A Content Christmas Carol

"Uncle, have you finalized your Content Marketing plan for the new year?" "Bah, humbug!" Ebenezer Scrooge replied to his nephew Fred, an independent marketing consultant. "Haven't I got a website?"

"Well yes Uncle, but that's not nearly enough any more," Fred replied.

"I pay to support that site," said Scrooge angrily. "It costs enough. If customers and prospects want to find me, they must go there."

"But Uncle, they need to have a reason to visit your site," Fred persisted. "You need to provide compelling content that will attract them."

"Bah, humbug!" Scrooge roared. "If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with "compelling content" on his lips should be beaten with his own blog and buried with a keyword stuck through his heart!"

The conversation obviously over, Fred turned and left.

Later that night, Scrooge sat eating his gruel when suddenly, the door flew open and a vision passed into the room. With that, Scrooge was facing his long dead partner Jacob Marley.

"Your business is dying Ebenezer. I am here tonight to warn you that you have yet a chance and hope of saving it," the vision said. "You will be haunted by Three Spirits. Mark well what they reveal."

Marley then flew out the window.

Scrooge went off to bed and fell fast asleep. Soon after the curtains of his bed were drawn aside and a childlike figure stood before him.

"Who are you?" Scrooge demanded.

"I am the Ghost of Content Past," said the Spirit."Rise and walk with me. Bear but a touch of my hand there and you shall be upheld."

The Ghost and Scrooge flew out the window then stopped at a certain warehouse door and asked Scrooge if he knew it.

"Why it's old Fezziwig's establishment! Bless his heart. It's Fezziwig alive again."

Scrooge's former self, along with Dick Wilkins and Fezziwig were gathered around a table with papers scattered all over it.

"This tri-fold brochure will sure to draw in much business," Fezziwig bellowed. "Look at all the facts and features about our company."

"What about this Yellow Pages ad," cried Wilkins. "Chock full of details. This will surely attract our prospects!"

"Small matters," said the Ghost, "to make these silly folks so excited about their marketing program."

Scrooge thought about that. Though seemingly small, these marketing pieces did indeed help Fezziwig's business thrive in those days.

Abruptly, the Ghost was gone and Scrooge found himself back in bed in a heavy sleep.

Awaking in the middle of a prodigiously tough snore, Scrooge was startled to see a jolly Giant sitting before him.

"I am the Ghost of Content Present," said the Spirit. "Look upon me."

"Spirit," said Scrooge submissively, "conduct me where you will. If you have aught to teach me, let me profit by it."

"Touch my robe." the Spirit said. Scrooge did as he was told and held it fast as they flew through the window.

Scrooge was surprised when they landed at his own nephew's office. There in a bright, gleaming conference room, Fred addressed his colleagues.

"He said that Content Marketing was a humbug, as I live," cried Scrooge's nephew. "He believed it too. I have nothing to say against him. I am sorry for him. He and his business will suffer for it. I told him he needed to provide his prospects and customers with valuable information that would show him as an expert and attract new business."

Scrooge  suddenly looked about him for the Ghost, and saw it not. Lifting up his eyes, he instead beheld a solemn Phantom, draped and hooded, coming towards him.

"Am I in the presence of the Ghost of Content Yet To Come?" asked Scrooge.

The Spirit answered not, but pointed downward with its hand.

"Lead on," said Scrooge.

The Spirit stopped beside one little knot of business men. Observing that the hand was pointed to them, Scrooge advanced to listen to their talk.

"No," said a great fat man with a monstrous chin. "I don't know much about it either way. I only know they padlocked the doors. Likely no one will much care about it. Upon my life I don't know of many customers he had left."

"Spirit," Scrooge said. "Tell me who they are talking about."

The Spirit instead silently led him down a dark street and stood before a building that looked familiar to Scrooge. The Spirit pointed to the building.

"Are these shadows of things that WILL be or are they shadows of things that MAY be only?" Scrooge asked.

Still the Ghost only pointed.

Scrooge crept towards it, trembling as he went and following the finger, then read the sign upon the door of the abandoned building: Scrooge and Marley, Out of Business.

"No, Spirit! Oh no, no!" he cried, tight clutching at its robe. "Assure me that I yet may change these shadows you have shown me by an altered life. I will honor Content Marketing in my heart and try to keep it all the year. Oh tell me I may sponge away the writing on this sign!"

Scrooge suddenly saw the Phantom shrink, collapse, and dwindle down into a bedpost.

Yes! And the bedpost was his own and the room was his own. Running to the window, he opened it, and put out his head.

"What's today?" cried Scrooge, calling downward to a disheveled looking man in the street.

"Today?" replied the man. "Why it's Monday. The first day of a new work week."

"It's Monday!," said Scrooge to himself. "The Spirits have done it all in one weekend!"

"Hallo my fine fellow," Scrooge continued to the man. "What do you do for a living?"

"Me?" replied the man. "I'm just a poor freelance copywriter out here begging for work."

"Well beg no longer," Scrooge replied. "Come with me to my office. You are now in charge of my Content Marketing program. We have a great deal to do. domain owner . We need white papers, case studies, and blogs! Can you write blogs? We'll do eBooks, newsletters, and email campaigns. We'll become the kings of Content Marketing I'll say!"

On his way to the office he stopped by to see his nephew Fred.

"I wanted to thank you for your advice," Scrooge said to Fred, "and to tell you I am embarking on a complete Content Marketing program beginning today."

He then grabbed his new trusty scrivener by the scruff of the neck and held him up to Fred.

"See, I already hired a copywriter!" Scrooge cried. "Can you stop by today and help me with the details!"

"Of course I will uncle!" exclaimed Fred.

From that day forward, Scrooge was true to his word. Under Fred's direction, Scrooge and Marley became a Content Marketing machine, driving enormous amounts of traffic to their site and growing revenues manyfold. Scrooge had no further interaction with Spirits. It was always said of him that he knew how to drive Content Marketing well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge.

As for the scrivener, sitting in his corner cubicle he spoke for all copywriters when he said quietly, "God bless us, every one. And Happy Holidays."

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