The humble squid.

Some say cute; others say uglier than a Mick Hucknall lookalike competition (sorry, Mick). Either way, they’re interesting critters that we can learn a lot from – particularly from a content marketing slant.

So without further ado, behold this extended metaphor in all its glory. You’ll never look at a squid the same way again.

They release their ink carefully.

With Google’s latest round of search algorithm updates (the delightfully named Penguin and Possum), the heyday of successful spammy content is thankfully getting further and further behind us. Businesses can no longer rely on quantity over quality content, or packing keywords into an article just for the sake of search visibility – it’s just so naughty.

Squid don’t spurt out ink at every available opportunity; they wait until the time is right to send out a message or wade into a situation. And when they do, there’s a good reason for it.

…they also release it quickly.

A squid’s ink sack is triggered rapidly when it feels the need to shoot out a jet of the black stuff. Often there’s no time to waste, particularly if it’s in response to something unexpected.

Equally, valuable content marketing is often about quick responses and getting a quality, on-brand message out into the public domain before even a smidgen of impact is lost.


They have eyes the size of frisbees.

The giant squid does, at least.

Good content creators are also ravenous readers and draw inspiration from all possible sources. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, really. It’s exactly why your English teachers told you to read more in your shorter days.

The same goes for our approach to content marketing. Regularly casting a huge eye over your market is the only way to spot what’s being produced – and, more importantly, what’s not.

They rely on their heart(s).

It’s hard to talk about modern content marketing without the objective of tugging your audience’s heart strings. Now more than ever, content that produces an emotional response (whether that’s laughter or tears) is essential to keep your readers engaged. 

Well, squid actually have more heart strings than most – a whopping three hearts in total, two brachial and one systemic. The brachial hearts pump blood to the gills, allowing the squid to breathe underwater, while the systemic ticker simultaneously pumps blood to the rest of the body. Yes folks, science is crazy.


They show the world what they’re made of.

Wonderful, original content is ultimately unique to each business.

This is because every business has a story to tell, and the components of that story are unique to the business itself. What are your USPs? What makes your culture different? Who are your clients? What work are you proud of? What events have you got planned?

Transparency is a must; there’s no point hiding the way you work away in the murky depths. The squid knows this better than most. Many species have evolved bioluminescent organs that allow their insides to glow in the dark. You think a squid is embarrassed to show off its internal workings? Don’t think so.

Their brains are doughnut-shaped.

Okay, other than my personal dietary requirements, it’s not really related to content marketing – but still undeniably awesome.