You have a great title and a stellar idea. You have a detailed outline of exactly what you plan to say. You have a great answer to a question that you know your customers are asking. But if your content isn’t engaging—that is, if people don’t want to read it—all your hard work is wasted.
This is a challenge marketers face on a daily basis. Sometimes you have to write about topics that, let’s face it, aren’t particularly interesting. You know that as part of your content strategy you have to create enlightening eBooks and spellbinding videos, but you feel like the subject matter you have to work with just isn’t compelling enough.
The good news is that there is a solution. The key—as cliché as it sounds—is to think outside the box. Don’t allow your content to be limited by your product or service. Put simply: if you work in insurance, understand that you don’t have to publish “5 Things You Should Know Before Buying Car Insurance” blog posts everyday to support your marketing objectives. Instead, try and be resourceful. Hone into your audience’s lifestyle and create content that entertains them, addresses their concerns, and answers their questions that don't necessarily relate to your product.
Admittedly, this is easier said than done. That’s why we’ve compiled these four surefire strategies to get your creative juices flowing and help you look at your content marketing strategy from a whole new perspective.
1. Nail down your audience persona
You might think that you have a pretty good handle on your customer profile. You know their age, where they live and what they’re looking for. You know what options they have and you likely have a pretty convincing case as to why they should purchase from you. But do you know about other issues in their life beyond those that your product is designed to solve? Do you know what really matters to them?
Let’s revisit the insurance example for a moment. Insurance is far from an aspirational product—no one really wants to buy insurance. They begrudgingly accept that they have to have it. Nevertheless, the word “insurance” is the most expensive PPC bid in Google AdWords, which goes to show that the online demand for information about insurance is at an all-time high.
Still, just because people are searching for it doesn’t mean it’s interesting—it just shows that insurance is an important part of everyone’s life. And that’s where the big opportunity lies.
What other aspects play important roles in your customers’ lives? If you can answer this question, you can create powerful content your customers won’t be able to resist because it appeals to them on multiple levels.
Allstate Insurance are masters at establishing this information, and use it to their advantage to form the basis of their content marketing strategy. A great example of their content virtuosity is this infographic. Originally created for the AllState blog, its purpose is to show readers how they can create a safe room— or the “ultimate secure shelter”. The post was a resounding success and was shared across the world many times over.
AllState’s Facebook page houses plenty more great examples of how they appeal to the general needs and concerns of their customer base on a broad level, allowing them to create unconventional content in an allegedly “boring” industry. It recognizes that its audience likely consists of homeowners with children or parents ready to send their kids off to college, and creates content that resonates with them—content they can truly relate to.
2. Stamp out the business jargon
A quick visit to most corporate websites will reveal lackluster content that’s enough to send the most chronic of insomniacs into a peaceful slumber. All too often, they're stuffed to the brim with gibberish and filler words that have no real meaning. If you want your content to be compelling, ditch the corporate vernacular. Instead, try to relate to your audience on a more personal level. The goal is to humanize your brand, and in order to do that, your first step is to eliminate the outdated corporate drivel.
3. Don’t be afraid to use humour
The key to unforgettable content is a dose of humour, a simple tactic that can make even the driest of topics more digestible. Of course, you don’t want to go overboard—your brand has a reputation to uphold, after all—but don’t be afraid to crack a joke, use a colloquial term or throw in a pop culture reference every now and then. If it’s done naturally and doesn’t detract from your content’s messaging, infusing a little lightheartedness has the potential to hold your reader’s attention for much longer.
Trustworthiness and approachability have replaced uptight language and condescending authority. These days marketing is all about building sincere relationships with your customers, and a witty remark or personal anecdote will help you form connections with your readers much easier and faster than a generic, dry and impersonal tone.
4. A picture can be worth a thousand words—literally
Visual storytelling allows brands to evoke emotions and meaningful responses from customers. By incorporating eye-catching content into your content marketing strategy, you’ll be able to engage your audience better and faster than you would with just plain old text. Ask yourself whether that blog post you’re working on could be presented in a more visual way. Would the messaging translate as an infographic? A video? A cartoon? Maybe even a meme? It takes a long time to absorb the content of a thousand written words, but only a couple of seconds to get the gist of it when it’s presented visually.
Brough to you by StackAdapt.