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The time has come - lessons to learn about marketing from the Walrus

You may remember the story of The Walrus and the Carpenter from Alice in Wonderland. One of the movies I used to watch over and over when I was young was the Disney version and I loved this bit when the Walrus told a story to the unsuspecting oysters about “cabbages and kings”. It made the oysters engaged and they all followed him out of the water.

In many ways he is truly wise and ahead of his time.

The walrus was a content marketer

Content marketing is the new way for businesses to keep their messages regularly coming out there so people who come across them online are able to get to know them online. This builds on the “know, like and trust” factor that we marketers keep harping on about. Rather than having just a few pages on your website which never change, we include a blog which regularly gets updated with new tips, advice, collections, interviews, company news etc. Anyone can come along and read a few blog posts and get a much better sense of who you are.

3 things we can learn from the Walrus about marketing

  1. It’s important to plan your content ahead of time. It is more efficient and it means you aren’t always running after yourself feeling guilty that you haven’t put enough time into your blog and your newsletter and you are behind. Just like the walrus, you can make a list of the topics you want to cover in the coming months. Your blog and newsletter can of course include “news” – ie things that haven’t happened yet, timely stories about events you have attended and new deals and press opportunities – but in between you can also be showing your expertise and sharing advice and tips related to your industry and which is truly useful to your audience. So, go ahead and brainstorm a list of your version of shoes, ships, sealing wax and cabbages and kings. From that list, come up with some great headlines, and just like Bon Jovi said, you’re halfway there!
  2. Keep your content varied. The Walrus did just this – shoes, ships, sealing wax – all completely different! No one wants to read the same stuff they read last time on your blog or newsletter. While you do need to stick within your niche it’s also important to keep your content fresh. When planning your topics, you can group them, and then you can shuffle them all around so that in sequence, they aren’t all the same. For example, on the blog of a cake business can have a recipe post, followed by a post about different types of flour, followed by post with pictures of different types of cake decoration. Much more interesting than 3 recipes in a row, but still all relevant to cake!
  3. It’s all about the rhythm, baby. The Walrus didn’t hesitate as he reeled off his list of topics. He used words starting with the same sounds, and even made it rhyme! The point here is – there wasn’t a gap in time when you didn’t hear from him. Once you are a content marketer, you’ve got to keep it going – there is a pressure. But in business, remember you have to spend time on your marketing, and planning ahead like the wise Walrus will make it much much easier.

If you would like help with brainstorming your topics, please get in touch with us and we can arrange a content planning session, Walrus style!

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  1. Tanya Rennick

    Of course, one of my favourite ever poems! I had never seen the disney version (or at least I don’t remember it) so thank you for that! Really great tips here; it’s so easy to get off track, and let things go, but planning ahead makes great sense. The offer of help with brainstorming topic ideas would be most welcome…over a delightful brunch, but definitely not Oysters!

  2. Laura

    Love it!
    Its great that you find interesting things to talk about, woven into marketing know-how. Always a delight to read your posts Keren. And I always learn something new.

  3. Wendy

    Great advice here – I love the planning aspect of your blog – creating a waiting lists of posts is a great way to do it instead of scrambling around the night before the post is due!

  4. Nicola Holden

    Keren, thanks for all this really useful information. It definitely helps to focus the mind on blog and newsletter topics!

  5. Mark Cooper

    What a beautifully crafted article and such a strong underlying message. It also shows that Lewis Carroll was over 100 years ahead of his time.