Illustration: Mark Armstrong

Banana Myths & Marketing Truths

6 Tips To Help Your Marketing Bear Fruit

Bananas. Believe it or not, they teach us some important truths about content marketing.

I’ve also uncovered some myths about them. I’ve selected six of the strangest.

After each myth, you’ll find a content marketing truth. The myths are a little silly. The marketing truths are legit.

Bananas are highly visual: distinctive shape, bright yellow. (OK, sometimes they’re bright green or dark brown. We won’t talk about that.) Because they’re visual, they stand out. You want your content to do the same.

Attention spans are short. You need to structure your content accordingly. Visuals grab attention and boost engagement, among other advantages. Check out these visual marketing stats.

Peeling a banana is almost as much fun as eating one. It provides an incentive to open it and consume the contents. You want your headline to do the same thing.

Writer Jeff Goins begins his how-to post on writing catchy headlines by quoting advertising legend David Ogilvy:

On average, 5 times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent 80 cents out of your dollar.

That’s how important your headline is. There’s a certain science to writing headlines. You can even use templates. But you need to give your headline a lot of thought. If people don’t click on it, your content goes unread.

You can peel and eat a banana. Slice it up and put it on cornflakes. Use it to make a banana split. Drop it in a blender and make a smoothie. You can serve bananas in different ways. You need to do the same thing with your content.

There are a lot of social media sites and related networks. You have to decide which ones will work best for your brand. Each platform has its own audience, content format, and “vibe.” You need to customize your posts for each, to ensure a good fit.

Bananas ripen. They get spotty. They turn brown. They get to the point where nobody wants them. Content can get old, too. It becomes dated, and makes a poor impression.

Should you just delete old posts? In most cases, no. A better option: update old content. Evaluate it: does it need a better headline? images? video? What do you need to delete, add, rewrite? When you’re done, promote it. There are sure to be people who missed the post the first time around.

Bananas give you a twofer: they’re good for you and they’re sweet. They educate (inform) in a physical sense, and they entertain (please) in an emotional sense. Your content, as a whole, needs to do the same.

You need to educate prospects about your product or service. They’re looking for help online, and they want to know if you can solve their problem. You also need to post content that entertains. Does that mean cat videos? No. You “entertain” anytime you
forge an emotional connection.

When you do that, you humanize your brand. You become more relatable. It’s often done with humor. You can also do it by sharing some of your backstory, taking people behind the scenes. Client testimonials fall into this same category. Why? Because they have an emotional impact.

What do you see when you look at a banana? A frown? Then you’re holding it upside-down. Bananas are always smiling. They’re reminding us to be polite and stay positive, especially when responding to negative comments or feedback.

Never ignore negative comments. Don’t delete them, either. (It is, of course, OK to delete truly hateful stuff if you’ve had a visit from a troll.) Consider them a learning experience, and a chance to demonstrate your commitment to good customer service. Above all, remember these wise words written by Vivian Wagner:

Probably the most important reason to respond to comments — both negative and positive — is that everyone else is reading them. Although many people won’t comment themselves, they’ll read the comments of others, and they’ll pay close attention to how your business responds.

Thoughts? I’d appreciate your feedback.

You might also enjoy PRESTO: 6 Steps To Crafting Effective Content.

About Mark: I’m an illustrator specializing in humor, branding, social media, and content marketing. I create images that get content seen and shared.

You can view my portfolio, and connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Questions? Send me an email.