By Andrew Davis published May 27, 2013

How to Publish Content that Drives Audience Anticipation

create-content-appointment-luckyDelivering consistent results for content marketers

Too many content marketers seem to struggle with building a consistent audience. Indeed, some publish content that becomes a big hit — it drives engagement,  it gets shared, and it delivers new leads. However, many of these efforts don’t produce successful results on a dependable and repeatable basis.

Fortunately, I believe I’ve found a potential solution to this problem: One key to consistent growth lies in building a consistent format for your content, and using it to make an appointment with your audience members that they won’t want to miss.

Welcome to the Man Cave

Every single Friday, (yes, every single one), I wake up and check my Facebook feed. As I scroll through the mundane posts from friends and family around the world, one entry always draws my attention: “This Week at the Man Cave.”

How does the Man Cave work?

My favorite Friday Facebook post features a black-and-white picture of a man holding up a sign with a single, handwritten word on it. The image always draws me in, and I’ve come to eagerly anticipate its arrival each week.

Moreover, the provocative Facebook photo is always captioned with a (short) story that explains the significance of the picture and its associated word. It’s always a personal, emotional story, and it always makes me think. Though the posts are brief, they make a powerful impact.


Click to enlarge

So, who’s behind the Man Cave?

Some of you may know Joseph Kalinowski. JK, as he’s often referred to, is the talented designer and creative director behind the Content Marketing Institute’s brand. (Not to be confused with the “other” Content Marketing Institute Joe who’s known for his insane love of the color orange.)

JK isn’t selling anything. But if he were, I’d buy it. Through his content, I’ve developed a relationship with JK’s personal brand, and I’ve come to anticipate his weekly contribution to my social feeds. On those rare occasions when he skips a Friday (like April 19 — not that I’m keeping track), I find myself disappointed by the lack of fresh Man Cave content. Without even knowing it, JK’s content formula has become a weekly appointment for me — a dependable and engaging experience that I voluntarily seek out as part of my regular routine.

Does the Man Cave deliver results?

Though I’ll admit that this is by no means a scientific analysis, from a content marketing standpoint, JK’s Man Cave posts do display many of the hallmarks of social success: Man Cave posts are “liked” far more often than JK’s other Facebook posts (no offense, JK). His weekly feature also receives far more comments and is shared far more often than his other content. If JK were creating the Man Cave on behalf of a product or service, there’s little doubt in my mind that he’d have a brand content victory on his hands.

Why does the Man Cave work?

The Man Cave works for three simple reasons:

  1. A smart hook: JK has used a visual marker (the black-and-white photo and a handwritten word) to trigger my weekly anticipation for his written content.
  2. An appointment: JK has set an appointment that Facebook fans like me look forward to attending. Consciously or not, we’ve come to expect a Man Cave post every single week, and we deliberately seek it out.
  3. Consistent delivery: JK delivers on the promise of his Man Cave posts week in and week out, and he doesn’t stray from the formula that has brought his success.

Ask yourself…

What are you doing to build a consistent, reliable, and valuable relationship with your existing audience? What formula would you use to create eagerly anticipated content on a regular basis? How would you publish content that your audience of fans, followers, and friends thinks of as “can’t-miss” opportunities to engage with your brand?

Want more ideas on how content can help build a powerful brand? Read Andrew Davis’ book, “Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships.” 

Author: Andrew Davis

Andrew Davis’ 20-year career has taken him from local television to "The Today Show". He's worked for The Muppets in New York and marketed for tiny start-ups as well as Fortune 500 brands. In 2001, Andrew Davis co-founded Tippingpoint Labs, where he changed the way publishers think and how brands market their products. For more than a decade, as Tippingpoint’s chief strategy officer, Andrew rallied his team to change the way content creators think, authentic talent is nurtured, and companies market their products. Today, he’s traveling the globe sharing his insight, experience, stories, and optimistic ideals through his wildly fascinating speaking engagements, guest lectures and workshops. His most recent book, "Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships" hit shelves in September, 2012. Andrew is also an instructor for the Content Marketing Institute Online Training and Certification program. Follow Andrew on Twitter @TPLDrew.

Other posts by Andrew Davis

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  • Joseph Kalinowski


    Thank you so much for making my “Man Cave Message” the topic of your post. It is such a fun thing for me to do! It really does mean a lot to me knowing that you appreciate it and look forward to seeing the as much as I look forward to creating them.

    Thank you again!!


    • Jacinta Croagh

      Hi Joseph, I can’t locate the Man Cave Message on FB? I’m a social media marketer in Australia and am always looking for engaging ideas for my brand and my clients. Have followed you on Twitter, but can’t find MCM on Facebook?

      • tpldrew


        I’m so glad you’re looking for JK’s content.

        He posts these little pictures every friday on his personal page:

        – Andrew

        • Jacinta Croagh

          Awesome thanks Andrew, appreciate you coming back to me! Love the blog BTW, always read it 🙂

    • tpldrew


      You’re a real beacon of great content on Facebook, which has become less and less interesting to me over the last six months. I wish more of my friends took the time to post something meaningful on a more regular basis.

      Thanks man!

      – Andrew

  • Goran

    Hey do you know such content writing service?


  • Cameron Upshall

    Consistent, regular and reliable content. Just like the news paper. The news always went out on time and your content needs to be just as reliable. I know I look forward to reviewing my daily dose of CMI each and every morning. The day just doesn’t feel right if I miss reading these posts. Great article! Going to
    Like the man cave right now. Thanks @cameronupshall

    • tpldrew


      You’re right… just like the newspaper. Thanks for commenting and reading the article!

      – Andrew

  • Sarah Mitchell

    I love the Man Cave Message, Drew. It’s one of the key reasons I’m still on Facebook. I think JK has proved a simple message can be a really powerful drawing card.

    As an American living abroad for more than 20 years, I can tell you the Man Cave Message also conveys a strong local brand. With every post we get a little glimpse of the value system held by many people in the American Mid-West. It’s a great case study for values based marketing, as well.

    • Joseph Kalinowski

      Thank you so much Sarah. It makes me feel great to know that I am able to share a “little piece of home” with you each week. Again, thank you for liking my “little weekly ramblings” and I promise to keep going as long as you all are asking for them! Looking forward to seeing you soon!

    • tpldrew


      JK’s content is awesome. I too agree, he’s giving everyone a really meaningful piece of content every single week!

      Thanks for reading the post!

      – Andrew

  • Joseph Kalinowski

    …and Drew, for the sake of upholding my record, I did post on the 19th of April! It was dedicated to the Boston Marathon (the pic said “4:09”). Take a looks!

    • tpldrew

      Wow! So sorry JK. My bad. That was a good one (I actually remember it.)

      JK – 1, Drew – 0.

      – Andrew

      • Joseph Kalinowski

        I won’t hold it against you Drew!! LOL

  • Sally A Dickson

    Can you add a link to the official Man Cave, you would not believe what I found when I searched for this website. hey ! hope no-one is looking at my screen right now!

    • tpldrew


      Thanks for searching for Joe’s great stuff! He actually posts his Man Cave content on his personal facebook stream…

      Hope that helps!

      – Andrew

  • Ken

    My comment is not intended to be inflammatory, but this comes across phony and staged. Honesty is the best policy and trying to play this type of activity as “genuine” is insulting.

    • tpldrew

      Hey Ken,

      Thanks for your comment. I’m sure there was a better way to position your comment as less inflammatory. Nonetheless, the content, I can assure you is unbelievably genuine and amazingly personal. JK does this for no personal gain, just to share his thoughts with his friends and family on his facebook page. Sorry it doesn’t resonate with you. It surely does with his intimate friends on Facebook.

      Have a great week!

      – Andrew

    • Joseph Kalinowski

      Hi Ken,

      Like Andrew said, thank you for your comment. There is not one thing “staged” or “phony” about my posts… I share what is going on in my life or a random thought that I may have for that day. Some may be silly (ex: my post declaring my love and allegiance to The Rolling Stones) or extremely personal (ex: expressing how toughest things come in small packages when my youngest daughter was struggling through medical issues – and how she is much tougher than I could ever be). I am not selling anything, just using my own personal FB feed to “creatively ramble” once a week!

      • Ken

        My bad and I do apologize. So many fakes out there. Good luck with your endeavors!


        • tpldrew


          It takes a real man to apologize. Thanks so much for keeping the conversation civil and returning to read the responses. You’re a stand-up guy.

          Thanks again!

          – Andrew

  • Amanda Maksymiw (@amandamaks)


    I agree with everything you’ve written in this post. I love Joe’s Man Cave messages. I look forward to them every week!

    • Joseph Kalinowski

      Thank you Amanda!

    • tpldrew


      You rock! So glad you too enjoy JK’s great content!

      – Andrew

  • Will Mitchell

    Brilliant idea! Now to hash something up for myself 🙂

    • tpldrew

      Go for it Will!

  • Stephen Bateman DipM MCIM

    This story proves that we’re creatures of habit, we like our series, we like dependable stuff, we like our entertainment at fixed times. We’re creatures of comfort. Book publishers succeed with series: think Harry Potter or Guides for Dummies, think TV Mad Men or Breaking Bad, in film think Batman and Batman sequels, in Cars think Golf mark I, II, III IV etc..

    Developing a repeatable winning series model builds a loyal faithful audience who will promote your series and bring new eyeballs to the next episode, it saves time, effort, promotion etc – it’s win-win for audiences and producers – didn’t know the caveman series but will take a look now – thanks for sharing 🙂

    • tpldrew


      You’re so right. I’ve spent a ton of time using old media ideas (like building content brands and treating web content like a television series) to see really great online success. Thanks for your wonderful comment!

      Have a great week!

      – Andrew

  • Naomi Garnice

    Great idea, Andrew. I love how branded and spontaneous your MC posts are. Sometimes one word can say so much. Love it!

    • tpldrew

      Thanks Naomi. They’re really JK’s Man Cave posts… I only love ’em.
      Have a great week!

  • Ryan Biddulph

    Creative idea Andrew! Working with one word brings clarity to your mind.

    You do whatever embodies the work. Simple. Powerful. No more blocks, you just write, create and boost page views.

    Thanks for sharing!