How can you generate informative, interesting, inviting marketing content that is read, shared, and acted upon? Here are eight essential springboards.
- Know your reader. The relevance of any marketing content depends on your audience’s needs, goals, and challenges, as well as their perspective on how your product aligns with all of these aspects. To demonstrate how well you know your readers, use real-life examples and back up your statements with credible research and statistics.
For example, let’s say you’re marketing a swaddling blanket to new mothers and moms-to-be. Share the research you did while developing your product on the benefits of swaddling (“a 2002 study at Washington University found that swaddled babies slept better and longer compared with babies who were not swaddled”), how swaddling helps mothers with the challenges of motherhood (baby sleeps so mom can rest), and provide testimonials from happy customers (even if you have to distribute free samples to get this feedback).
- Tell a story. It’s one thing to tell people that your brand is innovative, creative, caring, or reliable. Stories that describe how your brand puts those qualities into action when responding to customer needs prove the point, and make your brand more personal, relatable, and relevant.
Take Marriott’s Renaissance Hotels “Live Life to Discover” program, for example. The brand caters to business travelers who see travel as a means to broaden their experience and enhance their lives. The brand created two programs to help guests explore the city surrounding their hotel, as well as explore new interests (such as movies, music, and food) inside the hotels. The programs show that Renaissance Hotels don’t just provide a place to sleep, they help guests live out their dreams of world exploration.
- Ask a question. Get readers involved with your brand by inviting them to share their own stories. Pose questions that are specific enough to be answered quickly and easily, yet open-ended enough to be thought provoking.
Want to know how real people use your product? Follow Rubbermaid’s lead with intriguing social media questions such as “Are you a Closet Queen?” (to invite readers to share stories of closet organization success) and “Where will Access Organizers make the MOST sense in your home?” to get free advice without the focus group.
- Go with what you know. Rather than extolling the merits of your product or service, share your expertise with readers. Discuss challenges, how you arrived at solutions, and provide readers with useful hints gleaned from your experience.
- Make it attractive. Before you can engage their minds and hearts, you must first catch readers’ eyes. Snappy headlines, short paragraphs, interesting tidbits, and lots of easily digestible images (as long as they are pertinent to the subject) help capture and keep the readers’ interest.
- Keep it simple. Avoid buzzwords, industry jargon, and marketing lingo, which can not only alienate readers, but also quickly date your piece. Instead, strive to get your message across in simple terms everyone can understand. Save your audience time and effort by guiding them to the most important information with easy-to-read headers, bullets, and bold type.
- Get them hooked. Instead of comprehensively covering a topic in one epic post, break up your insights into a series of articles. To pique your readers’ curiosity and keep them coming back for more, include a teaser of what will be featured in the next article at the end of each installment. Also, help new readers catch up by including links to previous articles in the series.
- The medium is the message. Have you ever received a marketing email with a link to a video that would not play on your phone? Or noticed the final few critical words were missing from the enewsletter’s subject line? Technical mistakes like this can undercut the credibility of the most carefully crafted content. To give your message the maximum reach and impact, make sure it is consistent across all channels, as well as easily viewed and shared on all devices.