The Salad Days of Content Marketing
Sep 03, 2020 10:26 am
Hello Content Creators!
Salad Days... Before I get OCD on salad prep and then tie it into content marketing, here’s the phrase's etymology:
Originally used by Shakespeare, his character Cleopatra referred to her time of youthful, naive “green” relationship judgement calls as her "salad days". Over the many years since, it's also come to mean the “best days” of something.
It’s that latter definition to which I refer, using, naturally, salad as a content corollary. But not just any salad...
The Optimal Salad Experience
This salad is my go-to lunch. I make it almost every day, and it’s dialed.
What makes it so special?
The way everything comes together. This may sound ridiculous, but bear with me. For it to be the Optimal Salad Experience, each ingredient should be just the right size, in just the right quantity:
- Lettuce - Crispy red, bib, baby arugula & spinach, ripped into small pieces
- Carrots - Shredded, because slices are too hard and clog up your fork
- Red Onion - Thinly sliced, about 1.25” in length
- Apple - Thinly sliced from a 1” wedge, adds crunchy sweetness
- Goat Cheese - crumbled around, about 1/4 cup
- Avocado - half, scooped into small bits
- Salt & Pepper - fresh ground, naturally
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Peppery, and ultra healthy
- Balsamic Vinegar - Adds both sweetness and acidity
Occasionally I’ll add slivers of fresh turmeric, 1” wedge slices of cucumber, or replace the apples and avocado with seasonal strawberries and dried goji berries and walnuts. And sometimes grilled chicken, also diced just big enough to easily poke with the fork, but not so big it's hard to fit anything else on the fork.
Here’s why all that attention to detail matters
Because once it’s tossed, all of the ingredients are evenly dispersed and nothing’s so big or heavy that it settles to the bottom.
Every bite is the right size, easily collected onto the fork, and each ingredient’s quantity is balanced so they work together to create an extremely satisfying explosion of flavor.
Avocado and goat cheese provide a creamy thickness that’s super filling. Baby arugula is mildly peppery, not overly bitter like bigger leaves. All of the veggies are small enough to get between the fork prongs, not clog it up and prevent proper pronging. And Red Sweet Crisp Lettuce will change your life.
Your content should provide that same experience!
When someone sees your ad, reads your blog post, or watches your video, you want them focused on the message and having a great time doing it!
If things are out of proportion and unbalanced (like a bad salad)...they’ll be distracted. They’ll be focusing on what’s wrong with your content, rather than getting the message.
Worse, they’ll associate that something’s-not-quite-right feeling with your brand, even if they’re not quite sure what’s wrong. It’s like when you have a bad meal (a salad, perhaps) at a restaurant, you'll remember what's wrong about your experience, and you probably won't go back.
So, think of your content like a salad and make sure all the ingredients are the right size, shape, and quantity, and that they all work well together. For example, think about:
- Sentence and paragraph length - does each sentence make them want to read the next?
- Image size and placement - do they help tell the story and pull the eye thru to the end?
- Colors and shapes - are they consistent and on-brand?
- Video pacing - does it hold a viewer’s interest and tease upcoming segments?
- Social posts - is it something you’d stop scrolling for? Something you’d share?
Those are just a few things to consider. It's easy to test. Create your content, then come back to it later. Do you still like it? Learning design and copywriting takes more than this one email, but my hunch is you can look at something and just know when it’s a little “off”.
Keep tweaking until things start feeling right. After all, if you had to serve your friends a meal (maybe a salad), you’d probably make something you’d practiced and perfected, right?
A recent content project
This week, I finally finished a video project for Kryptonite. They’ve been doing bike lights for a few years. But they’re known for bike locks. So, how do they get the word out?
It helps that they actually have a point of differentiation...highlighting Lux and Beam Pattern while everyone else focuses on Lumens. But no one knows why that matters unless they get the word out.
They could keep running ads, and posting stuff to social, but ultimately showing how and why it matters really gets the point across. And if it’s a third party (in this case, Bikerumor) that’s showing it off, Kryptonite gets the added benefit of an implied third party endorsement.
These video projects also show how the products work in the real world, with the kind of results you, me and everyone else can expect. That's valuable for consumers, but as a brand, there's more benefits than just good exposure.
Did our review strike a chord with viewers? What were they commenting about? What did we touch on, or they ask, that’s missing from Kryptonite’s marketing? Because that’s the stuff Kryptonite should add to future marketing content!
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Cool Stuff I've Found
This week, it's random, but oh so delicious...
A La Brava Hot Sauce - I prefer flavor over heat, eschewing sauces that are hot just for the sake of being hot. We used to eat at the taco shop where A La Brava ("for the brave") founder Marcos used to test batches
on with us. Once he perfected it, he sold his restaurants to focus on this sauce. I gift this to a lot of people, and everyone loves it. If you like rich, deep flavors in your hot sauce, I promise this will be your new favorite.
Quad Lock Phone Cases & Mounts - I've been using Quad Lock for years for two reasons: They make a great case that's kept my phone safe from the inevitable drops; and because they make mounts for just about anything. I have one on my dash, and several for my bikes. They make cases for iPhones and most other popular models, too. For cycling, it's the most secure and functional out-front mount I've ever seen.
Vessel JIS screwdriver - Using this screwdriver to adjust a Shimano rear derailleur is one of the most satisfying bike repair experiences you can have. Shimano even brands this one for their service team. JIS stands for Japanese Industrial Standard, and when you feel how perfectly it fits inside those tiny adjustment screws, you'll wish every bolt and tool had such a perfect interface.
Also, seriously, Red Sweet Crisp Lettuce.
Make every day a Salad Day,
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*Any items, services, or products mentioned in these emails are provided solely because I think you'll like them. I don't sell this space, but some links might be affiliate links, which earns me a small commission (beer money, really) if you buy something. This helps support all the free content. Thanks!