In How To Create Effective Content with High ROI we outlined the importance of creating engaging content. Understanding the marketing funnel as it relates to the progressive conversation your content should deliver is the foundation for a successful content marketing campaign. In this article, we will discuss the evolving requirements for branded content online and how you can keep up with them.
Why Content Marketing And Not Ads?
The first thing you need to consider is that digital content is what your customers and audience want. The stats back this up. The message you have is important, it’s just the list of media types and ways to consume messages is more diversified than ever before.
That’s all content marketing is, really: you’re just taking your message and you’re putting it in the format people want to consume the most. Some people want infographics, some people prefer short videos, some like long-form informative articles, and a lot of people really enjoy podcasts. The complicated part? Every year, these preferences change. So do the platforms, and so do the media formats.
You need to put your message in a place and format that people want to read.
Be Faster Than the Filters
Even people who say they hate advertising have a favorite ad. It is possible to make advertisements that people will fall in love with and even want to tell their friends about. However, the aversion to sales-like, click-bait style advertising has already plagued email marketing and it’s spread has people paranoid and reluctant as ever to engage with any sort of promotional material online. Additionally, the very platforms we advertise on are trying a shard as they can to service this reluctance and make it harder for people to be sold to.
For instance, Google continues to update and improve their standards of ranking content to ensure that only the most valuable and relevant content reaches their results page. Facebook also continues to update their algorithm for paid and organic content to account for high competition and limited inventory. In 2016, Facebook changed their algorithm for organic content ranking providing free reach to only the most engaging content. As a result, brands on Facebook have seen a 42% drop in their organic reach despite the volume of content increasing by 36%. This has destroyed the quantity-over-quality trend that has defined mass-blogging for many years.
You need to think about how your message will appear in a chaotic environment, and imagine how it would make you take notice if you came across it.
So How Do You Make The Best Content Possible?
Refine your standards to create content that cuts through the clutter and leaves a positive impression with your audience. The single most important thing you can do is try and look at the content from the perspective of a stranger and ask yourself if you truly care about it or find it interesting. As Facebook’s VP of Global Marketing Solutions Carolyn Everson said, “if your content is not useful or delightful to the audience, then it becomes just noise”.
Whenever you develop a piece of content ask yourself if your content meets the following standards:
The content you create has to not only line up with your brand voice, but it needs to be well made. If it’s a blog, make sure you edit and re-edit it so it isn’t a jumbles mess. If it’s a video, make sure the audio and video quality is top notch. And then watch it, and then re-watch it again later before you make it live. You don’t want to give people any reason to ignore you and little things like typos and poor audio quality chase people away very quickly.
This is where storytelling comes into play, and storytelling is important across all content types. You could also think of this as how everything flows together and makes people want to consume it all the way until the end, which is more difficult than people think. One way to do this is to make it entertaining, and the other is to make it inspirational.
Ultimately what you want to do is make sure it connects with people on a human level and it’s not something a robot wrote. You need to convince the viewer that you care about what is being said.
Here’s a trick to get you started: think back into your own experiences, can you recall a time when you or someone you know shared a piece of content you found online? Was it funny or exciting? That storytelling sophistication is not beyond your reach, you can imagine right now at least a couple times where it has worked.
Consistency is the most important thing in the world once you figure out what you want to do, and once you start getting people’s attention. If people decide that they like you and are interested in what you have to say, remember they like you for a reason and you betray it at your peril. Your content must reflect the tone and personality of your brand, and you ought to stay within the area of expertise.
Basically, stick to what you know.
The overall customer experience funnel – outlined in the last blog – can be broken down into different stages. When you’re making content for people you need to keep this in mind and think about what your goals are. Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, you need to tailor your content for that goal.
If you’re trying to get someone to pay attention to you, you need to offer something interesting and unique. If you are trying to encourage a purchase, you need to make your content relevant to the mindset of someone searching for a solution. Both of these examples are very different, but the lesson is the same: make yourself the thing that person wants to see at that time and place.
You need to think about what you could find entertaining and useful in a piece of content, not just make things because you think they’re important.
Full trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BltyLqPTjXk
30 second pre-roll: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2OrEm7rJdA
Videos are a great and engaging method of promoting the consideration phase of the funnel. It allows users to learn more about the offering of the brand in an entertaining and informative way.
Paradigm condos created a video trailer to showcase their new building. This video was uploaded to YouTube under the brand’s channel, but it also lives on Paradigm’s website. Furthermore, here at Blade, we ended up using this videos to create YouTube pre-roll ads for the brand. But wait, there’s more! Paradigm used these videos on their social media platforms! This shows a great example of how content can be repurposed and used on multiple platforms to target different prospects on various parts of the funnel.
1). Engaging online content is how people prefer to seek answers and discover solutions to problems, and you need to speak to them in the way they want to be spoken to.
2). Make content people want to consume; you can start by knowing your brand and then thinking about good content you have seen in the past that made you take notice.
3). You need to have different types of content and creative production for different prospects in different phases in the marketing funnel.Think about what you could find useful in a piece of content, don't just make things because you think they’re important. Click To Tweet