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Let me start this blog with a question: Do experts recommend we drink eight (8) glasses of water a day? Yes or no?

The answer is ‘no’ – there isn’t (and never has been) any independent scientific and/or medical evidence to support this requirement.

Yet the majority of people answer ‘yes.’

Don’t feel bad if you’re one of them, research shows that people have accepted this as a true statement for 70 years – ever since the findings in a 1945 U.S. Food and Nutrition Board report were misinterpreted. While the Report did clearly state that people need about 2.5 liters of water each day, it also concluded “most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods.”

That means ‘don’t worry about it, folks…’ water is present in fruits and vegetables, juice, beer, wine, tea and coffee. But perception is reality and we are constantly reminded – and often scared – about the importance of drinking water for ourselves and our children.

Even Michelle Obama used her First Lady status to launch a campaign she called “Drink Up”  in 2013, encouraging Americans to drink more water. The White House also claimed partial responsibility for helping to boost nearly $1 million in bottled water sales (3% increase) among consumers from her efforts.

What can Eight Glasses of Water do for your Content Marketing?

The more I research this myth, the more impressed I am with it, and the more convinced I am that Content Marketing Strategists can learn a lot from it.

Today, in the digital economy, every business is a publisher. But producing a steady stream of great content that will resonate is easier said than done.

We are all asking: How can I better use content to elevate my messages in the digital world and stand out from the noise?

The answer, content marketing experts tell us, is that our strategy must draw upon and develop the larger story that the organization wants to tell. And we must find ways to engage an audience with it to drive desired behavior.

‘Eight Glasses’ has undoubtedly succeeded at this in the digital and non-digital eras. Whether intentional or not, content publishers in the water/beverage industry have leveraged the message to drive behavior as described.  They have given us a case study for simple, clear and relevant messaging that is meaningful, engaging and impactful.

Emphasize Content Marketing Strategy in 2016 Planning

A lot of content experts talk about writing styles and social media publishing strategies today and this is also important. But that covers a second step – ideas for being personable, writing about experiences or other people’s experiences, storytelling….etc.

That will get you started with some visibility, but that won’t get you above the noise. It is most critical to start with a content marketing strategy that is mapped to your organization’s broader business objectives.

I think that every organization is thirsty for (pun intended) the same audience dominance as the ‘Eight Glasses’ example. But it is nearly impossible to do so without first building this defined, focused content marketing strategy.