How to apply psychology to design and content marketing (and attract audience’s attention)


As a content marketer, I have always considered design as the best friend of content. Can better design bring more conversions and content consumption? The simple answer is yes.

In the past, when working on the creation of hubs, blogs, newsletters and content destinations of known international firms, I discovered though that design principles were not as simple and straightforward as I imagined; I realized I was going beyond the boundaries of content marketing, touching a new ‘undiscovered’ domain.

Why do web visitors and content consumers behave the way they do? What can drive readers’ behavior and facilitate content consumption? I realized soon enough that the domain I was investigating was no longer content strategy: it was psychology. Even better, it was psychology applied to content and design with the objective to facilitate and attract visitors’ attention.

Other questions came soon to my mind. How can I apply psychology to content and design? Isn’t persuasion a bad word, or even a dark art? And what does it look like to design without considering users’ psychology? Continue reading “How to apply psychology to design and content marketing (and attract audience’s attention)”

How Editorial Boards empower Content Marketing Strategy

Content Editorial Boards

Editorial boards are an old tradition at media and newspapers. In today’s digital marketing world, brands’ content editorial boards aren’t quite as influential but still serve a critical role in content marketing strategy. This post will explain why and how to set up central and local editorial boards and is a subset of the Strategy Collection.


It should not come as a surprise that the content marketing strategy has to stand side by side with an internal organizational transformation. In fact, today’s marketing organizations are barely designed to properly support a content marketing strategy. The content editorial board is the core of your transformation. The board has to handle all content-related requests and issues, has to define the distribution/amplification strategy and content measurement framework. In large organizations the editorial board has the key role of alignment and coordination between several division and content sources. Finally it has the task to finalize an internal content communication and distribution plan.

The board has to manage the so called content ecosystem: the combination of internal writers, internal and guest bloggers, agencies and freelances that will support your editorial efforts. External sources have to be educated and in some large firms certified, in order to be part of your ecosystem.

Without a plan, an editorial board and editorial calendar, nothing will happen.

The choice of content editorial board members depends on the central marketing organization, which can be complex or lean. In general, I suggest the following macro-areas of expertise:

  • content & persona owners: they are responsible for content and personas. Functionally, the domain could be represented by strategic marketing reps, product managers or technology leads;
  • channel/content distribution owners: they are expert of content and content distribution via different channels – email, social media, SEO, paid promotion, etc.
  • geographies: it’s always interesting to invite one of more geographies to the content meetings. Advantage is two fold: getting early inputs from geos and learning about new content created at local level which might be “elevated” at global level

The editorial calendar is the tool of the content editorial board. It is much more than just a calendar with content assigned to dates. A good editorial calendar maps content production to the audience persona and the phases of the buyer journey. Ultimately, the editorial calendar is your most powerful tool as a content marketer. Without a plan, an editorial board and editorial calendar, nothing will happen.

Fact is, there should be two calendars in place: the (content) production and the distribution calendar. Here is where software like Content Marketing Platforms (CMPs) can make the difference and increase the board’s effectiveness. In absence of a proper CMP, production and distribution could be unified under the same spreadsheet.

While the central editorial team will lead content strategy at a global level, a local editorial board should be in place in each major country or geography to manage proper local content planning and distribution. The choice of editorial board members depends one more time on the local marketing organization. In general, I suggest the following members:

  • A field marketer responsible for operations in that specific country;
  • A digital marketing lead (or individual channel distribution leads – social media, web, newsletter, SEO – in larger organizations);
  • A content lead (assuming that the country has a content lead);
  • A strategic marketing lead (or a local product marketer)
  • Members of the local content agency – if an agency is supporting local operations

The local editorial board will agree with the central team on target personas, lead the decision for adopting content created centrally, contract with local vendors, and engage members of the central team to secure a strong, continuous dialogue.

How to create B2B and B2C Personas and Map Content to the Buyer Journey

(I wrote this article a few months ago for NewsCred’s Insight blog. It resulted as one of the more popular of the last quarter, generating $300K of Marketing Influenced Opportunities. Here is an updated version)

To succeed at content marketing (and marketing, in general), you must understand your audience. Content starts and sustains conversations with customers. But in order to have a meaningful dialogue, you need to know to whom you’re speaking. “Developing buyer personas” is what marketers call the process of figuring that out. 

But I’d argue that developing buyer personas is just one part of the content marketing equation – you need to research how your audience consumes content, as well.

Let me put it this way: developing personas, understanding their buyer journeys, and mapping content to the different stages of the journeys all contribute to content marketing success. You can’t have one without the other.

Let’s analyze each step.

Continue reading “How to create B2B and B2C Personas and Map Content to the Buyer Journey”