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The Ultimate Collection of 200+ Best Free Content Marketing Templates

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The Ultimate Collection of 200+ Best Free Content Marketing Templates

Whether it’s writing a blog post, designing an infographic, or creating an ebook, starting a new piece of content from scratch can be a challenge, especially if you’ve never done it before. Luckily, content marketing templates can make things easier. These templates can help with design and inspire you as you develop various processes to reach potential and existing customers.

Instead of trying to master how to create every type of content in existence, cut down on the stress and inefficiency. Get inspired by our collection of free, customizable content creation templates. Below is a list of each type of content marketing template represented.

Content Marketing Plan Templates

Content marketing involves delivering valuable information to your target audience. Templates make creating consistent content easier and provide a visually appealing package for the relevant information you’re providing to customers.

Below, you’ll find several helpful templates to jumpstart your content marketing strategy.

1. Content Marketing Planning Template

Content Marketing Planning Templates

Download the content mapping template here.

You’re aware that you need a content marketing strategy in place to support the success of your inbound marketing and sales organizations. But how do you get started? We’ve created a content mapping template so you can create targeted content for each stage of your target audience’s buyer’s journey.

This template helps you identify buyer personas, outline their challenges and needs, and brainstorm content that provides solutions. You’ll have plenty of targeted blog post ideas to attract your audience to your site and convert them into leads.

2. Buyer Persona Template

a buyer persona template for Content Marketing from HubSpot

Download the buyer persona content template here.

Marketing to specific buyer personas results in more effective marketing decisions. This buyer persona template will help you easily organize your research to create your very own buyer personas. Use it to create beautiful, well-formatted buyer personas you can share with your entire company, while learning best practices for personal research along the way.

3. Blog Editorial Calendar Templates

content marketing templates: editorial calendar

Download the blog editorial calendar templates here.

Having an editorial calendar for your marketing content will save you a whole lot of time — not to mention sanity — as you plan your content release timeline. We realize there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, so we’ve created three editorial calendar templates to use at your leisure: one for Google Calendar, one for Excel, and one for Google Sheets. (Read this blog post for a step-by-step guide for using the Google Calendar template.)

Website Content Templates

Selecting the right template sets the foundation for intriguing designs and functionality. This enticing duo can lead to more newsletter subscribers and first-time visitors purchasing from your website.

4. On-Page SEO Template

content marketing template: on page seo

Download the on-page SEO template here.

The more content you publish to your website, the more traffic sources you’ll want to prioritize. One of those sources is organic traffic. To make on-page SEO easier, we’ve rolled out a handy website content planning template to help you create a website structure. It organizes each webpage and its purpose, and helps you outline how long it should be and how to optimize the metadata associated with each new page you publish. These on-page SEO templates will make your site more appealing to Google and help you rank better.

5. Website Optimization Checklist Template

content marketing templates: web checklist

Download the website optimization checklist here.

A properly optimized website results in better search engine rankings and an improved user experience. This checklist focuses on website optimization, SEO, site performance, mobile optimization, and security. This, paired with a website content writing template, makes sites more likely to reach (and keep) ideal customers.

6. Search Insights Report Template

content marketing templates: search insights report

Download the search insights report template here.

Keyword research helps you determine how meaningful your content is to your audience. With this search insight report template, you can track how effective your SEO strategy is over time and measure the effectiveness of your writing.

Content Writing Templates

Here’s the thing with blogging: There isn’t one, easy template you can fill in to produce a quality content offering. You need to spend some time researching, brainstorming a title, outlining core content, and so on. Use the following templates to help you along the way.

7. Blog Post Templates

6 blog post templates for Content Marketing from HubSpot

Download the blog post templates here.

Our content writing templates will walk you through the critical steps for creating the following six blog post types:

  • How-To Post
  • List-Based Post
  • Pillar Post
  • Infographic Post
  • Newsjacking Post
  • “What is?” Post

We’ve seen these formats crush it on our blogs, and we know you can use them to hit your own goals.

8. Ebook Templates

ebook templates for Content Marketing from HubSpot

Download the ebook templates here.

Year after year, marketers cite lead generation as one of their top content marketing goals for the year. To succeed at lead gen, you need content offers — like ebooks — to help you get there. Our internal creative design team went to work building a kit of beautiful ebook templates — for use in either InDesign, PowerPoint, or Google Slides — for you to download, customize, and publish.

9. Free Memo Templates

4 free memo templates for Content Marketing from HubSpot

Download the memo templates here.

Memos are essential content for effective internal communication. While they might not be customer-facing, they can ensure better, more aligned content is created by everybody on your team.

10. Call-to-Action Templates

content marketing templates: cta

Download the call-to-action templates here.

To help you design clickable calls-to-action (CTAs), we’ve built 28 pre-designed CTAs for you. These CTAs are super easy to customize, so you don’t need to know any fancy design programs — just PowerPoint or Google Slides.

Bonus: There’s also a handy free tool in there that lets you track your CTA clicks in real-time so you can see the exact number of clicks that your designs are reeling in.

11. A Press Release Template

A press release template for Content Marketing from HubSpot

Download the press release template here.

Press releases can be effective when used correctly. Our press release template considers this and provides an inbound-optimized version. This means the template can help you script press releases and do so in a format optimized for sharing on your company blog. You can easily adapt and customize as needed for your PR needs.

Design Content Templates

Searching for design ideas can be as easy as making a note of what’s eye-catching while scrolling online. Many creators upload their themes, swatches, mood boards, and more to display their creativity, helping inspire various designs. The flexibility of templates, such as Pinterest templates for business, can also attract consumers toward your brand by posting content as informative as it is visual.

12. Pinterest Templates for Business

content marketing templates: pinterest templates

Download the Pinterest templates here.

With millions of monthly active users, Pinterest continues to bring businesses tremendous value. Whether you’re bringing leads to your website, sharing infographic content, or promoting a blog post, Pinterest is a great platform to leverage for content marketing. Download these 12 Pinterest business templates you can tailor to your product or service offering.

13. 150+ Content Creation Templates

150 plus content creation templates from HubSpot

Download the content creation templates here.

Not a designer? Not a problem. We created over 150 visual marketing templates that are easy to use, work for any industry (finance, dentistry, agriculture, law — we’ve got ’em all), and are completely free. Some of the templates in this list are already included in this bundle. The templates include:

  • Infographics templates
  • Facebook ad templates
  • Facebook post templates
  • Twitter post templates
  • Email header templates
  • Blog title templates
  • Facebook cover photo templates
  • Twitter header templates
  • LinkedIn cover photos templates

14. Infographic Templates

15 Infographic Templates for Content Marketing from HubSpot

Download the infographic templates here.

Skip the frustrations and start creating the graphics right away. We’ve created several pre-designed infographic templates that you can customize in PowerPoint or Adobe Illustrator. Within each template, you’ll get guides to teach you how to use the templates effectively.

Social Media Content Templates

Every day, your potential customers actively and passively consume so much content. Exploring ways to quickly capture their attention can be fun and profitable. It’s all about packaging content in a way that feels innovative yet purposeful in its delivery. Check out the following social media templates to help you do just that.

15. 50 Social Media Graphics Templates

50 social media graphics templates for Content Marketing from HubSpot

Download the social media graphics templates here.

People remember visual information 6x more than written or audio. But we know well enough that creating visual content takes more time and resources — which is why we’ve created these 50 customizable templates for you. These templates are in Google Slides, so they’re very easy to edit — no Photoshop skills required. Simply customize the text on an image, save it, and post it to social media. These social media templates will help you give variety to your content.

16. 11 Facebook Cover Photo Templates for Businesses 11 Facebook cover templates for Business for Content Marketing from HubSpot

Download the Facebook cover photo templates here.

With how frequently businesses change and improve their Facebook pages today, you must have new material in the pipeline. Double down on your Facebook designs with these 11 templates dedicated to your Facebook cover photo. Get these designs by clicking on the link or image above.

17. Social Media Content Calendar Template

content marketing template: social media content calendar

Download the social media content calendar templates here.

With so many different social networks to manage, a social media manager’s life becomes a lot easier when they can plan which content to share on each account — and when. This easy-to-use social media content calendar for Microsoft Excel lets you organize your social media activities far in advance. Use it to plan your updates and learn how to properly format your content for the four most popular social networks used for business: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

Email Content Templates

Communication with potential and current customers is how relationships remain valuable. Creating “one-size-fits-all” messages come across as inauthentic and lead to people unsubscribing to newsletters or not reading the emails from your company. Download the templates below to ensure you’re delivering timely, actionable messages to your subscriber base.

18. 15 Email Templates for Marketing and Sales

15 Email Templates for Marketing and Sales from HubSpot

Download the email templates for marketing and sales here.

If you’re like most marketers, you probably spend way more time than you’d like to admit reading and responding to emails. There are many ways you can streamline your inbox to save time, but you ultimately will still have to create and send emails. That’s where these content templates come in. We’ve written the copy for 15 email templates that marketers and sales representatives are likely to send repeatedly to save you time and get you results.

19. Email Marketing Planning Template

Email Marketing Planning Template for Content Marketing from HubSpot

Download the email marketing planning template here.

Set goals for your email marketing planning with this free template. Available via Excel and Google Sheets, this template can help your marketing team plan an effective email marketing campaign with only half the work.

Video Content Templates

Creating videos that tell compelling stories can offer fresh perspectives about products or services. Setting up the lights and camera demonstrates why consumers should purchase from your company and can reach people all across the world in a matter of seconds.

20. 18 YouTube Templates for Business

content marketing templates: youtube templates for businessDownload the YouTube templates for Business here.

Depending on your role as a content creator, you may also be responsible for video content. A striking thumbnail and banner are a couple of the factors viewers rely on to determine what videos to watch. However, you don’t need to spend hours creating the perfect channel art for each video. These YouTube video content templates make this task simple so you can focus on more important things, like filming, editing, and promoting your videos.

Content Marketing Made Simple

Content marketers are expert storytellers, but designing visual guides and tinkering with Excel spreadsheets may not be your favorite part of the job. With hundreds of templates included in this blog post, you can spend more of your precious time doing the work you love.

So, there you have it, content marketers: hundreds of templates to help you start creating content easily and quickly and further your inbound success.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in December 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

content templates

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Xngage and HawkSearch join forces with a powerful connector

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Xngage and HawkSearch join forces with a powerful connector

The bar has been set by the industry leaders in UX and Merchandising, and our customers have stated their claim clearly – “to grow our market share, we must have an enterprise search experience that drives conversions.

Optimizely offers baseline search experiences within our commerce platform, which are designed to help companies get started with organizing and delivering SKUs to customers. These experiences utilize out-of-the-box algorithms and methods for sorting, categorizing, and customizing.

While Optimizely provides a foundation for search experiences, we knew there were users ready to take their search capabilities to the next level. This is where the Xngage and HawkSearch partnership promises to redefine how you approach search-driven experiences within Optimizely Configured Commerce. Our highly experienced partner Xngage has developed a seamless integration connector, a best-in-class accelerator for harnessing the power of HawkSearch.

The powerful partner in search

HawkSearch is known for its expertise in search-driven engagement, AI-powered product discovery, and no-code customizations. With a strong history of serving B2B customers with enterprise-level search solutions, it was a perfect choice to make HawkSearch directly available within Optimizely’s platform.

The expertise of Xngage made this connector a reality enabling Optimizely’s Configured Commerce customers to:

  • Easily plug directly into the HawkSearch service to share your products and their relevant data.
  • Utilize powerful unit of measure conversions, ensuring your customers can find exactly what they’re looking for.
  • Customize sorting and facets to deliver highly relevant results to customers.
  • Craft a personalized user experience with features like auto-complete and the new ‘instant engage’.

Customers can further explore HawkSearch’s capabilities in this on demand webinar and recap, which highlights the benefits and use cases of the Xngage connector for HawkSearch.

A powerful partner in digital growth

Xngage complements Optimizely perfectly, as they deliver robust solutions in the realm of digital content and commerce experiences. The development of the Xngage connector to HawkSearch is a part of their broader mission to empower manufacturers and distributors to serve their customers digitally. This alignment seamlessly fits with Optimizely, making our partnership with Xngage an ideal choice. 

Furthering their goal of digital growth, Xngage offers a range of holistic and complementary professional services, including:

  • User research & user experience design (UX)
  • Enterprise architecture & ERP integration
  • Product information management (PIM)
  • Ecommerce Implementations, and digital growth services.

To learn more about this highly experienced digital commerce partner visit Xngage.com.

The future of the partnership

This partnership is just the beginning. Xngage and HawkSearch are committed to working hand in hand to empower you with the tools and insights you need to elevate your ecommerce site. Stay tuned for future blogs, webinars, and resources that will help you make the most of this transformative alliance.

The future of ecommerce search has never looked more promising, and we’re excited to have you on this journey with us.

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Top 3 Strategies for Success

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Top 3 Strategies for Success

With the advent of e-commerce, manufacturers have unprecedented opportunities to expand their reach, streamline their operations, and enhance profitability. Amidst this digital revolution, adopting Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) is pivotal in optimizing production processes, quality control, and resource management.

As the lines between traditional brick-and-mortar sales and online commerce continue to blur, manufacturers increasingly realize the need to adapt and thrive in this new digital landscape. This article explores the top 3 strategies manufacturers can employ to succeed in e-commerce.

Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES)

MES (Manufacturing Execution System) is specialized application software designed to solve the tasks of synchronization, coordination, analysis, and optimization of production output within any production. MES systems belong to the class of shop floor-level management systems but can also be used for integrated production management at the enterprise as a whole.

MES collects and analyzes production processes, product demand, and inventory data. This allows manufacturers to adapt more quickly to changes in the market, reconfigure production to meet current requirements, and closely monitor trends. As a result, manufacturers can more easily predict and meet customer needs, which helps increase online sales.

MES helps in maintaining accurate inventory records and managing inventory turnover. This avoids overstock or shortages, which can affect a company’s ability to meet online demand and maintain customer service levels.

Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) enhance transparency and automate operations, reducing human errors and operational costs. Integrating Manufacturing CRM streamlines customer data, allowing manufacturers to tailor products, respond to market changes, and offer competitive prices in online stores. The synergy between MES and CRM creates an agile manufacturing environment, optimizing efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Content Marketing

Kapost’s research shows that companies in the B2B segment that blog get 67% more leads on average than companies that don’t. However, it’s worth remembering that content marketing requires a lot of resources to prepare and regularity in publishing it. This content can be, for example, brand identity and E-commerce logo, articles and videos, webinars, research, and interviews.

The content should help solve a specific problem to create the image of an expert and thus influence the decisions of potential customers. The topics discussed should not be chosen randomly. A little research in Google Trends will help select the main topic, discussion areas in the video, phrases, and words that should be included in the article. Publishing content based on such a prepared analysis allows you to achieve high positions in search engines. It provides a good user experience for customers looking for answers to product/service questions, comprehensively covering the subject matter.

The benefits of this e-commerce strategy are free traffic, increased user confidence, and the creation of an expert image.

Content marketing is a form of promotion that requires patience and time. Its effects will also depend on the quality of thecontent itself, its optimization, and promotion methods. No specific terms can be specified here.

YouTube channels as a form of content marketing

You can discuss your production process and show and test products on your YouTube channel. If someone is looking for information about a product and is unsure which brand to choose, they will likely find your video and maybe make a purchase. Remember to choose a title that matches the search query and prepare a video description with product links. You can send out an email to announce when new videos are released. Whenever you have particularly compelling videos, you could also promote them via texting notifications to drive even more traffic.

Utilize user-generated content and social media

Not utilizing the content that your users generate is a huge issue. This is because it’s not easy to refresh an e-commerce website and keep it alive. But photos and videos taken by real customers are great for this purpose.

Adding a “widget” that connects your online store’s website to its official social media accounts brings significant benefits. These include revitalizing your social media accounts, increasing your credibility as a manufacturer, inspiring other customers to buy, and encouraging repeat purchases.

Snapchat Planets

Snapchat’s “Planets” feature provides a unique and interactive way to engage with your e-commerce store’s audience. Here are some creative ideas on how to leverage Snapchat Planets to create engaging content:

  • Virtual Store Tours: Use the AR feature to create a virtual tour of your store. Each planet can represent different sections or categories of your store. For instance, one planet could showcase your latest collection, another could highlight bestsellers, and another could offer exclusive deals.
  • Product Launches: Announce new product launches by creating a cosmic journey. Users can travel from one planet to another, each unveiling a new product with engaging visuals and detailed descriptions. This creates a sense of excitement and discovery around new arrivals.
  • Interactive Shopping Experience: Create interactive shopping experiences where users can explore products in a fun and engaging way. For example, users can navigate through different planets to find hidden discounts or special offers, making shopping more interactive and rewarding.
  • Customer Rewards and Loyalty Programs: Develop a loyalty program where users earn points or rewards by exploring different planets. Each planet can offer unique rewards, such as discounts, free samples, or exclusive access to new collections. This gamifies the shopping experience and encourages repeat visits.
  • Themed Campaigns: Align your marketing campaigns with planetary themes. For instance, during holiday seasons, you can create a holiday-themed planet where users can find special holiday deals, gift ideas, and festive content.

By leveraging Snapchat Planets, you can transform your e-commerce store’s content into a captivating and interactive experience that keeps your audience engaged, entertained, and coming back for more.

Use newsletters to captivate your target audience

Newsletters can strengthen the connection with the consumer and demonstrate that shopping with you is safe and profitable. Remember that the more personalized the message, the more effective it will be. It should contain a call to action (CTA), such as a button that redirects to products.

Don’t forget to put a box to check for consent to process personal data when subscribing to the newsletter. Also, add an option to unsubscribe from the newsletter in each email.

A regular email account is not adapted for the newsletter, so do not use your everyday email address. This way, you risk being blacklisted by spam filters. The benefits of newsletters are optimizing advertising costs, increasing loyal audiences from different channels, and building mutually beneficial relationships with partners.

Print and PDF Channel

1716522964 432 Top 3 Strategies for Success

In the digital landscape, the significance of Print and PDF channels cannot be underestimated for manufacturers engaging in e- commerce. The tactile experience of print offers unique psychological advantages, enhancing comprehension and retention, which are vital for technical manuals and complex product details. PDFs merge this benefit with digital accessibility, ensuring wide reach while maintaining format integrity. This dual-channel approach not only caters to diverse consumer preferences but also bolsters marketing efforts, making technical content more engaging and understandable. Utilizing catalog software further streamlines the integration of Print and PDF channels into e-commerce strategies, enhancing product presentation and distribution efficiency.

Contextual advertising: Google Ads

1716522964 713 Top 3 Strategies for Success

If you want the advertising you invest in to have an immediate effect, it’s worth turning to Google Ads. Google displays paid ads in search results and on Google’s network of partners (on-site ads in the form of banners).

You bid when you search for a keyword for which advertisers have set up a campaign. The search engine determines who will appear in the search results and at what position. When assigning bids, the quality of the landing page, the quality of the ads, and the stated maximum bid per click are all considered.

To start setting up your campaign, simply login to your Google Ads account. Using the service is free, and you’ll find plenty of online tutorials on creating a campaign. However, you may find that it won’t generate valuable traffic if you don’t set it up optimally. Your budget will be wasted on clicks that won’t lead to conversions. This is why most companies resort to the help of agencies, including specialized agencies.

There is probably no industry in which Google Ads campaigns cannot be used. However, advertising can be moderately profitable if there is a lot of competition in the industry and margins are low.

The benefits of this e-commerce strategy are large audience reach, the ability to get the target audience as accurately as possible, and very detailed statistics on results.

The effect of launching a campaign should appear almost immediately. A properly set up campaign will increase traffic to the website. By systematically optimizing the campaign, you can achieve much better results.

You also can use paid Facebook Ads post promotion. It is important to pinpoint your target group, but how do you do it? A popular way is to draw up a customer portrait, that is, to make a collective image of your customer.

This considers age, gender, income level, location, interests and hobbies, and online behavior. Such a person will display a group interested in your services or goods.

Implement personalized product selections

Recommended product block and cross-selling are very powerful internet marketing strategies. In addition to the recommended product block, which shows the analogs of the product being viewed, it is worth paying attention to the website’s functionality.

As a rule, the products in the “You may also like” block are selected based on the pages previously viewed by the customer, his previous purchases on the website, as well as what was purchased by other customers with similar tastes. If this functionality is implemented technically sound, it can lead to additional items added to the shopping cart. “You may also like” block partly acts as an alternative to the advice of a specialist or consultant.

With blocks for cross-selling related products is a similar situation. Usually, in them are placed products from the same product line, collection, or simply those that perfectly match the product being viewed. You can use AI-powered live chats to proactively engage in customer conversations and suggest products based on their behavior.

Conclusion

E-commerce for manufacturers is a vast field, and in this article, we have presented the most popular and most effective forms of selling online. Remember, no effective e-commerce strategy exists. Each industry and business will have specifics. Try combining the above mentioned e-commerce strategies to maximize your chances of success and increase your profits.

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Why Even Crushing Content Failures Aren’t Mistakes

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Why Even Crushing Content Failures Aren’t Mistakes

Did you follow the Apple iPad Pro content debacle?

Here’s a quick recap. A recent online ad for the new iPad Pro showed a large hydraulic press slowly crushing various symbols of creativity. A metronome, a piano, a record player, a video game, paints, books, and other creative tools splinter and smash as the Sonny and Cher song All I Ever Need Is You plays.

The ad’s title? “Crush!”

The point of the commercial — I think — is to show that Apple managed to smush (that’s the technical term) all this heretofore analog creativity into its new, very thin iPad Pro.  

To say the ad received bad reviews is underselling the response. Judgment was swift and unrelenting. The creative world freaked out.

On X, actor Hugh Grant shared Tim Cook’s post featuring the ad and added this comment: “The destruction of the human experience. Courtesy of Silicon Valley.”

When fellow actor Justine Bateman shared the Tim Cook post, she simply wrote, “Truly, what is wrong with you?” Other critiques ranged from tone-challenged to wasteful to many worse things.

Actor Justine Bateman shared Tim Cook’s post on X, which featured the ad, and added this comment: "Truly, what is wrong with you?".

A couple of days later, Apple apologized and canceled plans to air the ad on television.

How not-so-great content ideas come to life

The level of anger surprises me. Look, the ad does show the eyeballs on an emoji-faced squishy ball popping under the plates’ pressure, but still. Calling the ad “actually psychotic” might be a skosh over the top.

Yes, the ad missed the mark. And the company’s subsequent decision to apologize makes sense.

But anyone who’s participated in creating a content misfire knows this truth: Mistakes look much more obvious in hindsight.

On paper, I bet this concept sounded great. The brainstorming meeting probably started with something like this: “We want to show how the iPad Pro metaphorically contains this huge mass of creative tools in a thin and cool package.”

Maybe someone suggested representing that exact thing with CGI (maybe a colorful tornado rising from the screen). Then someone else suggested showing the actual physical objects getting condensed would be more powerful.

Here’s my imagined version of the conversation that might have happened after someone pointed out the popular internet meme of things getting crushed in a hydraulic press.

“People love that!”

“If we add buckets of paint, it will be super colorful and cool.”

“It’ll be a cooler version of that LG ad that ran in 2008.”

“Exactly!”

“It’ll be just like that ad where a bus driver kidnaps and subsequently crushes all the cute little Pokémon characters in a bus!” (Believe it or not, that was actually a thing.)

The resulting commercial suffers from the perfect creative storm: A not-great (copycat) idea at the absolutely wrong time.

None of us know what constraints Apple’s creative team worked under. How much time did they have to come up with a concept? Did they have time to test it with audiences? Maybe crushing physical objects fit into the budget better than CGI. All these factors affect the creative process and options (even at a giant company like Apple).

That’s not an excuse — it’s just reality.

Content failure or content mistake?

Many ad campaigns provoke a “What the hell were they thinking?” response (think Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad or those cringy brand tributes that follow celebrity deaths).

Does that mean they’re failures? Or are they mistakes? And what’s the difference?

As I wrote after Peloton’s holiday ad debacle (remember that?), people learn to fear mistakes early on. Most of us hear cautionary messages almost from day one.

Some are necessary and helpful (“Don’t stick a knife in a live toaster” or “Look both ways before you cross the street.”) Some aren’t (“Make that essay perfect” or “Don’t miss that goal.”)

As a result, many people grow up afraid to take risks — and that hampers creativity. The problem arises from conflating failure and mistakes. It helps to know the difference.

I moved to Los Angeles in 1987 to become a rock ‘n’ roll musician. I failed. But it wasn’t a mistake. I wasn’t wrong to try. My attempt just didn’t work.

Labeling a failed attempt a “mistake” feeds the fears that keep people from attempting anything creative.

The conflation of failure and mistakes happens all too often in creative marketing. Sure, people create content pieces (and let’s not forget that there are always people behind those ideas) that genuinely count as mistakes.

They also create content that simply fails.

Don’t let extreme reactions make you fear failures

Here’s the thing about failed content. You can do all the work to research your audience and take the time to develop and polish your ideas — and the content still might fail. The story, the platform, or the format might not resonate, or the audience simply might not care for it. That doesn’t mean it’s a mistake.

Was the Apple ad a mistake? Maybe, but I don’t think so.

Was it a failure? The vitriolic response indicates yes.

Still, the commercial generated an impressive amount of awareness (53 million views of the Tim Cook post on X, per Variety.) And, despite the apology, the company hasn’t taken the ad down from its YouTube page where it’s earned more than 1 million views.

The fictional Captain Jean Luc Picard once said, “It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not weakness. That is life.” The Apple ad turns that statement on its head — Apple made many mistakes and still won a tremendous amount of attention.

I’m not suggesting that people shouldn’t criticize creative work. Constructive critiques help us learn from our own and others’ failures. You can even have a good laugh about content fails.

Just acknowledge, as the Roman philosopher Cicero once wrote, “Not every mistake is a foolish one.” 

Creative teams take risks. They try things outside their comfort zone. Sometimes they fail (sometimes spectacularly).

But don’t let others’ expressions of anger over failures inhibit your willingness to try creative things.

Wouldn’t you love to get the whole world talking about the content you create? To get there, you have to risk that level of failure.

And taking that risk isn’t a mistake.

It’s your story. Tell it well.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute 



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