What Content Marketing Can Learn From the Mall

At first glance, it doesn’t seem like content marketing and the mall would have much in common. One is a marketing strategy while the other is a place where some people go to shop, some go to hang out, and others go to walk around for exercise.

But when you think about it, there really are some pretty strong similarities between what makes a crazy good content marketing strategy and what makes a crazy good mall. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that content marketing could even learn something from the mall. Don’t believe me? Read on!

3 Lessons Content Marketing Can Learn From the Mall

#1: Optimize the Experience

A well laid-out mall is the best kind. Everything is easy to get to, the food court and bathrooms are in a central location, and there are directories along the way to help you find what you’re looking for.

Can you say the same for your website content? When your visitors arrive at your blog (or any other landing page, for that matter), are they able to locate what they’re looking for? Are you showing up on the directory (read: Google or other search engines)?

And here’s a fun analogy for you: Your blog is to your website as a food court is to the mall.

Your blog, in other words, is the hub. It’s where your visitors can get a little taste of everything you’re about, so make sure it’s not out of the way. If they can’t find it, they’re going to leave and go somewhere else. Because it’s such a big part of your overall content marketing strategy, keep it in a prominent location.

In short, your content strategy should be optimized so that you are easier to find (in nearly every sense of the word: your site is easy to find online through search, your content is easy to find on your site, and so on).

#2: Repurpose Content

The Gap is a great store, huh? The retail chain, which was founded in 1969, was doing great on its own, but why not repurpose some content? In order to appeal to more people (because, let’s face it, no one piece of clothing or content will ever make everyone happy), they purchased Banana Republic in 1983. By the end of that decade, they had transformed it into a more upscale clothing store than the Gap. And they didn’t stop there. In 1994, they also added Old Navy in order to appeal to a different shopper (source: Wikipedia).

So in other words, one good idea is great, but if you can tweak it a little or change it up to attract a broader audience, all the better. How do you do this? Branch out with your content. Put some blog posts together to create an eBook or maybe film an interview you do with another industry professional. There are so many ways to repurpose content, so make sure you’re trying some of them out.

#3: Attract Visitors With Quality Content

If a mall has really crappy stores that no one wants to visit (or, worse yet, a ton of vacant storefronts), they’re not really going to be attracting much of anyone.

On the other hand, if a mall has stores that perfectly fit their demographic (because they know their audience, hint-hint), as well as deals that attract potential customers, people are more apt to visit.

You’re not going to push Gucci on country folk, and you’re not going to sell Old Navy to the Chanel crowd. Likewise, know your audience when it comes to your content. Know what they want and need, and then be the solution to their problem – before they even know it’s a problem they have.


Remember back in the late 80s when Tiffany used to perform in malls? This shows that those malls were open to trying new things in order to bring in potential customers. And having a concert in a mall might seem a bit silly, but you know what? People went nuts and flocked in droves to see her. Find your high quality content equivalent of Tiffany (circa 1987), even if it means that you have to try something that seems a little bit out of your comfort zone. Take some risks with your content every now and again.

What are your biggest trials with content marketing? Do you draw inspiration from outside sources? Drop us a comment and let us know!

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Renee is a writer currently living in Central Pennsylvania (whatever you've heard is probably true). In addition to writing for CEM, she serves as the Managing Editor for Business 2 Community and pursues her dream of once again renting her own apartment (preferably in Philadelphia), if only to house her ever-growing collection of books. She received a BA in English from Susquehanna University and an MA in English from George Mason. She's still waiting for someone to write a song about her life so she can just quote the lyrics for her author bios. Catch up with her on Twitter , LinkedIn, or reneedecoskey.com.

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