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Well maybe it’s not. But it could be. And that’s a good thing.

My dog and I found our way to each other seven years ago. Before that, I hadn’t exactly been a dog lover. But I have been amazed and grateful ever since at the quality of life boost she brought—because of (you guessed it) her dog qualities.

I’ve been reflecting lately on content marketing (what else is new?) and particularly on content personality. By that I don’t mean the first impression and quick hits someone gets from your brand approach and writing style. Are you academic and analytical? Friendly and fun? Pointed and provocative? No, I mean the next layer deeper—the enduring qualities you bring to the relationship with your audience. It’s like a friendship. It might be sparked by a shared intellect or sense of humor. But it grows over time based on mutually appreciated characteristics and values.

Back to content. I got to thinking about how best-case content marketing is like a long-term friendship with your best and best potential customers. How does your brand behave in the relationship? What personality traits come through? And what values underlie all of it?

Which led me to blogs and dogs. So sit. Stay. It’s not as much of a stretch as you might think. Dogs have some qualities that are almost universally loved, even by dog dislikers. I think we could all benefit from applying a few of them to the whats and whys of our blogs.

  1. Unwavering loyalty.

    Dogs know their people and faithfully stick by them. It should be that way with customers. One of marketing’s cardinal commandments is know thy audience—and once you do, make a commitment to learn their industries and dive ever deeper into their needs so you can provide relevant guidance and content they value. It’s pretty common to talk about how to increase loyalty, make your brand “sticky,” retain customers. But what about your loyalty to them? When loyalty is a value, you are more likely to find creative ways to ride the inevitable ups and downs of a customer’s world, to work through thorny problems. You won’t be fickle, chasing the latest shiny object. You will not abandon them.

  2. Unfailing companionship.

    Today’s social media world has gotten us into some pretty sweet habits. Instead of putting out blah, blah, blah look-at-me communications, you’re now expected to have a meaningful conversation with your audience. You’re expected to listen and respond—just like the back and forth you would have with a companion. And you’re expected to show up regularly and often as a dependable provider of good ideas and helpful information.

  3. Unbounded curiosity.

    The spirit of exploration can take you down unexpected paths that pump up your ideas and distinguish your copy. First, do some editorial brainstorming. If you were in your customers’ shoes, what would you want to know about? What’s not on their radar but should be? What’s on their horizon? Then think about what sources beyond the usual suspects could help you develop new, original directions. Finally, be a fearless editor. Ask “why” at every juncture and don’t accept easy answers. This not only makes your blog look good but also anyone who chooses to run with your ideas.

  4. Unconditional love.

    Yes, even this applies to your blog. It’s about passion and the uncompromising pursuit of how to do what you do better—because you love it. It’s about how to stay current, broaden your offerings, expand your tactics, learn new tools. Most of all it’s about jumping out of bed in the morning (or staying up all night) because you’re so excited about what’s next.

How is your blog like a dog? In what ways would you like it to be? Share with us in the comments.

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