What A Popular Blog Can Teach Marketers About Targeting A Male Audience

We’re not the first to say it, but it bears repeating. The current content marketing business – driven by blogs, podcasts (audio and video), social media content, infographics, native ads, etc. – is extremely similar to the heyday of magazines. A blog can target a specific vertical audience, including the elusive male demographic, in fact. Certainly, there are many male-specific content destinations (for the sake of this conversation, we’ll just put the discussion of adult-oriented content to the side completely), but one of the best executed that we’ve seen is the blog The Art of Manliness.

For marketers targeting a male demographic, studying The Art of Manliness’ success can glean some useful insights.

Fully Embrace The Male Audience Your Targeting – If your goal is to target a male audience, then do that without equivocation. The Art of Manliness’ mission is right there in the title of the blog itself. And, when you spend any time reading or listening to The Art of Manliness podcast, you get exactly what the title promises – content almost exclusively for a male audience’s consumption. 



And, we’d argue, The Art of Manliness has achieved this goal remarkably well. Well-written, engaging content, that doesn’t fall into manly clichés. The Art of Manliness delivers a lot of content, all of specific interest to its audience, without veering into churlish, juvenile content that people often assume that “men” are interested in. 

Despite what some may associate with the name, you’re not going to find slideshows of bikini models at The Art of Manliness (not that there’s anything wrong with a beautiful woman in a bikini, mind you).

Unique Content or Advertising That’s Immediately Recognizable – It’s a topic that has been discussed for years within the advertising industry. Iconic brands often are accompanied by iconic advertising that is instantly recognizable – Coke, Apple, Nike, etc.

Those companies are household brands that are often recognized around the world. What about all the other Fortune 1,000 brands that have run-of-the-mill advertising that’s not instantly recognizable? Is the advertising or the company itself at fault for the run-of-the-mill, generic advertising? 

In a vast sea of online content sites and blogs, many of them built on a generic theme or visual design, The Art of Manliness is instantly recognizable. It has long used a unique graphic style of images and photos with a turn-of-the-century aged style that is all its own. If you read more than one article on The Art of Manliness, you quickly recognize and associate its brand with this unique graphic style.

If you’re going to learn from The Art of Manliness example, don’t embrace generic advertising and work hard to develop a unique visual style and nomenclature for your content and advertising.

Content Marketing Strategies: “Content marketing” is such a buzzword these days. It’s already overused and tired. But, whatever you want to call it, in this current digital age, content marketing strategies will continue to resonate and drive user acquisition and customer retention. The proponents of content marketing argue that in the age of Google-driven digital discovery of brands mixed with consumers’ resistance to hard-sell advertising, content marketing allows brands to offer useful, helpful content that ultimately moves potential customers down the path to acquiring or buying your product or service.

If you’re currently planning a content marketing strategy aimed at men, or you’re analyzing your current content marketing strategy, The Art of Manliness’ success can offer some great best practices and strategies.

The Art of Manliness has taken its mission to heart and created a wide variety of rich content – all with the mandate of appealing to a male audience. Its content ranges from its extremely popular article – “Learn How To Shave Like Your Grandpa” - that spread virally via social media to physical fitness articles such as  “A Primer on Krav Maga: The Combative System of the Israeli Defense Forces.”

And, with the shaving article mentioned, The Art of Manliness shows how to mine the content that resonates with your audience – to create even more content. Building on that 2008 successful article, The Art of Manliness has subsequently produced a video about using a straight razor and published additional articles about using a straight razor and even an eBook about straight razor techniques. 

Find the content or advertising that resonates with your male audience, and produce more of it.

If you’re interested in learning more about Brett McKay, the founder of The Art of Manliness, and how he succeeded in creating a popular blog with zero editorial or publishing experience, you can read this transcript from a previous podcast interview with Brett.

We’ve outlined what you can learn about targeting a male audience by reading and studying the success of The Art of Manliness blog. What brands, TV shows, blogs, or content have you learned from to improve the male-targeted branding and advertising that you do?

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