Content Marveling: Wonder and Astonishment in Marketing


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    Northern lights over mountains with astounded person below.

    Two little letters. On the surface that’s all separating your standard issue “marketing” from the extraordinary and entirely different practice of “marveling.”

    Marvel Word Definition Image

    At TopRank Marketing, “Content Marveling” is the practice of bringing greater wonder and astonishment to traditional content marketing, and can be applied in both the worlds of direct-to-consumer and enterprise business-to-business, to engage and delight your audience.

    Marketing efforts spending huge amounts of paid placement advertising, ever-more-ludicrous click-bait headlines and tactics, and even illicit black-hat methods are all used to simply get us to pay attention to marketing messages.

    Among senior B2B marketers, a sizable 82 percent view content as important for achieving marketing goals, however only 48 percent believe their content is somewhat effective — or even ineffective, according to recent study data.

    Uberflip / Heinz Chart Image

    In the U.S. alone digital ad spending grew to $28.4 billion for the first quarter of 2019, up 18 percent from the same quarter a year ago.

    IAB 2019 Q1 Ad Spend Chart Image

    Thankfully there are still many genuine people and professional organizations delivering truly helpful content in beautifully-delivered formats — the type of material that builds long-term fans and keeps audiences subscribing, liking, and coming back for more.

    We’ve explored a variety of B2B brands delivering great content recently, including Cannes Lions award winners, which are some of the best examples to learn from:

    They say the more things change the more they remain the same, and people have known the power of all things marvelous for thousands of years, as Aristotle himself observed.

    “In all things of nature there is something marvelous.” — Aristotle Click To Tweet

    via GIPHY

    Content Marveling: A Marvelous Peak With No Summit

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    Content marveling sets the bar higher. It aims to inspire us to use marketing to deliver a sense of awe, gives us cause to stop and reflect, and can become a profound example we’ll refer back to throughout the rest of our career.

    At first glance this may seem nearly unattainable. Thankfully, another tenet of content marveling is to simply think of marketing as a peak with no physical summit, offering an ever-evolving and infinite pinnacle of the very best marketing.

    via GIPHY

    Our greatest emotional reactions know no bounds, and similarly, no matter how much a superb marketing effort has succeeded, by its very nature there is always the opportunity to do better the next time out, and push to newfound levels of marketing achievements.

    “‘Content Marveling’ is the practice of bringing greater wonder and astonishment to traditional content marketing.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis Click To Tweet

    Finding a Quark or Neutrino In a Sea of Marketing Messages

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    It’s no secret that online interactions today see us inundated with vast numbers of efforts to catch our attention, coming at us a mile a minute from seemingly every possible digital direction.

    Today’s professional has just an eight-second attention span, according to Debra Jasper, and working within this speedy framework of micro-moments is harder than ever.

    Finding great authentic marketing examples that inspire a sense of wonder these days can be difficult — not quite like detecting a quark or a neutrino wave — yet surprisingly challenging.

    Striving to incorporate the wonder and astonishment of content marveling can go far in taking your own campaigns to a level of content marketing greatest, and we’ll look at examples from several marketing superheroes who are doing this today.

    Taking a cue once again from the distant past, however, we can learn the importance of wonder in marketing and elsewhere from Socrates.

    “Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.” — Socrates Click To Tweet

    via GIPHY

    The Longstanding Successes of Ann Handley

    Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs, is an outstanding content marketing practitioner who has been at the forefront of crafting innovative and memorable marketing wisdom for years.Ann Handley

    Ann produces one of the content marketing industry’s most popular newsletters — Total Annarchy — offering up a deftly-curated collection of inspiring and hyper-relevant digital marketing news, on display most recently in the newsletter’s forty-third edition, “TA #43: ? Mindy Kaling’s Marketing Tips, What’s Wrong with Newsletters, B2B Influencers Done Right.”

    In it, Ann shared writing and marketing advice from comedian, actress and writer Mindy Kaling, who was the closing keynote speaker during the most recent Content Marketing World conference.

    Fear of the unknown is common in marketing, and Mindy revealed how it can be used to create the kind of memorable content and messaging that content marveling encourages.

    “When you’re scared, that’s when the most memorable things happen.” — Mindy Kaling @mindykaling Click To Tweet

    At the event Ann delivered a much-anticipated presentation on using a strategic approach for achieving marketing success that’s both sane and sustainable, and our own Senior Digital Strategy Director Ashley Zeckman was there to cover it in the following article:

    50 More Content Marvelers To Follow & Learn From

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    At TopRank Marketing we strive to highlight top marketers in a variety of marketing niches, and our most recent is a list of 50 of the world’s best content marketers who presented at Content Marketing World — a handy resource for easily following great marketers and learning how to create your own marvelous campaigns by watching their fine examples.

    You can find it here:

    During the event, our CEO Lee Odden and Ashley Zeckman each presented insightful sessions, and a team of our staff was also on hand to provide in-depth coverage of many of the top speakers delivering presentations throughout the week, culminating in a complete wrap-up with top take-aways and insights.

    To help drive your content marveling efforts, here are some of our live-blogging articles from the event:

    I hope that you’ll use the information and examples we’ve explored here as you strive to be your own content marveler, and that you’ll work to infuse your marketing campaigns with a new level of wonder and delight.

     


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