Content overload. It’s a thing.
In the 1970s, consumers saw an average of 500 ads per day. Fast forward to 2021, and that number has increased tenfold. Marketing content hurtles at us from every angle—on our social media feeds, on websites, music streaming services, at stores and even while we’re out and about on public transportation.
And this content comes in various forms—from educational and entertaining to quietly salesy. A good chunk of ads drive to websites that have even more content to parse through and download. The question is, how much of it do people actually remember?
An even better question may be, how much of this content do they actually connect with? And if they do connect with it, why? And how?
The ongoing quest for an emotional connection with content is something that plagues marketers on the daily. It’s a constant struggle between the need to convey important information, features and benefits and the desire to make it all stick. Success is quantitatively measured by analytics reports touting thousands of downloads, extreme levels of engagement and resulting sales.
But do the numbers really matter? Sure, gobs of impressions, traffic and engagement sparkle like glitter in our monthly reports, but today’s buyers are savvy and require more than just an initial dazzle to make a purchasing decision, especially when we’re talking B2B.
At Scribewise, we recommend zooming in and thinking about how to focus less on what you’re selling and more on how you’re selling it.
Storytelling, but make it cool.
The idea that you should tell a story with your content is not new. But, if you think about some of the best stories you’ve heard, they always resonate on an emotional level—and that is exactly what you want your content to accomplish as well.
We call it the content experience: Focusing on energizing how you deliver information helps it to make a mark on your brain. This is vitally important to businesses trying to cut through the competition and stand out. So where do you start?
Start by taking a step back and thinking about the best way to communicate this message to the audience. Maybe it’s a blog post, maybe it’s not. Perhaps that means creating a non-standard type of deliverable, like this Story Stream we created for one of our thought leadership pieces. Cool, right?
Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text alone. Even if the story you are telling isn’t all that exciting, you can easily add pizazz with a creative method of delivery. Numbers and statistics are much more compelling shown as an infographic. Instead of a company brochure, try a video with impactful animation. Fun fact: Videos are shared 12,000 percent more than text and links combined!
Make them feel like they belong.
The actual visuals matter too. Things like original graphics stand out more than stock photos, but we’re talking about more than just the obvious.
Businesses that take the extra effort to express their offerings in immersive ways make their audience feel seen and heard and are oftentimes more successful in gaining customers, or at the very least, a higher level of engagement and awareness.
And what better way to create a connection than to encourage active participation with your content? From eBooks that have a choose-your-own-adventure structure to interactive microsites, it’s these types of experiences that increase memorability.
Make it helpful.
If you’re able to bond with your audience by giving them something they need or helping them solve a substantial problem, they’ll begin to see you as a credible source, therefore building trust that will hopefully lead to sales over time. Emotional relationships aren’t built overnight, they take consistency and time to cultivate, just like your personal relationships.
People see right through inauthenticity. If you’re able to genuinely share helpful information without a glaring agenda, you’ll be able to intuitively connect in the long run. Altruism goes a long way.
Dare we say, make it fun?
The messaging that bombards us can run the gamut in terms of style. From overly technical to cringeworthy jargon and even worse, cliche. Here’s the thing to remember: No matter who your buyer is, they’re a human being. And human beings like to be entertained. Cut through the business speak and communicate in a way that gets the point across without being stuffy. You can still create content that looks and sounds smart but to really connect, don’t be afraid to throw in some personality and showcase what you stand for.
Email marketing today is pretty non-negotiable if you want to build your audience, but emails that don’t have any zhuzh will get a fast unsubscribe. Did you know adding videos to your email can increase click rates by 300 percent, while interactive email content increases the rate of click-to-open by 73 percent? More proof that people don’t just want to read—they want to engage and be engaged.
Long story short: Content, but make it emo.
Emotional content doesn’t just materialize out of thin air, it stems from your brand. Brands that successfully create meaningful, emotional content take the time to think through meaningful, emotional ways to represent their own story using key visuals, colors, images and messaging that makes their offering spring to life.
It means not just doing what’s safe and what’s been done before. It means taking some risk, investing in your audience and showing your audience you trust them enough to give them a peek behind your emotional curtain.