If you want to skip the introduction and head right to the blueprint to execute your content marketing, click here.
There's a word I learned when studying game mechanics for a past startup job used to describe the motivation behind your actions. This term sits squarely over everything I do today in content marketing.
The word is telic.
A telic action is, essentially, a chore. It's an action done for the end result alone. You probably sweep your floor to get a clean floor, not because you enjoy the act of sweeping and cleaning (and if you do, it's likely because you're thinking about that end result). Sweeping your floor is telic, at least to most people.
The opposite, paratelic, describes an action taken for the sake of doing so. The journey is the reason you do it, not the destination. For me, writing this blog post represents a paratelic activity -- I thoroughly enjoy the act of writing, regardless of how many views it generates. I'm writing because I love writing. I'd write whether or not I worked in content marketing. (Game mechanics, to complete the story, are used to turn chore-like activities into enjoyable ones, such as interacting with brands.)
The phrase telic has stuck around in my life long after leaving that game mechanics-focused startup. In content marketing, for instance, I've realized that not everybody views content production the way I do. To many, especially those from demand-gen or traditional marketing backgrounds, the act of creating content is a necessary evil to get an end result. It's a telic act. If it's not blogging, it's some other tactic -- whatever it takes to hit our goals.
Thus, while creating content may come naturally to those who love writing, to those who view it as a chore, the process may be less intuitive.
The same could be said on the opposite end of the spectrum -- distribution of your content can be a chore to creative types.
With that in mind, I've been building and tweaking a blueprint to executing content marketing to articulate how all of this works and make it a bit less loose and scary and chore-ish. (That's not a word, but man it should be. SO fun to say. Try saying it and tell me I'm wrong.)
(See? Told you I just enjoy this process.)
I'm excited to introduce the Content Marketing Growth Guide
This guide, which I published on this page for my firm NextView Ventures, sums up the content marketing playbook in a neat, step-by-step approach that can easily be molded and refined to your specific businesses. (Note: While it's addressed to startups, I've gotten feedback that much of the guide applies to companies of any size.)
To grow audience, turn the wheel.
I tried to visualize the entire process of content production and distribution as a wheel, which you can turn over and over again and refine as you go. You start in the middle with a single resource, then proceed from the top-left and around the wheel.
The wheel is also supported at the top and the bottom by some initial planning to make sure your strategy actually works. At the top is where you list your main goal and how you plan to measure that goal. At the bottom, you'll walk through setting up a few necessary things that support and accelerate your work.
All together, with your entire content world framed neatly in one place, it looks like this:
Personally, for whatever it's worth, I'd be lost without this visual (which, again, I refined over time and expect to keep refining).
Whether or not you're a startup, and whether or not you find this stuff to be "telic" (a chore) or "paratelic" (enjoyable), this playbook should help.
Also found in the playbook are...
- Hacks to help you move faster without skimping on quality.
- Interviews with entrepreneurs who have found success, perhaps against the odds, with content marketing.
- Sneaky-good tools and content distribution tricks.
What you WON'T find inside are pages and pages of theory. The motto behind this guide is "less reading, more doing." The resource is about actually executing your work, rather than thinking about how to get stuff done...then needing to figure out how in the world to go do it.
With that, I encourage you to...
(It's entirely form-free -- I don't ask for any of your info and no marketing will follow your download).
I'd love any and all feedback! What's missing? What resonates? Where were the biggest gaps that this illuminates (or fails to explore)? Send me your take @Jay_zo