Hold That Thought: Create Content that Sticks
The digital landscape is becoming more crowded than ever before. As businesses engage in the content marketing game, it becomes challenging to stand out from the crowd. According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2015 industry report, 69% of marketers are creating more content in 2015 than they did last year. These marketers are using an average of 7 social media platforms for marketing purposes and to drive engagement with their content.
Content is becoming a fundamental part of an integrated digital marketing plan. Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing rely heavily on content as a way to attract users to owned media properties and to create loyalty. As marketers increasingly use digital platforms to promote their brands and products, there will be an increased need for content with staying power. Let’s take a look at 5 ways to create content that sticks.
1. Know Your Audience.
When creating content, remember the audience being targeted. In the world of consumer marketing this can be easier but in business to business marketing, it is equally important.
Creating buyer personas for target customer segments can help identify content topics that are compelling for users.
Buyer personas are defined by HubSpot as semi-fictional representations of ideal customers, based on market research and real data about existing customers. When creating personas, be as specific as possible. Use demographic information such as females age 35-54 as well as psychographic information like moms who work full time and live in urban areas. Also identify persona patterns, goals and attributes to be as targeted as much as possible.
2. Keep it Simple.
It is tempting to attempt at perfection when creating content. However, a good rule of thumb is: Don’t let perfection get in the way of progress. Content that is relevant, timely, unique and important has the most chance of creating stickiness. Therefore, multiple rounds of review and editing can stall efforts and lead to outdated or obsolete content. Also, when a simple blog post becomes overly technical or analytical, it may isolate a potential audience looking for a quick and simple solution. The book “Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die” provides insight into why some messages have staying power and other fizzle out. As stated in the book, “We must create ideas that are both simple and profound. The Golden Rule…is the ultimate model of simplicity: a one-sentence statement so profound that an individual could spend a lifetime learning to follow it”.
3. Be Visual.
Most marketers know that a picture is worth a thousand words. The use of images, videos and multi-media is a powerful way to engage users and create loyalty. Many large brands use different types of media in order to provide users with an experience they will remember. Most content can be replicated in various ways and formats. Consider taking a presentation deck and creating a short video or reworking a blog post into an infographic.
Here we have an interesting branded infographic detailing the history of shoe giant Nike.
4. Tell a Story.
Storytelling is a powerful way to engage people at the human level. Although content marketing requires some technical knowledge, the main goal is to connect with people at a human or emotional level. Similar to the most memorable advertising campaigns, content that people remember will spark an emotional association. When telling a story, try and consider the listener and tailor the message to him or her in a way that helps to identify with the brand’s story.
5. Measure and Optimize.
As with any type of marketing, measurement and optimization are the keys to improving results. Content can be measured with various metrics including views, likes and shares. Blogs, videos, tweets, slide decks and image posts can all be tracked in this simple manner. When creating more advanced content such as podcasts, eBooks and white papers, it is common to ask for an email address in exchange. Identifying which content received the most views and engagement can help determine the content plan moving forward. It’s also smart to optimize posting of content based on geography, day parting and subject matter. Going back to the 2015 content marketing study, Customer Retention/Loyalty and Engagement were the most important goals for marketers. Understanding what the goals are is critical to the optimization process.
In order to continually improve the content marketing channel, optimization is critical. The best marketers will test many different tactics, measure results and deliver more of the content that works.
Looking for more valuable tips and insights about Digital Marketing and Content? Check out my other posts at https://konacompany.com/author/kelly/ or connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter. Your comments are welcome!