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Remember being a kid and asking your Algebra teacher how you’ll use those annoying equations in your everyday life? Maybe you even made some witty joke on how you don’t need to know x amount of bananas and y amount of ice cream to make a banana split (by the way, the answer is chocolate syrup, it’s always chocolate syrup). Growing up, we’re always told what things we’ll use in our everyday lives. Getting our homework done teaches us… something. Taking that part-time job teaches us… something else. Aha! Responsibility! That’s usually what we’re supposed to be learning, right? Whether we get the message in a bottle is still up for debate, but when it comes to content marketing it’s surprisingly true: it really does teach us skills we use in our everyday life.

You’re just making that up, right?

 It sounds cheesy, yes. You’re probably reading that and having flashbacks of that Algebra teacher with the large glasses and permanent frown, telling you to pay attention in class. However, if you think about it, the articles out there for good content marketing skills often illustrate skills you’d want to have in your normal, everyday life. Sure there’s that article that shows the statistics of social media usage and how it’s growing bigger and bigger by the second, and there’s articles about the kind of information you want to bring to your audience and how you want to present it to them. However, along with all of that, there are a large number of those “Top [insert number here]” articles that go into tips and tricks that you’d use outside of content marketing.

Get to know your audience and treat them like people

This is a big tip in a lot of content marketing articles. Instead of presenting information in charts, tables, and other methods, a lot of companies are jumping into social media in more fun, inviting ways. They’re fun and conversational, making it easy for the audience to follow along with what they’re presenting. Big name companies update their Twitters, their Facebooks, and all forms of social media that anyone can take part in. They do more than talk about deals, sales, and why they’re the place to go. They’ll actually respond to tweets about them and have conversations with their followers. Check out a tweet from #TacoBell sometime, you’ll see that they actually retweet what their followers say about them and start conversations with them.

Today, people don’t want pitches thrown at them. They don’t want a salesperson, they want a friendly voice. We live in a time where information is just at the tip of your fingers. Before, when someone wanted a car, they’d have no choice but to get information from the salesman at the car lot. Now we can look online, find out the car’s history, and give a presentation about it to the dealer before they can try and sell it to us. We don’t need a salesman, nor do we want one, but if we go to that car lot and are treated like a person we’re likely to spend our money there.

Be creative and unique

Once you start posting information about content marketing you’ll quickly realize that there is a lot of information on the topic. How do you get more hits on that article you wrote? Be creative, of course. You want to stand out among everyone else out there, so articles are starting to have a witty, almost humorous touch to them. You’re more likely to remember an article if there’s that one good line that hooks you in. This goes along with getting to know your audience. While your audience is seeking information, they’re more likely to keep coming back for more if you can grab their attention. Don’t be afraid to start your article with something that your audience can relate to on a personal level. Tell a story, quote something that’s easily recognizable, think outside the box when putting your article together. Just make sure it relates to your overall work. You don’t want to confuse your readers.

String cheese. Did that have anything to do with this article? No. Did it make you want to snack on string cheese? Maybe. Are you confused? Probably.


Have a strong ending

The bottom line is that the skills you gain through content marketing are similar to the lessons you learn as you go through life. Like most of the important life lessons you learn, it won’t seem like you’re learning anything at all. But those are the lessons that stick with you the most. Those are the lessons that stay with you and, more importantly, you instill into others.