by Marie Schnoor
So, a few members of the CDA team (we’re not naming any names) have become a little obsessed with the Netflix show, Indian Matchmaker. If you haven’t watched it, first of all, why not? And second of all, here’s the pitch: The show follows singles looking for love with the help of a trained professional. After growing tired of the dating scene either here in the States or in India, clients reach out to professional matchmaker Sima Taparia.
Last week, we talked about how some of what goes into this kind of matchmaking is really similar to the process of content marketing: How to get to know your content match, and narrow down your choices so you can (hopefully) find your happily-ever-after.
This week, though, I was thinking about what happens when Sima’s clients don’t know what they’re asking for.
Oh, they all ask for plenty of things in their prospective matches, but whether or not those things are actually what they want is something that a matchmaker has the perspective to truly answer. (Or, in our case, a marketing expert. Stay with me here.)
Her clients ask for all sorts of things, from family-oriented matches, with language fluency, similar religion and upbringing, a similar perspective on life and a willingness to give a set-up like this a real, honest shot. They also ask for men of a certain height, or with enough hair for a man-bun, or people who must love dogs.
Sometimes, our clients seem to have lists that are just as long. “I want to start a blog. And a podcast. I need copy for banner ads, and I need Bing ad placement… And I’m going to need social media posts for three different networks — and they all have to be different. Plus it needs to be in my voice. And I can only spend $500 a month right now!” Whew, can we go back to the man-bun?
Sima is relatively upfront with her clients in letting them know that they should be willing to settle for only 60–70% of their list, and, to no one’s surprise, most of them balk at this. One of them, Cardiologist Arshneel, cheerfully remarks that, if this were graded, 60–70% is a C average. Is that really good enough? Taking it just by the numbers, he’s not wrong.
So what are we meant to think of this advice from Sima? And is this about adjusting our expectations or just… lowering our standards?
Tell Me What You Want (What You Really Really Want)
There’s nothing wrong with wanting it all. Really! But sometimes, it’s worth taking a careful look through your list of absolute must-haves to decide which of them are really at the top of your list. Sima’s advice to her clients is a way to push them not to lower their standards overall, but to choose what’s really important to them, something that they can’t live without in a partner.
What makes two people compatible? Is it their shared values and goals, similar perspective on life, or the fact that one has enough hair for a man-bun? That’s something only an individual can answer. Where are they willing to compromise on, and how far is too far?
As a content marketer, I think about questions like this with each and every client. Like the individuals Sima helps, clients who come to us have spent so much time investing in their own businesses, their own carefully-crafted products, and like the matchmaking clients, they can be both hopeful and hesitant about opening up to a potential collaboration. And while we might not be taking our clients out on charming dates to the ice rink (Sorry! I never learned to skate…) we still want to hold their hands and reassure them that these first, hesitant steps aren’t going to be scary. They might even be… fun.
But the key to all of this is thinking about what you really want. Because I believe that the reason Sima gives her clients that 60–70% range isn’t to get them prepared for disappointment, but to help them narrow down what they truly value in a partner. At the heart of it, what will build the sort of long-term partnership that is deep and rich and full of meaning? Maybe it is a man-bun, I don’t know your life. But I’m willing to bet that when it comes down to it, most people would be willing to compromise on superficial features if it means finding a partner who connects with them on a deep and profound level.
So what is it that your company is looking for, when it comes to content marketing? What do you truly value? If you were to sit down and write out your list of marketing goals, what are the items that rise to the top?
If You Wanna Be My Lover, You Gotta Get With My Trends
We live in a world that tells us we should expect to get everything, and get it immediately. There’s a million pieces of advice out there about how to SEO optimize and game the system, to rank and to place and to get everyone in the whole wide internet world ready to buy every product you’ve ever produced.
Content marketing is like a relationship. Your best results happen when you take the time to build a conversation, and find a common ground.
It’s okay to have a long-term plan building towards all of those things — from banner ads to facebook posts, blogging or podcasting or a showstopping little number on LinkedIn. The keyword here is long-term. To get started, and to make that launch most effective, we want to help our clients narrow down their goals to what’s most important: maybe prioritizing their budget, working towards getting new leads, or turning existing raw audio content into a sales sequence that’s targeted, specific, and makes their future customers’ hearts go pitter-pat.
Like Arshneel says, if you want everything, and only get 60% of it, that’s a C average. But if you take the time to refine down your list, strip away the superficials, and find what’s going to work best for your company, it’s so much easier to make it 100%. Thoughtful refining of your goals gives your marketing plan a focus that can speak to the people who are already out there looking for you, waiting to make a match.
To do this, it takes a real conversation and a real relationship with your content marketing team. Maybe you discover that the thing that works so well for other businesses isn’t the best fit for you. Or maybe you find an untapped niche that comes completely as a surprise. Maybe you discover that adding more things to your list isn’t actually broadening your approach, but narrowing it down.
If you’re interested in getting started on your own matchmaking journey and finding true love, well, we can’t help you there. (Although I do have this amazing single friend…)
But if you’re interested in getting focused on how marketing can help you achieve your highest-priority goals, we know exactly who we want you to talk to. And it’s us. Schedule a call with CDA today and we’ll be delighted to look over your goals and help you structure them so that your marketing plan makes some serious waves.