Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

How to find your organization’s content sweet spot [CONVERSION + ENGAGEMENT]

Digital marketers often fall into one of two categories:

  • The engagement huggers – These are the marketers who report every like, retweet and comment they get. Success in their world is a feeling. People are hearing us and they are responding.
  • The conversion overthinkers – How do we get people to do something next? Usually, that something benefits mostly the people owning and running the business. (Related: The call to action madness)

Now, that perspective is a bit black and white perhaps and certainly some marketers are somewhere in the middle, so let me dive a bit deeper. It’s not wrong to look for engagement. It’s great to see that people are appreciating our content, liking it, sharing it and so on. And it is true that content takes off when others start sharing it. So, from that perspective and others, engagement can be immensely helpful and, of course, makes us feel good. We are seeing immediate interaction and audience impact.

Recommended reading for you:

Stories spread when others share them [EXAMPLES]

When is it okay to swear in blog posts or on social media?

Conversions are often what keeps the lights on. If nobody buys anything from us, we aren’t running a business, but probably something closer to a hobby. To pay the bills, somebody at some point has to buy something from us. Even content and digital marketers need to eat. So, conversions are important.

But, if we only sell, we end up not selling at all. The trick is to sell at the right time and just often enough. It can seem much easier to just sell, sell, sell and try to convert people at any given second of every day. Since that’s all we are doing, we might even convert enough people to make it feel like a success. Being relevant and different can seem like a lot more work – because it is a lot of work and often doesn’t come naturally.

Recommended reading for you:

What’s uniquely original content?


In reality, it’s a mix. Conversion overthinkers and overdoers can be extremely successful – especially short-term and if they have a large audience. But longer term, their content might not hit the sweet zone of mutual relevance. Content and (digital) experiences that are mutually beneficial are most likely to build long-term relationships and help us move forward as businesses, organizations and brands.

Content that stays in that zone is relevant but also converts when it counts most for all involved.

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Christoph blogs on The Authentic Storytelling Project and is a globally recognized content marketing expert. The IMA named him Internet Marketer of the Year in 2015. He works with healthcare organizations and other brands around the globe.

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