clever.
“Confidence is so key. It’s risky to make a joke. It’s risky to kind of make something light. I think a lot of times we spend so much time trying to sound like the ultimate authority in a certain field, we really miss an opportunity to have fun with it.“
So, we know what content shouldn’t be. Here are 4 things it should be according to Timmy.
4 things your content should be:
Easy to consume- Short and sweet paragraphs. Lots of lists and bullet points.
Intriguing- Dare I say your content should be interesting? I mean, duh, yes?
Engaging to the -Yes, we are saps around here. You are too, and you know it.
Sprinkled with flavor- Humor, GIFs, memes, pop culture.
Timmy also poses this question, which is such a great nod to the customer journey:
Does the searcher feel good reading it?
When was the last time you asked that question?
That’s an AH-HA moment for me right there, and I sincerely hope you are feeling good reading this!
*If not, here’s a cute bunny, and I will really try to step it up as you read on:
Remember way back when people thought having access to the internet would create a brilliant, innovative and unprecedented human collaborative?
This is where we are, people:
Do not send me angry emails, or tweet what a moron I am for saying that the internet is only for insanely dumb and amusing memes. That’s not what I am saying at all.
There is an enormous amount of brain-cell-deteriorating stuff floating around ye olde internet, and what I am saying is that here at Sweet Fish, we will not be contributing to that end of the content pool, and neither should you.
Offer new insights
If someone is stopping to consume what we put out, we want to deliver something that is valuable, informative, and actionable.
“To me, something is actionable when it tells you to start doing something or to stop doing something.”
We want you to walk away with something in your pocket. We want you to find what you’re looking for!
*Cue Bono “you said, you want, diamonds and a ring of gold…”
Moving on 🙂
Empower your audience
We want to have the right answers on hand for you.
And if we don’t know the right answers, we will find you someone who does.
You deserve that.
We are big believers in the idea that content should empower the consumer to do something they couldn’t do yesterday.
We know what everyone else is saying, and so do you. We won’t be regurgitating those same “original” thoughts.
Our goal is to be your go-to destination for the actual answers you need, and we want you to take those answers back out into the world and kick some serious ass with them.
“To educate people is really to empower people.”
That’s in the business space.
Socially? Go ham.
Post every last Ryan Gosling giggle, Jada Entanglement, and please, don’t ever stop using Homer backing into the shrubbery. Please.
What are people searching for? What are they intrigued by?
SEO is your friend
SEO is clearly coming into play when we talk about being relevant, and we understand it can be intimidating.
Honestly, SEO is an entirely different topic, deserving of its own spotlight and because as I just said, we want to give you actionable and valuable information to take away, I invite you to check out this post from our masterful Director of Audience Growth, Danchez:
SEO plays into how to determine what is relevant, but you should also be tapping into the very real and very human elements of relevance in your industry.
For example, instead of asking what someone’s views are on what everyone is doing right in the industry, ask them what’s something that they passionately disagree with.
“That’s going to give us a unique perspective that actually helps people reframe how they’re thinking, and that’s what we’re trying to go for.”
That simple shift in thinking can erupt into an entirely different conversation than you may have had throwing softballs. Anyone can toss those. Work on your slider.
We may be quick with the memes, but that does not compromise the substance of our content or how deep it goes.
“It has a lot to do with how we structure our blog posts. There a lot of different ways that our writers will strategically keep something consumable while still being able to go incredibly in-depth on a topic.”
We don’t do fluff.
We navigate cyber computing, metals analysis, the complexities of sitting in the CEO chair and fart jokes with equal aplomb.
We dig deep. We cultivate real solutions. We ask the hard questions.
Get your hands dirty
We encourage our clients to ask the hard questions, so we can create content for them that slides into their industry with confidence, know-how, and a little insider strut.
Whatever industry you are creating content for, interviewing guests about, or just mucking around in, take the time to make your content something more than banal chatter at a cocktail party.
Fully understand your space
Read trade journals, learn to speak the language, know the competition, educate yourself.
Don’t make me show you “Ceiling Cat” again.
Provide rich and extensive content, k? K. Speaking of “K”, I’ll let Kelsie have the last word:
“We have a way of kind of sprinkling in some flavor to make something that has the potential to be super dry, still be something that you can consume, enjoy, and yet, gain a lot of information from.”