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Rarely Content

Content marketing and gamification are hot topics these days. Partly because marketers need something unique to sell, partly because they were neglected real estate outside of SEO circles.

But if you’re a small business owner (or even a large business owner), content isn’t always the best way to sell your product. Though marketing circles treat it as something that is for everyone, the hard reality is that it’s an extremely situational form of marketing.

Why Not to Do It

  1. Every dollar you spend, every hour of time commitment you spend, is money lost or not invested in media. If you do not recoup that investment, it’s a vicious spiral of wasted time.

  2. To recoup the investment, you need traffic - organic or paid. Traffic you could be directing to your product, you are instead sidelining to make yourself a thought leader.

  3. Learning to make good content requires more time investment than just writing, posting and driving traffic. It also requires an analytical mind to measure and refine through analytics. Learning to make great content is a life-long commitment.

How to Do It

  1. Have a source of traffic, a way to get people to your content. Don’t rely on “virality” because you can’t really control that. If you don’t have a media plan, and you don’t know it’s smart, it’s not worth doing.

  2. Have patience. It takes a long time to build up a following on content. Years.

  3. Follow the rules of good journalism: Write simply. Write about topics people care about. Cut down as much copy as you can. Have a unique hook. 

  4. Once you have people viewing, refine, test, refine, test, repeat. Understand who your audience is and where they come from.

  5. Make sure people care about your topic. If your product audience is niche, make niche content.

If you are a small business owner, strongly consider strengthening your product sales first, before going into content creation. If you are doing it as a branding exercise for a mid-size or large company, understand that while content works towards that goal, it’s not going to have a measurable impact on your bottom line at the end of the quarter.

Overall, please, weight all the options. Almost all content creation endeavors, outside of a select few major online publications and people who are smoke / mirroring by getting income through another channel, fail. This is fact. Tread lightly my marketing fellows.

roscolc said: I have a degree in psychology, can i get a job in advertising?

Yep. However most who position themselves in psychology have advanced degrees. It’s handy in many situations though.

1972087412 said: Hello, you take really good!

Thank you

The Multiplier

Marketing is a multiplier. It’s only worth doing if the product you create is very desirable, has low competition, takes advantage of a temporary business environment, or has a competitive advantage. If you don’t have at least one of those traits, marketing will not be worth doing.

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A Failure to Communicate

Brand X has 82 million fans on Facebook. But the posts they don’t pay to promote only see about 3,000 likes. I F**** Love Science has 15 million fans, but sees between 13,000 - 200,000 likes per post.

Behind Facebook is an algorithm that says the more people engage with your content, the more people will see it. So, it’s in every brand’s interest to create content their fans will love. And here’s the kicker, most followers of a brand page are paid for by media (“like” ads). So what’s the difference between the two?

Brand X talks about itself, and IFLS talks about experiences other people love. X promotes itself, which is a viable strategy, but lets think of it another way: liking a page is like inviting a guest into your home, or in this case your daily news feed. A great guest entertains with stories you love, really great bits that aren’t about their accomplishments, but about making you feel really great or happy. A bad house-guest comes in and sells you an encyclopedia set.

And behind the scenes of X is someone who thinks that’s great, they are selling encyclopedias, and if invited in, that’s what you get. But really? A missed opportunity. A missed opportunity to become a friend. A missed opportunity to show that your brand can be entertaining and delightful! And, most painfully of all, a missed opportunity to set aside ego and really learn what drives the people who love your product.

And beyond brands, it’s a humbling life lesson. Be a person that listens. Be a person that entertains. Be a person that loves enough to set aside yourself in conversations and focus down on what matters to others. Positive reactions follow and people listen to you when you become that person, just like in Facebook algorithms.

Become a better marketer. 

Those who fight the ocean.


In the beginning, there were only three islands, with three peoples. The strong, the hearty, and the wise.

The ocean was angry, “You are the strongest village, run or I will ruin you.” The wave came, but they were so strong they defeated it. The villagers laughed at the ocean. Then the second came, and they fought it. They panted. Wave after wave came, and consumed them.

But the ocean was not done, for it was angry. “You are the heartiest of people. Run, or I will ruin you.” Their houses were strong, and they had intellect enough to build them well. They laughed at the ocean. The ocean came relentlessly, washing away all the crops and cattle until the village starved.

But the ocean was still angry. “You are the wisest village. Run, or I will ruin you.” The wise did not laugh, for they knew toil and pain. They were not bold or hearty. They built boats, and though it pained them to see their village in ruin, they learned to ride the waves and to live off the ocean.

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How to Become a Storyteller


The Introduction, The Pledge, The Call to Adventure
Today you will learn how to start the journey towards becoming a storyteller. You can be a teller who weaves words together like silk, who can enrapture audiences both big or small, and who can bring an audience into worlds you’ve never imagined. Storytellers. And it all begins here.

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changing4always said: Please suggest the best way to market or advertise a psychology practice

Networking. Psychology isn’t really a field that’s going to benefit from advertising in the strict sense. What it may benefit from is recommendations. So, network.

Provide information to hospitals and those who make recommendations. Carve out a niche as the best at handling X. Find something that sets you apart from other practices, competition is extremely fierce, and well established.

Good things in marketing never last.


I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if thousands of social media managers suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.

Make shit.


No, seriously, make shit. In marketing, there are too many people who want to manage. Too many who want to talk. Too many who want to bargain, and negotiate, and be a big deal. And you should want to do that too, but you should also want to make shit.

People arting it up in Photoshop, Excel’in at charts, diving into web interfaces to churn up content, they are the people who know what’s going on. If you aren’t making tangible products, at a steady stream every week, then you are losing to those who are.

Marketing is moving far too fast now. By the time you build a presentation, the material is already old, or doesn’t work anymore. It’s easy to find high-level thinkers who talk, they’re the ones who never stay in one place for very long - the truly valuable are the ones who talk, and then actually do what they speak about. Because those are the marketers who know their craft.

Stop talking. Go make shit.

Advertising.tumblr.com is dedicated to making you a better marketer. That’s it. The thoughts and feels of Jim Bruno do not reflect any institution, company, project or agency.