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Are Content Marketers Really Just Fancy Bartenders?

Content Marketing

Don’t you love those old movies where the depressed main character plops down at the dimly-lit corner stool and proceeds to pour his heart out to the bartender?  Somehow, the bartender always seems to have the perfect advice and then the main character can use it to go on and end the movie by being his perfect-hero-self.

Those movies got me thinking… Are content marketers the 21st century version of those classic bartenders?

After all, great web content is designed to strike a chord with its readers.  It’s supposed to understand their problems, empathize with their situations, and give them a shoulder to cry on.  And, if all that wasn’t enough, at the end, it’s supposed to give them the answers they’ve been looking for.

OK, so there may not be a barstool and three fingers’ worth of whiskey involved, but it comes pretty close huh?

Think of the one-on-one conversation your content has with your readers.  (Your web content IS focused on that one-on-one feeling, right?!  Remember, your readers aren’t supposed to feel like they’re part of some giant group.  Instead, they’re supposed to feel like your blog, sales copy, or article is speaking directly to them.  After all, the movie scene wouldn’t be nearly as dramatic if the bartender was speaking in hushed tones to an entire group of dejected people, now would it?!)

Just like the classic movie bartender, great web content addresses your readers’ fears, hopes, questions, and insecurities.  Then, it fixes them in a neatly-packaged call-to-action – be it an email list to sign up for, a product that can help them, or some other solution that makes their lives easier.

Great web content doesn’t have to be really long.  It doesn’t have to use big, fancy words.  It doesn’t have to come with 42 testimonials and 17 “Are you sure you really want to leave?” pop-ups. (After all, when was the last time you saw a movie bartender succumb to cheesy hype in order to make his point?  He simply says what he needs to and moves on.)

Instead, the movie bartender starts off with a simple “I feel ya, bud,” passes on some sage wisdom, and calls it a day.  And, in the end, that’s all our depressed main character needs to gather up some motivation and take on the world – some empathy and some intelligent information.

If you’re NOT doing that with your web content, you’re not giving people what they need and what they really want.  And if you are doing that, well then, congratulations… You’re the 21st century version of a classic movie bartender!

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