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Choose One Proposal: What Indian Matchmaker Has to Teach Us About Content Marketing

by Monica Herald

The other week, I binged all of Indian Matchmaker on Netflix. If you’re not familiar with the show, it first aired in July 2020, and the second season dropped a couple weeks ago.

In Season One, the show follows Sima Taparia, an Indian matchmaker, as she attempts to match clients in her database. (Spoiler, the only successful match isn’t one she makes!)

Season Two is pretty similar, but some of the people it follows, such as Aparna, aren’t working with any matchmaker at all.

I really don’t like reality tv shows, but Indian Matchmaker caught my attention because it didn’t seem scripted.

I could identify some of the storytelling elements (the producers absolutely cut Aparna’s segments in Season One in a way that cast her as a ‘villain’), but nothing felt over-produced or over-dramatized.

And as I watched it, it got me thinking about how some of what goes into matchmaking is really quite similar to content marketing.

Ask tons of questions

“Simauntie,” as her clients referred to her, meets with families and gathers information about what they’re looking for in a spouse. She consults her database, selects some potential matches, and then proposes them to the clients.

To help the clients choose from the proposals (nope, not marriage proposal, which is what I thought when I first heard ‘proposal’), Sima brings biodata sheets for each match she’s found.

Biodata, in case you’re wondering, is a one-pager that has an individual’s height, body type, and information about their interests/preferences, etc. As clients look over the biodata, they see pictures of the potential match, and lines such as “family is very important to her/him” and “enjoys traveling.”

When you’re creating a content strategy, the person you’re working with should ask you questions, just like Sima does. They should work to uncover your brand voice and understand what you want your copy to accomplish (AIDA, anyone?). It’s helpful to find out background information—instead of “have you used dating apps?”, your copy and content person might ask you about your past experiences with writers.

And, the biodata reminded me of brand voice style guides and similar getting-to-know-you tools that a good writer will use when you meet with them.

JUST CHOOSE ONE

In the first season,  Sima offers the biodata sheets to Aparna, Nadia, and others and tells each of them: “You can only choose one to meet with. That’s how I work. If you meet with more than one, it’s too confusing.”

When I heard that, my inner strategist and writer yelled, “YES!” complete with a fist pump.

Revolutionary.

…In a world that has a million apps and emails clamoring for our attention.

…In a marketing world that says you need to be on all the social media channels, using all of the strategies.

Just. Choose. One.

Picking only one type of content to start with will allow you to focus your energy and attention so that one really shines. When you work with a writer, it can take a few tries for the content format and voice to ramp up to where it feels smooth and authentically like your brand or business. By focusing on just one thing — working with your writer, in this example — you have a better chance of success.

Sima ran into this with some of her proposals. After meeting with a proposal, a client would give Sima feedback about what they liked or didn’t like, and how it matched up with what they were hoping for in a partner. This improved Sima’s future proposals.

“DATING” ONE TYPE OF CONTENT AT A TIME

Just like Sima tells her clients: Give all of your attention to one [format], and figure out whether or not you like it. Then, either move on to a second format or add something else in addition.

So why else should you just choose one type of content at a time, when you’re using content marketing?

Blog posts and Instagram posts and Facebook posts and Twitter posts all have different groups of people hanging out on them, or at the very least, people using them differently.

If you don’t believe me, consider what the apps think about Lacy, “TikTok thinks I’m gay, Twitter thinks I might be interested in cryptocurrency and Indian cricket for some reason, and Facebook knows I’m a sucker for videos about rescued pets.”

The same piece of content wouldn’t land equally across those sites, if you were hoping to get Lacy’s eyes on it. Plus, the format requirements (maximum word and character count) are also wildly different across sites.

As a small business owner, tackling content can feel like a big deal all on its own, without making it more complicated and confusing than it needs to be.

“Dating” one type of content at a time lets you…

  • track one source for ROI/conversions, rather than taking on a whole web of interrelated numbers.
  • hone in on your message: what do you want to say and who do you want to say it to? 
  • determine whether or not a type of content is compatible with your schedule, your style of communication, your audience, and more.

If you’re ready to start “dating,” reach out to us. We can match you with a content strategy to try and one of our brilliant writers to help you try it out — and our success rate is better than Sima’s matchmaking success rate on the show, by far!

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