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Mythbusters-Style Content Marketing Part 1

Recently, Ian Lurie posted an article on how urban legends, lies and spin are more believable than the truth, which led to a discussion on why Mythbusters, a truth-telling show, is so popular. With negative SEO and nasty public relations tricks rising as real threats, what can content marketers and SEO pros learn from Mythbusters? Learn two ways to bust your content out of its rut and make it stick.

 

Mythbusters-Style Content Marketing

This post is not endorsed by Mythbusters.

Recently, Ian Lurie posted an article on how urban legends, lies and spin are more believable than the truth, which led to a discussion on why Mythbusters, a truth-telling show, is so popular. With negative SEO and nasty public relations tricks rising as real threats, what can content marketers and SEO pros learn from Mythbusters? Learn two ways to bust your content out of its rut and make it stick.

Mythbusters chooses the myths to test things that a) are very likely to have a clear outcome and b) have a dramatic visual effect. They don’t test whether standing in the rain will make you catch a cold more easily – it’s hard to prove in 30 minutes or less, and there isn’t much action in it. They will test whether running or walking through the rain will make you more wet. Easy to prove, great visual impact, and a fun way to build up drama.

Each myth is carefully examined and then tested in a controlled scientific experiment. Since Mythbusters is television at its finest, it takes time to build the story, explain what the experiment is, show the preparations, all leading to… the commercial break. Viewers are so keen on seeing whether Adam survives a 3-story drop wrapped up in bubble wrap or if they should run or walk through rain that they sit through the interruption. The dramatic build-up, attention to detail and over-the-top experiments are core components of what makes the show so successful.

So how does that work for content marketing?

First of all, choose your titles and topics wisely. Just as Mythbusters only chooses certain myths, be selective in what you’re going to address. If you can’t end with a clear point, refine your title or topic. Ensure that your topics and titles fall under your content marketing strategy.

Second, build drama in your blog posts. Press releases use an inverted triangle of information: all the important stuff goes up top. In blog posts and other marketing pieces, this strategy has the same effect that delaying Olympic broadcasts does: readers lose the motivation to read the piece. Avoid giving your answers up in the first few sentences; let the drama grow. Your reader should be ready to skip that Words With Friends notification to finish reading your blog posts. You don’t have to end with an explosion, but you should have imparted a good lesson or two.


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