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The Bad News (and the Good) About 2020 [The Weekly Wrap]

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And that’s a wrap of the week ending July 10, 2020

This week I’m wondering when the other shoe is going to drop – and how bad (or good) that’s going to be. I talk with content marketing strategist Marissa Gbenro about where CMOs plan to spend their predicted budget increases next year. And I share an article on five content lessons that are all about good news.

Listen to (or watch) the Weekly Wrap

Our theme this week is bad news and good news. As Doug Larson once said, “Bad news travels fast. Good news takes the scenic route.”

Let’s wrap it up.

Listen to the episode (time stamps apply to the audio version):

Watch it, too:

One deep thought: Which shoe drops next? (2:40)

Do you want the good news first or the bad?

Research shows that most people – about 88% of us – prefer to get the bad news first. So, here it is: There’s another half of 2020 to go.

88% prefer to get the bad news first: research in Personality and Social Psychology Journal #WeeklyWrap via @CMIContent and @Robert_Rose Click To Tweet

I might prefer to give you the good news first. The same study I mentioned found that people would rather give the news in the opposite order from the way we prefer to receive it. Most of us want to postpone or avoid delivering negative information.

We also overestimate our skill at judging how bad or good the news is. Have you ever been asked whether you want the good news or the bad news first – only to have the messenger say, “No. I’ll give you the good news first because the bad news isn’t so bad.”

By the way, the good news? There’s another half of 2020 to go.

Then there’s the time between the bad and the good news. Even if the bad news is delivered first, the time before the good news tends to fill with anxiety and dread. You listen while waiting for the other shoe to drop.

But why does the other shoe dropping have to incite dread? Could it not inspire hope?

Why does waiting for the other shoe to drop incite dread? @Robert_Rose offers a hopeful take on how to manage those emotions in #contentmarketing via @CMIContent #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

I explore the origin of this idiom (apartment dwellers – have you guessed it?), the idea that that other shoe might not be as bad as we expect, and our responsibility as communicators to manage our own emotions.

This week’s person making a difference in content: Marissa Gbenro (7:51)

My guest this week is Marissa Gbenro, senior manager of content marketing at Highspot. Before joining Highspot, Marissa led corporate marketing strategy for TrueBlue across 600 locations in the United States and Canada. Throughout her career, she has focused on strategic content development and content optimization through buyer engagement and internal usage data and insights.

Marissa’s got a ton of insight into using personas specifically and content marketing in general. She shared thoughts about the latest CMO Spend Survey from Gartner, which shows B2C CMOs expect a big spending jump. We also talked about how to look at content performance through the lens of what’s actually important to your audience.

Here’s a preview of what Marissa had to say:

You don’t really have a lot of room for error. Your competitors are doing the same things and vying for those same eyes, so you have to make sure you’re going to hit the target a lot more precisely. And that means being aware of your buyers as well as your sellers. What do your sellers find useful as they go through the sales funnel having these conversations?

You don’t have room for error. Be aware of how buyers AND sellers use your #content, says Marissa Gbenro of @Highspot via @CMIContent #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

Listen in, then learn more about Marissa:

One content marketing idea you can use (27:08)

The one post I’d love to have you take another look at this week is the opposite of bad news: 5 Content Lessons From John Krasinski’s Some Good News.

In it, Scott Aughtmon explores how the actor’s YouTube show accumulated more than 2 million subscribers in about eight weekly episodes.

My favorite insight from the article is when Scott notes that John sees other “good news” sites and networks (like Tank’s Good News and Good News Network) as content partners, not competitors, so he incorporated them into SGN.

Another point to note: Visitors to the show included John’s famous friends – Steve Carell, Oprah Winfrey, Jon Stewart, Steven Spielberg, and more. As my friend Joe Pulizzi says, it’s easier to build an audience when you have an audience.

I hope you’ll check out all the good stuff in the post.

Love for our sponsor: Sitecore

As the well-known marketing saying goes, “Content is king.” And with organizations having to rely on their digital channels more than ever these days to reach customers, creating and publishing effective and engaging content has taken on a whole new level of importance.

Sitecore recently held its inaugural Virtual Marketer Day, and one of the tracks was dedicated to helping organizations better manage their content – from beginning to end.

There is a new post-event guide titled “Understanding the end-to-end content lifecycle,” with practical steps you can take to optimize your content engine and personalize digital experiences for your customers.

Download the guide today.

The wrap-up

I hope you’re enjoying the good and bad news we cover in this show. I’m always striving to improve it. If you have thoughts about what you’d like to hear about or guests you’d like to hear from, let me know in the comments. And if you love the show, I’d sure love for you to review it or share it. Hashtag us up on Twitter: #WeeklyWrap

To listen to past shows, go to the main Weekly Wrap page.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute.