The Content Code by Mark W. Schaefer: Book Review

Mark W Schaefer is a globally acclaimed speaker, business consultant, educator, and author. Following the success of Tao of Twitter and Social Media Explained, The Content Code is also one of Mark Schaefer’s bestsellers.

The Content Code has been named one of the best SEO books by Book Authority and one of INC magazine’s top five business books of the year.

The author uses beginner-friendly language throughout the book, making it easy to comprehend and execute. The book’s actionable advice is sure to give striking results when executed.

With segmentation of the distribution channels, ever-changing social media algorithms, newer SEO practices, etc., content isn’t the king anymore.

Mark says, “The persistent myth that surrounds much of marketing today is that content is king. And if you can just produce enough of this scintillating, ripped-from-the-headlines, epic, and amazing stuff … dripping with keywords, stuffed to the headlines with relevance, decorated with Pinterest-worthy graphics and videos, and podcasts and listicles … you’ll win.”

We’re living in a world where there’s an overload of information. Everybody with an internet connection is creating content. Mark says the quantity of content production is way higher than the content consumption creating a content shock. And to tackle this, businesses are striving to find unique ways to stand tall amidst the competition.

Now, the challenge of creating content that converts arises and the answer lies in one of the best books on content marketing – The Content Code. Mark identifies 6 rules to create content that will help in creating content and moving ahead of the basics of content marketing, social media, and SEO. As Mark calls it, the 6 essential strategies to ignite your content that ultimately leads to growing your business.

Here are the 6 ‘BADASS’ strategies mentioned in the book to help you ignite content:

  1. Brand development: aligning yourself as a business owner or marketer so that the output is associated with you
  2. Audience and influencers: building an alpha audience that heavily shares your content online
  3. Distribution, advertising, promotion, and SEO: paid ads, valuable content optimized for SEO, and distribution channels to promote your content
  4. Authority: be it content or SEO, authority is the key to success. The higher your authority the higher the reach of your content.
  5. Shareability embedded into each piece of content: encouraging the readers to share the content with compelling CTAs and visible share buttons
  6. Social proof and social signals: it’s all about numbers! If a person sees a higher number of people liking your content then they are likely to do so  as well

Following this framework for creating content will leave you with badass content!

Earlier the SEO didn’t analyze the value of the content but just the keywords. The increasing popularity of content marketing and the call for valuable content has resulted in content overload.

According to Mark, catching one’s eye in a sea of content is one of the significant challenges businesses are facing. To combat this issue, brands are leaning toward paid advertisements for the promotion and distribution of content.

Ads yield good results and so does organic SEO but, there’s a catch—content needs to be worthy of consumption only then the ads and SEO will work their magic. Trashy content can’t make it through the cut-throat competition of today’s world.

Furthermore, Mark advises creating content in 3 types:

  • Hygiene content: increases brand awareness. E.g: short-form, how-tos, videos
  • Hub content: keeps the visitors on the site. E.g: an engaging long-form article
  • Hero content: establishes your unique identity. E.g: viral content

While producing the content, the focus should be on quality and not on quantity. Quality content can be achieved through the 22 elements of content ignition explained by Mark W Schaefer in his book.

The list of elements is quite lengthy but here are a few for starters:

  • Display emotions: Find a way to weave emotions into your next blog post. E.g: inspiration, laughter, or entertainment.
  • Repurpose old content: The article you wrote a month ago is still relevant. Just repurpose and present it differently and watch it get shared on social media.
  • Comment on new research: get your hands on the new updates in the industry and share them with your audience with your opinion. It establishes you as a thought leader in the industry while compelling your community to re-share.

The blurb of the book rightly says, “The Content Code starts from where your content marketing plan ends.” It has to be among the best marketing books inclusive of the information and knowledge needed to create content that converts.

Mark, in his book, has given excellent and unique insights about content and marketing making it a must-read for all marketers. If you read only one book to improve your content marketing game then let it be this one.

If you’re short on time to read the book and experiment, then hire an expert content marketing agency like Contensify, to ace your content game.


Additional reads:

Everything You Need to Know About Bad Content

How Content Marketing Drives Sales for B2B businesses

Everything You Need To Know About Long Form Content For Content Marketing

Tried and Tested Ways to Come Up With Content Ideas for Inbound Marketing

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