Content fuels everything. Whether you’re creating a blog post, email, social post (paid or organic), search or display ad, landing page and so on, the message must be interesting enough to garner the attention of the intended audience.
Lately, I’ve been in a weird mood about content. Ads are littered everywhere and, IMO, they are cluttering up the internet with BS. There’s so much noise jousting for my attention and I'm just fed up with it.
A Conversation About Content with a Non-Digital Marketer
I was having a conversation with my wife the other day about content. She’s a teacher pursuing her PhD but also writes for a blog (Indianapolis Moms Blog) on the side. She’s a better writer than I am and I’m not just saying that to earn brownie points.
Anyway: my wife is driven to write the next blockbuster that's featured on Huffington Post. She isn't 100% sure about the recipe for success so I have "coached" her on some tips and advice to make that happen.
A lot of the ideas she has are real-life stories put into context for a blog. So she has arrived at this "recipe" essentially on her own! She recently wrote a blog about a daycare story that was shared on Facebook over 7,500 times and was ranked in the top 10 most viewed blogs for the City Mom's Blog National Network.
She won't settle for ordinary, status quo blog posts. I guess maybe there's a little digital marketer in her after all!
Not All Content Sucks
Okay. I’m done being negative about content. Per the title of this post, there are many great pieces of content I have observed lately that are worthy of being shared.
Through my observations, I’ve thought deeply about one-word identifiers associated with each.
These are not ranked in any particular order. But let’s get started!
Ever since I learned what this word meant in college, it has become my favorite word. Now. I realize that in terms of content, ubiquitous is quite the oxymoron to my aforementioned statement about being annoyed by it.
Let me rephrase: I’m annoyed by crappy ad content that I don’t give a s**t about!
Whether your content has gone viral or you have a top notch remarketing strategy in place, great content is very visible. Take Warby Parker, for example. They absolutely kill it with Facebook remarketing and email marketing strategy. See examples below:
This is more in line with how I’m feeling. Content that interrupts (or you received without consent) is frustrating. And when you’re frustrated, chances are, you will not be buying.
IMO, being non-interruptive is quite possibly the most important identifier for beautifully constructed content. If you’re bothering somebody, your content sucks.
See Warby Parker example above. They are the perfect combination of ubiquitous and non-interruptive.
Ever witnessed something on the internet (or offline for that matter) so emotionally appealing you took a deep breath and thought: “I’m okay. Everything is okay…”
Relief is a powerful drug.
For me, the closest thing I had to a cathartic experience was the ending finale of "Mad Men."
“Mother sun; we greet you and are thankful for the sweetness of the earth. The new day brings new hope. Lives we’ve led. The lives we’ve yet to lead. New day. New ideas. A new you.”
Similar in nature to catharsis: serenity of divine. Putting people at ease with the calming presence of tranquility is rare.
The final scene of Mad Men is also serene. It brings peace and hope in your soul.
Google also did a fantastic job with this piece of content. The “Ok Google” campaign was brilliant.
Evoke emotion or action. Your content is so great, it makes somebody feel something or do something as a result.
Rather than provide an example of a great landing page that evokes an action, this example evokes emotion.
Seth Godin’s 2003 Ted Talk (How to get your ideas to spread) is all you need for this one.
It would behoove you to watch this in its entirety – if you haven’t already seen it.
Write or create something so compelling, so interesting that reader gets curious and wants to learn more.
I have come across many examples that have made me curious about a product or service. And, coincidently, I was not interrupted in the process. So it’s a win-win!
The example I’ll provide for the context of this post is from Club W. Apparently I have shared information with Facebook that informs them I like to drink wine. I don’t remember doing that – but anyway, I was happy to see this dark post while thumbing through my News Feed.
I decided to click to find out which wines they would pair me with. I was asked six questions just like the ad said and at the end I was presented with these three choices:
I decided to jump ship and not make the purchase. Naturally, I was sent a series of follow up emails. Here are two of them:
I applaud them for their efforts in trying to earn my business but unfortunately, I didn’t like the three options they paired me with. Sorry, Club W.
Creating desire is all about knowing your audience and what makes them tick.
One of the most iconic ad campaigns in history comes from Nike. Their “Just Do It” campaign will go down in history as one of the best. It’s so simple and impactful. And, most of all, it creates desire.
What’s your target: the head or the heart? Or, both? Either way, pick your angle and fire on all cylinders.
Nike’s Just Do It campaign has impact that has (and will) stand the test of time.
Another piece of impactful content comes (again) from Google. The YouTube video below has nearly 33 million views and I get chills each time I watch it. I think you will, too.
Will the reader (or watcher) learn something new from this piece of content? Let’s hope so.
To be informed is to be empowered. The more knowledge we have and can put it to use, the more powerful we become.
The example I’m providing should relate to the same audience reading this post.
Contently published a blog that combines the brains of HubSpot and Moz. Two very influential companies within the digital marketing space.
Bonus Content Because It's My Favorite
In 1971, Coca Cola created the Hilltop commercial. And it was beautiful.
Go Out and Create Some Beautiful Content
Not call content is created equal and depending on your overall strategy, some of these identifiers may not be relevant. That’s completely fine – but remember, if it’s not interesting and if it’s not targeted to the right audience, it will not resonate.
Also, never be afraid to ask the help from a friend, co-worker or colleague. Receiving open and honest feedback about content is always beneficial. And, lastly, test, test, test! Test words, test images, test videos… TEST EVERYTHING!