5 Content Marketing Rules, the Andy Warhol Way

Are you a fan of artist Andy Warhol? Did you know he created colorful business advice, too?

“Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.”

– Andy Warhol

True to form, Warhol’s business advice is thought-provoking — just like his artwork. I mean, one of the great mysteries of modern art revolves around why Warhol was inspired to silkscreen things as mundane as Campbell’s Soup cans and the symbol for the U.S. dollar . . . things we take for granted . . . things he felt deserved a closer, more loving look.

Did Warhol’s work really qualify as fine art, or was it too commercial? was the question. This heated debate in the art world did nothing less than propel Warhol to fame. All of these forces aligned to make his a household name, more than any other player in pop art.

Art history talk aside, there’s a business point to all of this . . . When I consider Warhol’s business quote, I see content marketing as one way that small business marketing rises to the level of art online. When creating content for web audiences, bring these five thought processes to bear. Together, they’ll paint an awesome picture of what it’s like doing business with you:

  1. ReThink Your Thinking about Value. Get Warholian: turn what’s “soup can” about your content into something approaching art. The further we venture beyond the standard fare, the more distinctive we are in the marketplace. How can your content provide more value? Some simple examples I like include sites with industry or niche glossaries.
  2. Become Passionate About Sharing Your Knowledge. This is the crux of content marketing. It’s about understanding what your target audience seeks enlightenment about, and shining a spotlight on all you know about it. This is small business marketing at its finest. What better salesperson could you have than your unique knowledge?
  3. Make Emotional Connections to Become a Memorable Brand. Not long ago, I was asked to perform a website review by an e-commerce site owner, for an online jewelry store. Although the site was beautifully designed and the merchandise was exquisite, I was puzzled by the lack of copy and personality there. I was sure that a less “sterile” environment would help convert more site visitors to sales. We rewrote all of those dry product descriptions. Four months later, the site owner informed me that her sales were now moving at a nice clip.
  4. Say No to Mediocrity. Everything online moves fast. While it’s important to keep up, it’s increasingly more important to take the time to get your content right. If you’re not EXCITED about your blog post or report or video or podcast, it probably won’t excite others. Plus, Google has just announced Panda, it’s new quality assurance measure for determining which content will rise (or fall) on the search results pages. Several influential web publishers took an immediate Page Rank drop when Panda hit the scene. Personally, I’m excited about it: serving as quality content writers is an area in which we strive to excel.
  5. Create a Unique Brand Experience. There’s too much sameness online. It’s become increasingly difficult to be truly WOW’d on the web. But yesterday I enjoyed one of those rare moments: Check out Ownzee, a brand new blog platform. Looks like a cool, arty way to share content and attract new visitors to your site.

As the great Andy Warhol said, “Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art.” When it comes to content marketing, pour plenty of love into your branding tools. Give them the diligence they deserve to build a lasting and more rewarding web business.