Peanut butter

The Delicious Secrets to Quick Content

Laura Noll Blog, Content and Creative, Industry Events

Media Next 2014
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Peanut butter, lunch and an iron fist could, surprisingly, be the secrets to driving content velocity. The concept isn’t as far-fetched as it may seem according Bryan Deluca, Content Operations Director at Hearst Electronics Group, and Andrew Hanelly, SVP Strategy at McMurry/TMG. We joined them for a session at Media Next to peek at their strategies for driving content turnaround and improving audience engagement.

They both shared some pretty solid points:

First, “content fuels your marketing efforts.” Direct quote from Bryan and it’s right on. Content is your conduit to the audience — publisher or advertiser alike. It’s completely necessary to invest time and effort into your content strategy to ensure you’re not only reaching the right audience, but engaging them as well.

Second, content success is by design — not simple luck. That idea is all Andrew. And while it makes perfect sense, it’s the easiest to overlook. In an era where content creators, publishers, marketers and so on are all challenged to “make it go viral,” haphazardly posting, tweeting or sending a newsletter simply won’t cut it. Andrew pointed out that when a brand does find success, it’s likely the result of a longer-term effort that has created an infrastructure for that success.

So, how do we build an infrastructure? They told us that too. The highlights:

Peanut Butter

The secret sauce to making content move apparently isn’t a sauce at all. It’s peanut butter. Andrew noted that you can stick with these three key traits of peanut butter to achieve some resonance with your audience:

  • Spreadable.
  • Sticky.
  • Shareable.

Like peanut butter, your content should be something your audience wants to spread and can easily do so. I’m assuming Andrew was going the creamy route with this one. Write and present in a way that keeps them scraping for the bottom of the jar. Ensure that they want to tell others about it, then make the user experience for sharing a smooth one.


A pretty decent chunk of Andrew’s presentation was also dedicated to emphasizing the power of collaboration in content gen — allowing the creativity and insights of your collective team to influence where you take your content and how delivery evolves can be hugely powerful in breaking down content silos. As he mentioned, because “your audience doesn’t experience content in silos,” your content creation process is unlikely to benefit from them. Get others involved from the start.

Building on that collaborative vein of the conversation, Bryan mentioned the value that lunch plays among teams. “Take your team to lunch” — it seems straightforward enough, but his reasons for why definitely added clarity. Show your team that they’re appreciated and that what they’re doing has tremendous benefit. The process of creating content and maintaining a site, promoting a brand, etc. — from brainstorm to distribution  — can be intense. If the team is rallied behind the work they’re doing, that process can move much more quickly and seamlessly. Lunch is a simple way to improve that cohesion.

An Iron Fist

Ok, ok — maybe the intention wasn’t to be heavy handed, but the running quip through much of the session was to poke fun at Andrew’s suggestion to rule with an iron fist. What was the intended take-home message? Goals. Set goals and priorities for your team so that everyone is moving in the same direction, at the same time. Allowing insight into your strategies and target outcomes can, like lunch, unify the group and expedite the time it takes to create content and reach your audience.

Whether you’re aiming to improve the speed at which you produce content or the speed with which it spreads throughout your audience and across the web — keep peanut butter, lunch and an iron fist in mind. They may just be the keys to your success.

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About the Author
Laura Noll

Laura Noll


Laura is a seasoned marketer with passion for user experience, design, development and snowboarding. Using her knowledge of ad technology and the digital space, she starts conversations — like this one. Join in: @AdStationbyAdk.