Content Marketing is about the Memory (or lack of)

My latest content marketing engagement requires me to commute 2 to 3 hours per day.  To make the time useful, I’ve been listening to audio books and the latest book is a production of a group called “The Great Courses” about human behavior.  The most recent chapter is about memory.  It made me think about content marketing and how it is really all about memory or no memory of your brand and the experience of consuming the information.

content marketing is about the memoryAccording to the professor, our memory is constructed and often altered with time.  Assuming this is true, it follows that the content someone may consume is as much or perhaps more about the experience as it is about the content itself.  For example, suppose I am told a certain infographic will help me better control my critical manufacturing  process through more reliable measurement of the air temperature.  I download the infographic with anticipation that it will make my life easier because I will have less hassle with maintaining the process.  When I read the infographic, I immediately see that it is merely a promotion of this certain company’s product.  I am disappointed, a little pissed off and even feel a bit betrayed by this brand.  The memory of my interaction with this brand conjures unpleasant emotions.  When I am ready to purchase temperature measurement instruments and I come across this brand, my memory may not be exactly about the misleading infographic, but it will be of negative emotions.  The result is that your brand will not be considered or will only be considered as a price check.

The opposite scenario demonstrates why the content of content marketing is so crucial to success.  According to a recent survey by Content Marketing Institute, 95% of enterprise size companies claim to be using content marketing as part of their marketing mix.  Only 32% of those marketers believe they are effective at content marketing.  Why? The answer is about the memory they are creating with their content.  You may be wondering how you create a positive memory around your content.  If you follow these four basic guidelines, your content is highly likely to evoke positive feelings:

  1. Make it easy to obtain
  2. Remove any mention of your own products or service
  3. Make it useful for the content consumer
  4. Make it easy to consume

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