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  • nigelcharig

How a comb improved my appreciation of content marketing

Updated: Mar 13

If you’re involved in marketing then no doubt you consider content as one of your actual or potential marketing tools. But do you ever wonder how effective it really is? I don’t mean in terms of metrics, important as they are; I’m thinking more about the impact a piece of content has on an individual reader.

It’s certainly something I’ve considered, because, as a content writer, I spend most of my professional life generating content rather than being at its receiving end. I’m not involved in buying major capital items or key components for a new design. However, like everyone else, I do buy and consider items for office and personal use.

One such item, which unexpectedly generated some content marketing interest, was a comb. For some reason that I can’t explain, I decided that my ideal birthday gift would be a really good-quality comb - and my wife duly ordered one for me. It’s in the picture above.

In answer to the two questions I know you have:

1. A comb really was the peak of my birthday aspiration. Maybe it was to seize the opportunity while I still have some hair to use it on.

2. My wife and I do sometimes buy one another more extravagant presents. But see 1 above.

Meanwhile, the comb arrived, and it certainly had a pleasantly chunky quality look and feel. The interesting part, though, was the accompanying text. Obviously, I’d expect something of the sort with any product, but its explanation of the comb’s ‘technology’ – how it was manufactured – was genuinely informative, not just meaningless PR.

It described how the comb was handmade with sawcut teeth, unlike the sharp teeth associated with the usual, cheaper moulded types. Less painful to the scalp, less hair damage and fewer split ends. This resonated simply because it was true. Using the comb was a gentler, less scratchy experience than usual.

There was plenty more in that vein, which I won’t describe as I’m not actually marketing combs. My point, however, is that the content did change my view of these simple, everyday objects. It turns out that not all combs are the same! And, from a marketing perspective, it would influence me to buy the same again, and maybe various other products too, from the same manufacturer.

But would the content have been as effective if it hadn’t been corroborated by my experience in using the comb? I believe it would, as it created interest with the idea that a product differentiation exists, and then provided conviction by explaining how that differentiation is created.

Accordingly, it seems reasonable to extrapolate. This little experience has given a first-hand perspective of how content can change mindset by capturing attention, providing information of genuine interest, and backing it with convincing evidence. The underlying principles should be just as true whether you’re buying a comb or specifying a new generator for a power station.

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