Each day content is produced and distributed across the Internet by the millions. Brands hoping to have their content read and shared flock to the Internet in droves to gain awareness, traction and growth through content marketing.
For perspective, a 2014 DOMO study revealed every minute:
Facebook users share nearly 2.5 million pieces of content.
Twitter users tweet nearly 300,000 times.
Instagram users post nearly 220,000 new photos.
YouTube users upload 72 hours of new video content.
It’s clear that content never sleeps. But how much of this content is scanned once in passing and easily forgotten? In contrast, how much content makes an audience eager to hear more? What is it about the style of communication, your tone of authority or your authenticity that resonates?
If you’re unsure about the impact of your content and aim to create more compelling and relevant brand experiences then you’ll need to know the three keys to addictive content.
It is the only kind of content to aim for if you want to really grab ahold of the hearts, minds and loyalty of today’s consumer.
1. Marry information with engagement.
Content must be informational, for sure, but it’s also got to be fun to read! It’s a talent, to make your content interesting and memorable because it can tap into the emotions of your readers.
I recently stumbled across an article entitled Five Ways To Stand Out From The Crowd by Terry Mitchell. He takes an unconventional approach to making your presence known; practical ways anyone could do it. The author tackled the subject in an original way.
When you share original ideas that are firm and resolute, with a concise approach it becomes a more compelling story. Also, “great writers use specific words to tap into your emotions at will.” These “power words” instantly create more engaging content.
2. Think ‘evergreen’ to boost content longevity.
Is your content relevant today, tomorrow . . . and even five years down the road? If not, then it isn’t evergreen – the type of content that has a long shelf-life because it is always useful to the reader at any time, now or in the future, and is timeless in value.
For example, an article entitled “3 Sure-Fire Ways To Create Irresistible Content” is an evergreen article, wouldn’t you say? But think about it more . . . think past the addictive headline and consider the technology used to view your content.
As mobile usage increases, the way we consume information across devices will change. Not only should you consider if the content will still be relevant, but is it also readable and scannable. If not, consider cutting up your content into smaller, more digestible, bits – content that reads well on smaller screens.
3. Make customers the heroes of your storytelling.
No matter how exciting your brand storytelling techniques are, content that’s truly addictive is content that makes the reader/customer the hero of the piece and not your brand. In short, it’s not all about you.
A small airline carrier, who became one of my clients, faced this exact dilemma. They were proud of the way they marshalled the airline through severe setbacks. But when they made their own “climb to the top” their brand story it failed to excite audiences as much as it excited the company.
They balked at telling stories of travel destinations because they assumed that every airline does that … but curiously, research insisted their audience wanted just that!
Reluctantly, the airline started creating destination-themed content and distributing it across their social platforms and blog – and to their surprise, social interactions started to climb.
It soon dawned on them that destination stories needed to have a hero component; where the customer was a hero and not the brand. So this content strategy evolved to present user-generated true stories from their customers travels.
Seemingly overnight, there was marked improvement in their social success, as real-life people each shared their wanderlust adventures. And their stories were highly addictive too, for they were replete with mid-travel fiascos and all kinds of offbeat and amusing experiences.
The brand’s website became an enticing storybook that readers couldn’t put down.
What have you learned about creating irresistible content? Let me know in the comments section below.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Shobha Ponnappa is a digital marketing strategist and consultant with a forte in fast-tracking digital brand breakthroughs, cultivated over the last 35 years. Working with over 125 entrepreneurial brands, on the extreme cutting edge of digital technology, she has developed a breakthrough “imagineering” style all her own. She owns the Digital Entrepreneurs Network (DEN)™ through which she offers consulting services, and has written several ebooks for overburdened entrepreneurs. Connect with @ShobhaPonnappa on Twitter.
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