Content Strategy: A 6 part formula for crafting best practice content

There’s nothing worse than having a study tell you that your B2B buyers need to make an emotional connection with your company and products – and not having a clue about how to craft content that hits the mark.

Turns out that Dan and Chip Heath’s “Made to Stick” SUCCESs model offers a very interesting way to get your content authors on the same page – provides a nifty checklist to vet new content – and can be a great way to map the classes of content you provide on marketing pages. Here’s the basic formula.

  • Simple – your core message is clear.
  • Unexpected – surprise your audience.
  • Concrete – be clear.
  • Credible – sources and social proof support your statements.
  • Emotional – even B2B buyers should be moved emotionally.
  • Stories – convey your bright idea through a brand story.

This, of course, begs the question. Where can you see all or most of these practices at work?

To find out, I took a tour across the sites we track on the eBusiness Index. Turns out that IBM’s Smarter Planet Social Business zone is a good place to see most of this formula in action. As you view the short video below, consider the 6 ways this zone hits the SUCCESs mark.

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Category: Case Study

Class: Best Practice

Websites Profiled:

Related Research:

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About the Author:

I focus on strategy and trends – and how the Web turns business rules on their heads. My job is to identify the Web-related trends and best practices that will change your world over the next 18 months. Where you need to cut through the clutter of conventional wisdom. How to change the competitive rules of the game. More gory details in my profile -- and unvarnished opinions about the sites we evaluate on Google+


  1. Renee October 31, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    I learn a lot from your concise reviews of sites. Thank you for providing them. I manage a support site and I’d love to see some support or community sites reviewed. Do you have a recommendation for for support sites that do it right? I often have a hard time on how to balance software support content with marketing content designs.

  2. Marty Gruhn October 31, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    Thanks Renee! Great idea. I’m adding reviews of support and community sites to my weekly surfing list right now. Stay tuned.

    Meanwhile, on the public side of the Web, I’ve been a big fan of’s integrated support portal’s functionality for some time. Not much to look at, but it does an excellent job of allowing customers to organize their support resources for the products they use.

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