If you want your content to have a real impact on your brand’s marketing, you have to hold one idea sacred: Every piece you publish is another step in the hero’s journey. But you’re not the hero in the tale you’re telling. Your hero is that ideal reader you want to reach, the customer you want to sell to, the partner you want to find, the donor you want to engage. But behind every hero is a team of mentors that can equip and guide them to overcome their obstacle—that’s where you come in as a content marketer. In our Hero’s Journey series, we’re exploring the many hero mentor archetypes content marketers can learn from, and this week we meet a role model your hero desperately needs, even if they’re a bit scary sometimes: The Mad Scientist.
The Mad Scientist’s Origin
James Bond might be a super spy, but what is he really without all his gadgets? You know every Bond mission will start with a visit to Q, MI6’s resident Quartermaster. Q spends his time building insane tools that no sane person would dare dream of… But in the heat of the moment, it’s Q’s ingenuity that saves 007’s life with a laser beam disguised as a watch or a remote-controlled BMW. Every hero and super team counts on someone like Q to think through every eventuality. As a Mad Scientist content marketer, you’re The Beast giving your X-Men an awesome space plane. You’re the Tony Stark giving your Avengers their advanced armor. You’re the Doc Brown giving your Marty McFly his time-traveling DeLorean. When it’s all on the line, you’re the one giving your hero that one, critical tool they need to save the day.
The Mad Scientist’s Approach to Content Marketing
Mad Scientists have a singular focus with their content: Empowering their readers. At every step of the content marketing funnel, there’s an opportunity for you as a content marketer to educate your readers with practical tools that will help them solve their problem in some small way—right now. It’s a common mistake to make your content all about you, or all about your brand’s solutions to help your reader overcome some pain point. And that makes sense, doesn’t it? After all, content marketing is about building a relationship with your hero so you can eventually land a deal—join them in their struggle, so to speak.
But the Mad Scientist knows that she won’t always be there for every fight. Tony Stark is a true hero in his own right, but will he be able to drop everything and help the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man with every fight? Of course not. But that doesn’t stop Tony from mentoring his young apprentice Peter Parker and giving him useful tools like souped-up web slingers or an AI assistant.
Likewise, as you step into the shoes of the Mad Scientist, it’s your job not to think about how your content will immediately lead to a sale, but how your content will provide practical value. It takes a soft touch, but when you do the work of the Mad Scientist right, your hero won’t see you as solving their problems for them. Instead, you’ll be providing them with a useful tool so they can solve their own problems for the time being.
In the context of a complete content marketing strategy, the Mad Scientist’s approach is best seen at the bottom of the funnel where premium content offers your heroes big value. In your content strategy, that piece could be a whitepaper that offers a step-by-step process for accomplishes a difficult task. It could be a webinar that gives your hero some exclusive access to brand thought leaders. As your hero gets to know your brand through your blog content, email newsletters, and social presence, every touch should point them to a seriously powerful tool that, in the right hands, can help a hero unlock their inner strength.
Are you ready to take up the Mad Scientist’s mantle? Check out our next issue where we explore the practical side of the Mad Scientist and offer you step-by-step tips to soup up your premium content game to find new heroes, give them the tools they need, and build the kind of strong relationships that turn readers into customers.