And here I was thinking that I had the art of content marketing all figured out.

My mother, who turns 67 years old tomorrow (27th of March), decided a few years ago that she would trade in her laptop which she couldn’t get a hang of, for an iPad. The decision was supported by the family as not only would the iPad allow her to play games, she could also carry it in her purse and use it whenever she would sit in our shop instead of going crazy from boredom.

She quickly got a grip of the handy little gadget. Soon after, my sister and I received a notification for a friend request on Facebook – and trust me, not many children can accept the fact that their parents are on Facebook, but we were pretty okay about it. My mother’s Facebook page eventually became talk of the town as she regularly posted witty images and inspirational quotes for everyone to read.

When I moved back to Brunei in late 2014, I started analysing my mother’s Facebook timeline in-depth. I noticed how she would spend minutes frowning at her iPad in full concentration. I never understood it until I started peeking over her shoulder to realise that she was constantly looking for content on Google so she would have stuff to post on her timeline.

And then it dawned upon me…

My mother was curating content!

She had multiple images saved on her iPad’s gallery for specific occasions – birthdays, holidays – all ready to be posted. And she wouldn’t leave it at that. Each image had to be different in case she felt like posting multiple images of the same occasion within a day. To top it off, she must’ve really exhausted Google’s image search as everyone would be greeted with a birthday image that would be unique from someone else – no two people got the same birthday image!

Lesson learnt: Stay unique – be resourceful and stand out from everyone else!

gift-birthdayOne day, she asked me if I could teach her to “like” pages that published quotes so she could share more inspirational and motivational things on her timeline. Now see, my mother is no tech-geek – the fact that she figured out how to use her iPad is a big deal for a woman who still uses a Nokia (and we’re not talking about the smartphone versions here). I’m sure a lot of you will relate to the fact that it’s not easy to teach your parents something – we’re tuned to things being the other way around and we don’t usually have that much patience as they once did (at least I don’t!).

I eventually showed her different pages she could follow. Things however, didn’t end there. She wanted me to teach her how to create collages for each person’s birthday. I tried but she couldn’t catch up and I gave up soon after. My mother, however, was determined to learn. She still can’t make collages, but she does me the favour of looking for pictures and text and all I have to do is just put them together for her.

Lesson Learnt: Stay fresh – keep learning and trying out new things!

Thing is, there’s actually a downside to all this information she’s reading and sharing – she’s not exactly practicing a lot of what she preaches. She reads recipes and watches inspiring videos, yet she still seems perturbed and unwilling to step out of her comfort zone. Then again, it’s not that easy to motivate an elderly lady who has seen and done it all already. Plus, she isn’t keeping too well these days. I just wish, as a daughter, that my mother would use the information she has and help her boost her enthusiasm a little.

Lesson Learnt: Stay relevant – make use of the information you receive!

I honestly never for the life of me would’ve thought that, of all people, it would be my very own mother who would give such a meaningful insight into the world of content marketing. While my dad has taught me a lot about business, I guess mothers know what you need best.

Thanks, ma! And happy birthday!