Writing for content marketing: the MAMBA way to success

business content marketing,blogging,writing,marketing message

A snake? No, thank Heavens: it’s an acronym for Message, Audience, Media, Benefits
and Articulation. Read on to find out why
that’s a winning formula …

For a few years now I’ve been sharing the essence of successful content marketing. Much as the terminology may have changed over that time, the media we use have evolved, and the technology we use has expanded drastically, guess what? The way we approach making content marketing messages work … hasn’t changed much at all. Yay!

Here, then, are the essentials of how to do that, as they still are. And over the next few weeks we’ll take a closer look at the specifics. You’ll find the whole series very helpful if you’re trying to carve out a successful content marketing strategy, no matter what your business or industry.

What you need to consider first with writing for business content marketing

Creating a content marketing message that works takes more than one tool. It’s actually several tools being used one after the other. The final message itself is the outcome, or product, of using all of these tools. 

Many people think that a content marketing message will work provided that it’s well written. That’s true in a way, but only because if it’s badly written, it won’t work at all.

However what’s more to the point is that if the thinking process behind the message is wrong, then the message will also be wrong, no matter how beautifully it’s created, written and illustrated.

Good writing is just one of the tools you need. The other tools you need are thinking-based.

So, what are these thinking-based tools for business content marketing?

When I was putting some live business content marketing workshops together a couple of years ago, Sue Lickorish, the training expert who helped me, said she thought my concept deserved some kind of snappy acronym for its key points.

With my evil sense of humour I was dead set on finding a set of criteria that spelled out something rude and unmentionable.

But life’s full of little ironies. And the best I could do was the name of a snake. Now that’s particularly ironic in my case because I’m terrified of snakes. Hmm…

Anyway, the acronym is M-A-M-B-A – the crux of your business content marketing message

1. The first “M” – Mission. You need to be clear in your mind what you’re setting out to do, which isn’t necessarily as simple as it sounds. It’s no good thinking about what you want to say, because that often isn’t what you need to achieve. So, if you start by thinking of what you want to achieve, you’ll keep yourself focused on outcomes, not your own subjective desires, which is almost always going to lead to stronger message.

2. Next we go to the first “A” – Audience. If your message is going to work you don’t just need to know who your audience are, but also how they feel, what they need, how they think. You need to know what makes them tick so your message will be on their wavelength, and will appeal to them as quickly as possible and for as long as possible.

3. Then, there’s the second “M” – Media, or medium if there’s just the one. Before you can make the best of it you need to understand its restrictions and its benefits. And you need to understand in what way that medium delivers your message to your audience – can they read it at their leisure on well printed paper, or will they be rushing through messages on a mobile screen?

4. Now, the “B” – Benefits. We need to go back to that old sales issue of features versus benefits. Features are what something is, benefits are what it does for me as the prospective buyer. And here’s the key to it … “what’s in it for me?” Selfish as it may sound the only thing that really interests your audience is their own needs, desires and problems. They couldn’t care less about your bank loan or your kids’ school fees or the repayments on your BMW or anything else that concerns you.

5. And the final “A” – Articulation. Putting the message to music. Choosing the right tone of voice and the right style of language to get your audience on your side, and get them nodding in agreement with what you propose. This is also where we must be very strict with ourselves and avoid all temptation to talk about us and we … you know, we do this and we deliver that and we have umpty-dump years of experience at the other … no, afraid not. That’s a big turnoff.

Stay tuned for further exploration of the 5 key MAMBA points!

In the meantime, how do you feel are the best ways to approach writing for business content marketing? Please share – would love to know your thoughts and share them with everyone else on here!





  1. […] One piece of advice I would like to share here, though – and this applies to all and any promotional words, for whatever medium – is to learn the MAMBA principles of how to think through and then write effective marketing words. Click here for that story… […]

  2. […] doormat in his/her pyjamas. Forget all that stuff and remember that people are only interested in what’s in it for them. Start with that. Big and […]