10 marketing lessons from Dr. Seuss

The iconic author has valuable takeaways, regardless of whether you’re creating content on a boat, with a goat, in the rain, on a train, in a box, with a fox, in a house, with a mouse…

Content marketing and storytelling go together like green eggs and ham, so who better to take inspiration from than Dr. Seuss, one of the world’s greatest storytellers?

Here are 10 quotes from the acclaimed children’s book author and takeaways for all content marketers.

1. “Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So … get on your way.” (“Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”)

Lesson: Traditional marketing has lost impact as consumers block out noise. Content marketing is about educating readers and customers—not selling. If you haven’t started yet, now’s a great time.

2. “Think left and think right, and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!” (“Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!”)

Lesson: Content marketing success depends on consistency, which can be challenging. However, if you search and think, you’ll discover plenty of content ideas. Check the daily paper, watch your competitors, scan blogs, interview a client about a topic, or even look to the musings of a famous author. Get creative.

3. “So the writer who breeds more words than he needs is making a chore for the reader who reads.”

Lesson: We’d hate to be guilty of this, so we’ll just say that clear, simple, and brief is the best policy. In today’s crowded online world, if you capture readers’ attention, you’ve won half the battle.

4. “If you never did, you should. These things are fun, and fun is good.” (“One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish”)

Lesson: Creating content doesn’t have to be drudgery. Like storytelling, content marketing is about conveying information in an engaging and interesting way. Create an infographic, design a microsite, or record a video series. Also remember to mobilize your readers, customers, and community for some good user-generated content.

5. “Words and pictures are yin and yang. Married, they produce a progeny more interesting than either parent.”

Lesson: Written and visual content go hand in hand with content marketing. Instagram, Pinterest, and Vine demonstrate the power of pictures and video. Words and pictures together give birth to some of the most effective forms of content marketing.

6. “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”

Lesson: Content marketing is about making readers and customers smarter. The online world creates a lot of groupthink, and while it’s important to tune in to trends, you can often attract attention by taking a contrarian view. Think about how you contribute to a topic that gets people to think differently. Don’t be afraid to invite debate or disagreement if it’s appropriate.

7. “I meant what I said, and I said what I meant.” (“Horton Hatches the Egg”)

Lesson: Authenticity is an important part of content marketing. Readers and customers want honesty above all, so if you can’t stay true to your brand and yourself when creating content, you’re probably headed down the wrong path.

8. “Step with great care and great tact. And remember that life’s a great balancing act.” (“Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”)

Lesson: Good content takes time. When you produce content in haste, readers will know. The important thing is to find the right balance between quality and quantity. Don’t sacrifice quality for quantity, but also don’t go radio silent for months at a time.

9. “Read. Ask. Read. Learn. Read. Connect. Read.”

Lesson: Content marketing isn’t just one-way communication. Be sure to open your content to discussion and ask for feedback if appropriate. Read and learn from comments, and personally connect with your audience.

10. “Will you succeed? Yes, you will indeed! Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed.” (“Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”)

Lesson: As with all things, success isn’t 100 percent guaranteed, but if you’re consistent and clear, have fun, use a mix of words and images, provide new ideas, are authentic, use tact, and engage in dialogue with your audience, you’re off to a good start!

A version of this article first appeared on MarketingProfs.

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