James Carbary

Founder at Sweet Fish Media

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A 4-Part Framework to Measure the Quality of Your Content

James Carbary

Founder at Sweet Fish Media

Full Profile »

Listen to this episode right here. ☝☝☝

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. 

[RELATED: Here’s how to build an evangelist program for your employees in 10 steps.]

Let’s meet them, shall we?

lets-get-ready-to-rumble-GIF

First up:

At Content Strategy-SEO madman

TIMMMMMMMY BAUER!

At Creative Director- The ultimate Slack punster and overall creative goddess, 

KELLLLLLLLSIE MONTGOMMMMERYYYYYYY

Coming in at Director of Audience Growth -Champion of banishing all things vanilla; with the mohawk to prove it:

DAN. THE MAN. SANCHEZZZZZZZZZZZZ

*Pregnant pause for electric energy to settle, but not die down*

And finally, our Baker Mayfield. Our Muhamad Ali. The Coke to your Pepsi, Man with a PLAN, Founder and CEO of Sweet Fish and YOUR Head Evangelist…

JAMES CARBARY

The crowd goes wild!!!!!!!

crowd-of-fans-GIF

So, let’s talk content. 

Spice up your vanilla content

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!!!!

Silence. 

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.”

Dan Sanchez

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.

F.I.R.E

 Fun. Informative. Relevant. Extensive 

fire-flames-GIF

1. Fun

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.

Kelsie Montgomery

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:

happy-bunny-GIF

2. Informative

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:

10 Most Popular Internet Memes (In History) - BroadbandSearch

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. 

But! 

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.”

James Carbary

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.”

Dan Sanchez

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.

homer-simpson-backing-into-shrubbery-GIF

3. Relevant

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. 

[RELATED: Discover how Sweet Fish establishes thought leadership through SEO.]

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. 

James talks about how we use a POV (Point of View) Discovery approach with our clients, and in turn, encourage them to do the same when pre-interviewing guests and engaging with them during their podcasts. 

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.”

James Carbary

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.

4. Extensive

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.”

Kelsie Montgomery

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.”

Kelsie Montgomery

Yup, we do. 

For more F.I.R.E content tips and terrible cat memes, subscribe to B2B Growth on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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