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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue ScientistThu, Sep 3, 2015 6 min read

Why Your Inbound Marketing Can’t Include Vanilla-Flavored Content

Inbound Marketing Needs Remarkable Flavors

Inbound Marketing Needs Bacon-Flavored ContentA recent survey found that 46% of people prefer chocolate ice cream, 38% prefer vanilla, 15% opt for strawberry and 1% crave some other flavor.

However, inbound marketing (and, specifically, content marketing) is not about serving the masses, but rather standing out in a crowded room.

Think about it another way. Which ice cream shop would you consider visiting: one where they only sell chocolate, vanilla or strawberry ice cream, or a place like Humphry Slocombe, where they serve flavors like bacon, ancho chilies and potato chip? 

Not sure? 

Consider this: There's a line around the block every single day, and they have over 280,000 Twitter followers. Remarkable equals results and revenue!

Here’s how to turn your vanilla content strategy into a candied capp mushroom one.

Take The Opposite Position

Don’t say what everyone else is saying. I’m sure you have a scenario related to your business or industry that allows you to take an opposing position. Think back to debate club: You had to argue your side regardless of whether you agreed or not. The more controversial and divergent you can be, the more attention your content is going to get. That attention translates to new website visitors and more leads for your business.

Take A Risk With Content

Be bold, and mighty forces will follow. That’s a personal mantra for me, and it's a saying you should consider when you create your content. The ice cream flavors mentioned above are risky. After all, who’s going to want bacon-flavored ice cream? As it turns out, lots of people like it, come in for it and are attracted to the business even if they never buy that flavor.

One of Humphry Slocombe's stories is that they have bacon-flavored ice cream. What stories are being told about your business? If these stories don’t get any attention, they’re not remarkable enough to help you generate leads.

Consider Newsjacking Content Ideas

This is the practice of using current events and news to help your ideas and content coincide with everyone’s interest in what’s going on. This blog article we wrote, which references Donald Trump, is a good example.

This is a great way to make some waves and cut through what can be very bland and uninteresting content. It's especially effective for relatively conservative industries, like manufacturing and software.  

Make Your Content About Your Prospects

Don’t write about you, your products, your services, your building, your people or anything about your business. Your prospects don’t care about you; they only care about themselves. Back to the familiar cocktail party story: Do you like speaking with people who only talk about themselves, or do you prefer to speak with those who ask you questions and are genuinely interested in you? No need to answer that.

Keep that in mind as you create your content. It has to be about your prospects' pains, answer their questions and be so helpful that they'll want to share it with other people just like them. Working on marketing strategies for your business usually delivers clarity in this tricky area. 

Be More Creative

Think outside the box. Today, people get tons of whitepapers, e-books and videos. That’s why podcasting is having a resurgence. You need to find formats and vehicles that are unique. This was the thinking behind 2Inbound, the magazine. It's the ONLY web magazine dedicated to inbound marketing.

Other innovative and creative content includes web-based radio shows, interactive grader tools, idea generators and more. Come on, put some elbow grease into it. I know you can come up with some creative content marketing ideas for your business.

It's like you’re going to a party. If you look like everyone else, you’ll blend in, and only your friends will notice you. But, marketing is not about blending in; it’s about standing out. If you attend the party dressed in a clown outfit, everyone will notice you. As long as that clown outfit tells the story you want to tell, you’ve successfully differentiated yourself from everyone else at the party.

Think about this the next time you’re creating content for your company. Does it help you stand out or blend in? If the answer is blend in, go back to the drawing board and work harder to stand out.

Start Today Tip – Get a plan together for your content marketing. Without it, content gets very complicated and has a tendency to run away from you. You need to think strategically. What questions does this content answer for your prospects? Does it help you stand out in a sea of similar businesses? With some solid strategy and planning in place, you should be thinking about creating an editorial calendar that spans at least 90 days, including blog articles and long-form content, like whitepapers and e-books, as well as video, infographics, slide shows, podcasts and email marketing.

How B2B Companies Use Inbound Marketing To Drive Traffic And Leads.  

Square 2 Marketing – Leading The Reality Marketing, Inbound Marketing And Inbound Sales Revolutions!


Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.