The Four Cs of Effective Messaging in Content Marketing | Training Takeaways | All MKC Content | ANA

The Four Cs of Effective Messaging in Content Marketing


ANA instructor George Stenitzer identifies four priorities that should be reflected in content marketing and offers an array of tips to support those priorities, all drawn from his ANA on-demand training course, "Best Practices for Content Marketing Strategies."

According to Stenitzer, your content should be:


Most users only spend 15 active seconds on a webpage and frequently only skim its body text. To overcome people's impatience:

  • Clearly communicate your message in 10 seconds or less.
  • Use headlines, subheads, and captions to aid skimming.


To reach as wide an audience as possible:

  • Use simple, positive words.
  • Use concrete, descriptive words that paint a picture for your audience.
  • Write short sentences and paragraphs of two to three sentences.
  • Avoid jargon and acronyms. If they can't be avoided, clearly define them when they're first used.
  • Test your text for grade-level readability, aiming for a low grade level to enlarge your addressable audience as much as possible.


When you include two messages in your communication, studies show that a third of the audience misses each one. To avoid losing your audience:

  • Establish a single message.
  • Deliver that message consistently and repeatedly across media types: in physical and digital environments and in live and hybrid settings.
  • This consistency will give your message credibility and memorability; remember, noted neuroscientist Dr. Carmen Simon once remarked that "people make decisions on what they remember, not what they forget."


Obviously, you want to make your message as compelling as possible. To do so:

  • Focus on your customers and their needs; too many brands' homepages talk only about themselves. Use the word "you" frequently.
  • Build an emotional connection with your audience; test your content for its EMV (Emotional Marketing Value), as studies have shown that when a message's EMV rises from a score of 18 to 39, the amount that it's shared on social media increases by a factor of 10.

The tips above represent just a morsel from the banquet of insights and best practices offered by the ANA's on-demand training course "Best Practices for Content Marketing Strategies."



"Best Practices for Content Marketing Strategies." George Stenitzer, founder of Crystal Clear Communications. ANA On-Demand Training Course.

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