4 Ways Creating Content Should Be Like Hosting a Dinner Party

If you’ve ever hosted a dinner party, you know that it takes a good deal of effort to put together. Well, the same is true for an effective content marketing strategy. As it turns out, the approach you should take to creating successful content is a lot like preparing for a dining room full of hungry guests.

Here are 4 reasons why you should treat your content creation process like a dinner party.

You must put time and energy into making content great

The content of your dinner party is the food you prepare for your guests. Sometimes creating the content is fun, and sometimes it feels like a chore. Either way, it is a critical component of a successful dinner party in the same way that content creation is critical to a successful inbound marketing strategy.

You have to work hard to make sure your content both impresses and satisfies your audience, or guests, and you have to give yourself adequate time to prepare it so the quality doesn’t suffer.

After all, just as you wouldn’t want to serve any undercooked food to your guests, you also wouldn’t want to offer inadequate content to your readers. At the same time though, you have to pay attention to all the pieces of content — or all the different parts of the meal — that you’re preparing to ensure that each comes out as best as it can.

You want to get them salivating before they consume your content

Ideally, you want your guests to get excited about your food after just a whiff or a first glance — so much so that they’re eager to start eating it right away. The same is true for your content marketing: you want your readers to take one look at your blog post or your latest ebook that they want to start reading it right away.

The way to achieve this is not only to put effort into making your content great, but also to pay attention to the details at the “preview” level.

Take note of what viewers see when they look at the title or preview of your blog post or the meta description of your ebook and ask yourself, “Will that entice them to read it?” It’s like putting flowers made of icing on a cake. You don’t do it for the taste; instead, it’s a visual stimulus to entice people to want to eat the cake.

So go ahead and decorate your content a bit. Let’s face it: while it’s not advisable, people still do judge a book by its cover.

You should serve different kinds of content to make sure there’s something for everyone

Not all content is the same, and not everyone wants or enjoys the same type of content, much like not everyone likes the same foods. At your dinner party, you want to serve a variety of foods so there’s something that appeals to everyone’s appetite.

In the same way, you want to create different types of content (with varying topics, difficulty levels, formats, and so on) to appeal to as many of your readers as possible. After all, it wouldn’t be very much of a success if your guests walked away hungry, would it?

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Your goal is to get them talking about your content, and ultimately coming back for more

After all that time you spent preparing the food, you want your guests to talk about it (hopefully in a positive way), and hey, you probably wouldn’t mind a few compliments either.

Similarly, one goal of content marketing is to generate discussion about your content so your readers will share it with others and thus expand your reach to more people who might be interested in it.

When it comes to making purchasing decisions, many consumers trust recommendations from others more than any other source of information, so referrals are a critical part of getting them to choose your products or services.

And of course, not only should your goal be to get your consumers talking about your content, but it should also be to keep them coming back for more. As in, “Glad you enjoyed the meal! Same time tomorrow? Great — bring a friend!”

And see? What a hit! All that work you put into creating your content turns out to be totally worth it, with all the SEO, leads, and customers it generates.

author photo of Sarah Goliger

Sarah Goliger is the former Head of Paid Marketing at HubSpot, where she managed online advertising and vendor relationships to generate leads. Connect with her on Twitter @sarahbethgo.