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Using Analogies in Your Content Marketing is Like…

Our understanding of analogies develops in early childhood. They help us build upon what we already know by offering a bridge to the next new idea.

For marketers and other storytellers who may feel stuck on a particular piece of content, they are an incredibly useful tool.

I recently had to tackle a topic that could have resulted in a very unwieldy blog post. So I turned to one of my favorite topics – food – to tell the story. Making comparisons between content creation and menu planning worked so well that it inspired two follow up posts. Apparently, there are more than a few fellow foodies in our audience.

If you’re unconvinced about the power of analogies, here are a few of the top reasons you should sprinkle them into your content mix.

You could say Using Analogies in Your Content is Like…

…CliffsNotes: They help explain ideas quickly.

When creating content, we are often in the position of sharing a new idea with our audience in a very limited interaction. Analogies are powerful communication tools that help us quickly explain a new concept by showing how it is like something else that is already well known.

…A Warm Blanket: They can be comforting.

Sometimes new ideas — particularly if they are very different or complex — can spark feelings of anxiety, fear or unease. Analogies employ the comfort of the familiar before bridging us to the unknown.


Reading a Book: They can conjure up strong images.

Analogies are quite visual in nature. When we speak of a known object or idea, the audience is often picturing what that looks like to them. This device is especially useful in situations where we are introducing an abstract concept that does not have its own related visual.

Adding an image or infographic that depicts the analogy will make it even easier to remember and share with others.

…A Mix Tape: They can help you express yourself.

The known half of the analogy is your opportunity to make an emotional connection to the audience. Bring your brand’s personality to life by referencing a nostalgic item, a comical scenario or a widely known concept within your industry. Or, you can expand your conversation around a more common idea that already triggers strong emotions.

…Technology in Beta: They’re not perfect.

Even the best of analogies isn’t perfect, but the idea at the core of the comparison should be highly relatable and relevant. Also, be careful not to accidentally introduce negative comparisons.

Check the strength of the analogy by writing a list of attributes to each side, including both positive and negative traits. Walk through each list and compare the attributes listed on the first side to the object or idea on the other, and vice versa.

To keep up with the demands of today’s audiences, companies must create new strategies to deliver content that will attract and retain customers. Download The Buyer 2.0 Content Strategy Checklist to uncover more tips for crafting engaging content.


Originally posted on BeyondPR on 7/24/15.

content marketing, marketing best practices, content marketing, Tech Marketing Smarts Blog