60-70 per cent of B2B website content will go unseen. So, no matter how valuable your content may be, your audience are spending a significant amount of their time elsewhere. Needless to say, creating unseen (but high-quality) content can be endlessly frustrating!
So, what’s the solution? The good news is, like many of life’s challenges, this one could be cured with some laughter. Rational, informative content may elevate your brand to the next level, but the real challenge is to humanize it.
Whether we like it or not, from content such as gifs, memes, (often bizarre) viral videos and fluffy articles such as “9 Celebs Photoshopped To Have Tiny Mouths For No Damn Reason” (Buzzfeed, of course), the digital world is fuelled by the power of entertainment. Sure, this category of content may not be intellectually stimulating, but there’s a reason for its existence: people love being entertained. In fact, the average number of monthly views on Buzzfeed is an astounding 6 billion.
So, to attract a lasting audience, it’s essential to achieve balanced content marketing. A good mixture of entertaining content and the more serious stuff will ensure that your target audience gravitate towards your content, developing a deeper sense of trust in your brand along the way. Once people are hooked, the rest of your content stands a far greater chance of getting noticed.
Producing the right content
In the digital age, we spend endless amounts of time scrolling through social media channels. The ultimate challenge that we’re faced with as brands, is to convince our audiences that we’re worth wasting time with too.
So for some fresh insight, I spoke to Mark Schaefer, author of one of my favourite books, The Content Code. Mark emphasised, “I think we’re in the most difficult time to be in marketing. It’s harder because the channels are so fragmented, audiences are fragmented.”
With diverse social platforms at hand, our audiences are exposed to perpetual choice every second of the day. Discussing the customer journey, Mark pointed out that we’re not only competing with other companies, we’re competing with anybody who posts online content, whether it’s on their Snapchat account or YouTube.
So, forget focusing on long content, it’s essential to create the right content, not one format on content in particular.
“You shouldn’t be obsessed with short content or long content; it should be the right content.”
- Mark Schaefer
The chances are, your audiences don’t all consume content in the same way. Audiences will continue to be fragmented; the key is to align with each segment and ensure that your content appeals to people on an individual level. Before you can expect your content to reach your audience, it’s vital to explore who your audiences are and where they enjoy spending time online. This will enable you to devise entertaining content that truly aligns with what your audience are looking for. At Ph.Creative, we use persona mapping to help fuse together our audience’s needs and our content strategy.
Becoming more than a brand
Instead of running in the opposite direction, I’d suggest taking advantage of diverse content consumption. The variety of options creates real opportunity for you to push the boundaries and showcase the creativity of your brand and the team behind it. It’s an obvious chance to humanize your brand naturally over time.
When you develop more balanced content marketing, what you’re really doing is establishing your brand as a publishing platform; somewhere that your target audiences can always rely on for to help them out with value or brighten their day with some light entertainment.
However, many brands figured this out a long time ago, and it’s only a matter of time before everybody catches up. So, don’t stop there.
Mark draws our focus to the fashion industry, explaining “how do you get attention in the fashion business? You’ve got to create something consistently new, consistently conversation-worthy, visual, beautiful, daring.”
Of course, we’re not showcasing fashion, but we should be innovatively showcasing the essence of our brands from every angle. If we’re going to think like the fashion industry, we should be reworking our past content and looking for new patterns and trends, weaving them into creating content that will rise to the top.
Think of Vogue. We often seem to question whether magazines will stand the test of time, yet Vogue manages to crush these doubts every time they release something new. Most impressively, while creating the most modern, digital forms of content, they never lose the essence of who they are. It’s pretty remarkable that a magazine that started in 1892 now creates consistently shareable, relevant content; always surprising and hooking their audience via social media, while leading them back to the magazine itself.
A perfect example of this is the celebrity interviews in their magazine; typically long, detailed pieces. However, these pieces are now accompanied by online micro content, such as shareable Q&A videos, boosting awareness and enticing their audience to buy it. Essentially, their online content is a catalyst for selling magazines.
Vogue’s approach aligns well with one of the features of Mark Schaefer’s famous acronym ‘BADASS’ (pretty memorable, right?)
Shareability. Mark emphasises that when we share content online, it’s an emotional process. The instant reaction to finding a video that makes us laugh or gets us thinking, is to share it; whether it’s the comical stuff or a little deeper.
So, take a risk with your content and discover what makes your audience tick. If you can surprise your audience, or even just make them laugh, you’re one step closer to becoming a brand that people are invested in, and trust.
Creating entertaining content isn’t always easy. Whether you need diverse blogs or innovative video content, don’t hesitate to contact us and explore how we can help.